This snapshot was gathered in conjunction with the Maryland Voices initiative at Maryland Humanities, specifically to supplement the "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program. This collection, made up of stories of first-time voters between the ages of 18 and 24, showcases the experiences of young people as they wrestled with the 2020 presidential election, issues around social justice, the environment, immigration, and the pandemic.
Arianna Gomez (00:01: My name is Arianna Gomez. I am from originally Laurel, Maryland. I grew up in PG County my whole life, but now I study at Salisbury University. I am a K through 12 ESL certification major. That essentially boils down to just me wanting to help people learn English as a second language in academic schooling, as well as also trying to help teach people who are adult ESL learners.
Arianna Gomez (00:33): Honestly, for thinking if my vote counts, before I did used to feel like it didn't mainly because of just how the election process is set up and how the bigger the County, the more electoral votes they get and all of this. I come from not a very big county. Living in (Wicomico 00:00:55) County, which is even smaller, I felt like no matter what I did it still doesn't stack up to other States. I think my community felt that as well, especially since I live in a very diverse community, some people do not vote. Some people are unable to vote. Even though they hold very strong opinions of what the election will turn out, of what the future for the country is, I just felt as though I needed to do my part.
Arianna Gomez (01:28): I don't necessarily remember going to the polls with a parent. I don't remember having that conversation about voting. I do know that it was very important to make my vote and to make a decision, because of the experiences and the situation in which I found myself in living in a very diverse community where you do have people who are American citizens, people who are undocumented, as well as people who may not have access or the right to vote. It's about knowing these different kinds of people in my personal life and wanting to help their situation through just doing my civic duty as an American in voting.
Asset ID: 2021.03.04.c
Themes: Voting, democracy, elections, participation, immigration
Date recorded: February 1, 2021
Length of recording: 02:13 m
Related traveling exhibition: Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Edward R. Nabb Research Center, Salisbury University, in partnership with Maryland Humanities
More information: https://www.mdhumanities.org/programs/museum-on-main-street/2021-2022-tour/