Like thousands of other Americans across the nation Aerin Anthony, sophomore computer science major at Seton Hill University (SHU), took to the voting booths to take part in the 2012 presidential election.
“Going out to vote for the first time I felt nervous at first and I hoped I didn’t make a mistake and press the wrong button or something,” said Anthony. “However once I got there it was really welcoming and they explained everything and it was really cool.”
Being from the Virgin Islands (V.I.) Anthony was glad for the opportunity to take part in the selection of the next president of the United States. Being able to vote for the president is a right not given citizens of the V.I. and Anthony was glad to be a part of it.
“The president and the decisions he makes affects us even back home because we are a U.S. territory,” said Anthony. “It’s great to know I am able to do something so many people back home don’t get a chance to do even though we are U.S. citizens.”
“It felt liberating going out and voting,” said Anthony. “I shared the experience with my mom, after I left the polling booth where I took a picture of me outside the building to send her. She was so excited to know I was voting for the next president.”
With the assistance of Keisha Jimmerson, Director of Intercultural Activities at SHU, Anthony along with other V.I. students were able to register to vote and participate in the presidential election.
“It’s great to see students accepting the responsibility to go out there and vote,” said Jimmerson. “By exercising the right to vote students are continuing the legacy left behind by those who struggled to give us the right to vote.”
When asked why she voted Anthony stated, “I wanted to vote because it is serious matter. I feel sorry for those who don’t use their right to vote because it is a good experience and a chance to help your country. If you don’t vote you’re basically saying you don’t care about your future.”
Anthony along with other SHU students travelled by shuttle to the SHUPAC before walking to the Annex of the YMCA building where students were able to cast their vote.
“It was an amazing and nerve wracking experience to see the votes coming in on CNN with Romney first taking the lead,” said Anthony. “When Obama finally took the lead and won the re-election it was great to know I had a part in it.”