First time voters in Arkansas speak on making their voices heard during elections

CONWAY, Ark – The general election is one week from today and many young voters across the state are casting their ballot for the first time, hoping to make their voices heard.

First Time voter and freshman at the University of Central Arkansas Will Ketcher II believes his peers are looking more at what is on the ballot as opposed to the side of the aisle they’re on.

“Whichever party I don’t really care, what are you [candidates on the ballot] going to do that would make me vote,” Ketcher said.

A lot of students on campus voiced their opinion over Issue 4 on the midterm ballot that focuses on marijuana laws in the state which they say has caught their attention.

“The problem with that [Issue 4] is everyone wants it to be legalized but the way that it is trying to be legalized is not the way to do it,” said UCA junior, Takari Glover.

Freshman Skylar Nelsen expressed her opinion on Issue 4 and why she’ll be voting for it.

“I view alcohol as also a kind of drug so the fact that we can recreationally use alcohol and weed we can’t, it’s obviously harming your body but there’s been studies that alcohol harms the body more than weed does,” Nelsen said. 

Dr. Lesley Graybeal with UCA’s ‘Bears At The Ballot’ says they’ve been pushing yearly to get this type of enthusiasm on campus.

“Over the past several election cycles we’ve seen more students registering to vote and more students participating in elections,” Graybeal said.

Glover believes all first-time voters should look over the ballot carefully when voting.

“These decisions don’t just affect adults, it affects us as well,” Glover said.