Making a difference without voting – A tale from a 17-year-old

Juliana Moraes-Liu, Author

Juliana Moraes-Liu calls battleground states on Nov. 6
Photo by: Carolina Liu

Barack Obama just won. And I am proud of what I did for this election.

As insignificant as it might seem, my actions made a difference, at least to me. I phone banked; I donated; I explained my views to others.

Today I spent nearly two hours calling Wisconsin, Colorado and Nebraska, urging voters to get to the polls, even when there were only 10 minutes left to get in a line to cast a ballot. I spoke to adamant Obama supporters, broke out my rudimentary Spanish and was yelled at by angry Mitt Romney supporters.

As I called a seemingly endless number of people from my seat in the Democratic Headquarters in Menlo Park, where I wore my bright orange “Latinos for Obama” T-shirt, I felt this election for real. The people next to me spoke Turkish, Spanish and Korean. Supporters of all ages scrambled around the room, making phone calls, setting people up with the computerized calling system and making room to accommodate the ever-growing number of individuals in the room. All this while constantly refreshing iPhone screens for live election results.

The people I spent my afternoon with were so different, but they all cared about the same thing. They took time off work, gave up studying for looming tests and brought their children along so that they could take part in this national phenomenon.

The energy was contagious. I entered the room excited and came out ecstatic.

When I heard the results of the Presidential Election – Obama wins – I started screaming. I posted an endless number of Facebook posts, probably filling up people’s news feeds. But I don’t apologize.

I’m only 17 and can’t vote, but I know I made a difference this election.