Holding his photo ID in one hand and a voters guide in the other, Ojai Valley School senior Gavin Floyd walked into the Ojai Presbyterian Church on Tuesday to voice his opinion on this year’s tumultuous presidential election.
Having turned 18 just one week prior, this was Gavin’s first time voting. Upon receiving his ballot, Gavin was met with a round of applause. The poll workers, excited to learn that it was his first time, immediately awarded him his “I Voted” sticker.
“I remember my first time,” poll worker Richard McEwan said after learning Gavin’s story.
The whole process took less than 10 minutes. Gavin stepped up to the voting station, filled out his ballot, and fed it to the ballot machine. Afterwards, he asked, “Is that it?”
“That’s it,” McEwan responded. “Congratulations!”
That’s what the months of campaigning and commercials, accusations and divisions, had come down to – 10 minutes of doing his part to keep America’s democracy strong.
OVS history teacher Laurel Colborn, who doubles as assistant head of school and dean of faculty at the Upper Campus, has been teaching her Law and Government students all year long about the fundamentals of the U.S. Government. She especially enjoys teaching during a presidential election year, since students are able to engage in the process and apply her lessons to the real world.
“The thing that’s exciting about Gavin being able to vote in his first election is it’s really making civics and democracy come alive for him,” Mrs. Colborn said.
In addition to Gavin, two other OVS seniors voted for the first time — Shawn Harvey and Evelyn Brokering both cast absentee ballots, eliminating any need to show up at the polls.
Gavin was glad to show up at his polling station.
With his “I Voted” sticker proudly displayed on his chest, Gavin left the church in a celebratory mood, filled with the excitement of having participated in the democratic process.
“It’s worth it because it betters our country,” he said. “I feel like my vote matters.”Share