With the presidential election just over a month away, a growing number of celebrities have been urging people to vote. A similar movement has recently started on social media, where some of the biggest YA novelists have been sharing the stories behind the first time they voted to inspire young voters.
John Green, Veronica Roth, Sarah Dessen, and Lauren Oliver are just a few of the authors who have recently taken part in #firstvote16. In a video on Twitter, The Fault in Our Stars writer shared his regrets about waiting until he was 25 to cast his first ballot.
“So I was pretty freaked out and when it came time for me to go into the voting booth, I accidentally voted for the wrong person for president,” said Green.
Don’t worry, the people at Green’s local polling station helped him out and made sure he was able to vote for who he meant to. Despite that awkward situation, Green assures young voters the thing that matters is that you voice your opinion.
“What I learned from this experience is even if voting goes ‘poorly’ and you ‘mess up,’ no one will be at you,” he said. “As the president recently said, politics is not a spectator sport. And since I became a voter it has become one of the great privileges and pleasures of my life, and I say that as someone who really, really does not like standing in line.”
While Green’s story may be a little humiliating, Roth was ashamed to admit this will actually be her first year voting. The Divergent series author said she realized it was time she had a say in the decision-making process.
“My first time, well, it’s kind of embarrassing to admit this, but I haven’t actually done it yet,” she shared. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know how important it is, but it’s just that every time I get close, I either change my mind about the person or I just get lazy and I wouldn’t go through with it. But this year, I realized something important, which is it doesn’t have to be this big romantic gesture, it can just be practical, so I registered to vote. I realized people are going to make the decisions that affect me and I might as well raise my voice in the way that I can, while I can.”
Watch some of the other first time vote stories below.