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Step Up & Vote: An Interview Series with the Step Up Women’s Network

As part of our VOTE collection, we’ve partnered with the nonprofit Step Up to help with their efforts towards empowering and educating young women. Just in time for this year’s National Voter Registration Day, we’re launching a Step Up & Vote interview series featuring some of the young women in Step Up’s network. Here, we’ll hear about their experiences as first-time voters and how their VOTE collection Birdies make them feel bold and confident about using their voices.

Name: Detler Htoo

Age: 18

Where You Live: Texas

What was the process like registering to vote for the first time?

The process for registering to vote was actually pretty easy. It was my first time, but all I did was fill out a few papers. It took less than 10 mins and then I was registered!

How did you feel once you became a registered voter?

After I became a registered voter, I felt that I could really do something to make a difference. I felt as though my voice could actually be heard.

Describe your experience voting for the first time. 

My experience voting for the first time was pretty exciting. I was super excited to vote—it made me realize that I was at a point in my life when my voice could change a life.

Why do you think it’s important to vote in this upcoming election?

I think it’s super important to vote in the upcoming election because we are ultimately responsible for our future, and if we can make it better by doing this one thing, then we should. Women in the past fought so hard for something that we take for granted, and we should honor them by voting.

What advice would you give to other first-time voters?

I would advise a first-time voter to look at the candidates, really read about them, and see what their purposes are. I would also thank them for voting because their vote counts.

How do your Birdies make you feel bold and confident about using your voice?

My birdies make me feel confident and bold. They’re super comfortable and they have bold statements. Every time I look at my Birdies, I remember what they stand for. The stars symbolize loyalty, purity, light, and life. 

Name: Shellsea De Leon

Age: 19

Where You Live: California

What was the process like registering to vote for the first time?

It was actually very easy and simple. It was not as daunting as I thought it would be.

How did you feel once you became a registered voter?

I felt great! I have always wanted to register, so to know that I could finally vote felt amazing. 

Describe your experience voting for the first time. 

My first time voting was for the primaries, and it was exciting and tiring at the same time. I knew who I wanted to vote for, but if I didn’t know the nominees for a certain section, I had to research constantly by Googling them. 

Why do you think it’s important to vote in this upcoming election?

I think it is very important to vote in this upcoming election because it’s time for us to start anew. 

What advice would you give to other first-time voters?

I would tell them to not only get informed on who the presidential nominees are but also the nominees from their districts, like for Senate and House of Representatives. And to research propositions trying to get passed in their state or county. 

How do your Birdies make you feel bold and confident about using your voice?

Birdies make me feel like I am empowered and that my voice is important and should not be viewed as insignificant. 

Name: Bing Qian Tang

Age: 19

Where You Live: New York

What was the process like registering to vote for the first time?

It was surprisingly short and easy.

How did you feel once you became a registered voter?

I feel hopeful and happy that I can be part of the change.

Describe your experience voting for the first time. 

I am super excited and a little anxious.

Why do you think it’s important to vote in this upcoming election?

It is important to vote for the change we want to see.

What advice would you give to other first-time voters?

Don’t worry, it is actually really easy. Just remember you are doing the right thing.

How do your Birdies make you feel bold and confident about using your voice?

They are so pretty and I love the message they represent.

Find out more about our special, limited-edition VOTE collection and our partnership with Step Up. And if you have questions about how to register, state registration deadlines, checking your registration status, or different ways to vote this year, check out our handy Voting Resource Guide.

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