On the 27th of February, 2016 I became so upset with the status quo of Massachusetts Primary Voting System I sent a letter to Mr. Stanley C. Rosenberg (President of MA Senate). I was seventeen years old at the time however my eighteenth birthday was months away in August so I was feeling down about not being able to vote in the Primary Presidential Election.
A week before hand at Oakmont Regional High School we had a presentation about Girl State, a week long camp at the end of junior year considered “a nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country,” run by the American Legion Auxiliary in Massachusetts at Stonehill College. After hearing all the great stories from past girl-staters about a fun filled week meeting new people from all over the state and learning about how government works, I left the presentation knowing I would sign up for this camp. My school requested all interested girls to fill out a resume in order to narrow down the pool. Luckily I was chosen to represent my small town of Ashburnham along with 2 other girls. While completing the official application for Girl State, I stumbled upon an optional section that allowed the applicant to propose a “Bill” about an issue or an idea that they felt passionate about.
So I thought for a while about what my bill would be, when it finally came to me. Here I was in February applying to Girl State, a Massachusetts government program, while in the middle of a Primary Election season that I was not allowed to vote in, yet I would be eligible come the General Election Voting Day in September. I thought here is my chance to talk about an important issue to me, that is currently affecting kids my age state/nation-wide, so I ...
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...l State. He didn 't respond the first time I sent the email, so I waited another two weeks before send it again. He finally got back to me saying “Thanks for reminding us of your interest – and now that of the Girl Staters -- in this important issue…” and ending with “the new legislative session begins in January. When we do, I will repeat Senate President Rosenberg’s response that he will be sure to take your concern into account. We appreciate your bringing this to our attention.” It is only through hard work, dedication and conversation that we can bring about change to the status quo. I realize my fight to allow seventeen year olds the opportunity to vote in the primary election is an uphill battle that will continuously be pushed to the side by bigger more important issues. However I remain optimistic anyways, as change can and will happen, it just takes time.
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