The midterm election is Tuesday and voters across Oklahoma are heading to the polls to decide on local, state and federal races. Election officials have recorded a surge people registering for the 2018 midterms.
Kateleigh Mills interviewed three different Oklahomans from very different backgrounds on why they think voting is important.
Thuan Nguyen is a 42-year-old first-generation Asian American who came to the United States from Vietnam with his mom at the age of four. When they immigrated they left behind Nguyen’s father, brother and sister and wasn’t reunited with them until more than 12 years later.
He is a small business owner in Oklahoma City’s Asian District and is the president of the Asian District Cultural Association. He says he is inspired to get more people out to vote – especially the younger generation of Asian Americans.
“You know we can’t sit here and blame bad governmental policy or what’s happening to our educational system if we’re not out there doing something about it,” Nguyen said. “We need to be the difference that we want to see, we need to make that change to show up and vote.”
Nguyen said he will be voting for Natalie Mai for District Judge on November 6th for the midterm elections.
Zoha Qureshi is a 23-year-old graduate student at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is a new mom, the treasurer for the Oklahoma Council on Family Relations and a board member for Young Muslim Sisters.
Qureshi said growing up her family would discuss policies of candidates more than political parties in deciding who to vote for. She said that has changed to picking candidates who do not discriminate against Muslims and people of color.
“I’m voting because there are politicians who don’t believe I am human because I’m of a different race and I’m of a different faith background,” Qureshi said. “I need to be paying attention because it’s not just about living in a country where I don’t necessarily agree with what’s happening, it’s about surviving.”
She is also a second-generation American who will be voting for Drew Edmondson to be Oklahoma’s next governor during the midterm elections on November 6th.
Jordan Goodman is an 18-year-old senior at Sulphur High School and is also a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. She will be voting for the first time in the midterm elections on November 6th.
Goodman says through leadership programs with the Chickasaw Nation she has been able to connect to other Native Americans across the country to discuss the issues that are impacting their communities.
She says her generation is becoming more understanding and accepting the diversity of each other and trying to reach a consensus on every issue.
Goodman says voting is important because it is someone’s chance to be able to have their voice heard without fear of judgement.
“I’m voting because I believe that it’s important to voice out your opinion about issues or to candidates,” Goodman said. “You hear a lot of it’s just one vote it couldn’t count, that one vote could change everything.”
Goodman says she will be attending Oklahoma State University in the Fall of 2019 and is thinking about going into social work.