Egypt Independent

The emergence of first time voters



Saturday, 19 March will witness the beginning of a new democratic dawn rising over our beloved country. Among the  developments will be the emergence of a new social segment, a group of political novices, otherwise known as "first-time voters."

In various social classes and among all age groups, one can find Egyptian citizens who never voted before in their lives. Many did not believe in the power of the ballot box, especially under the old regime. Others, with no obvious interest in politics, voted in return for a kilo of meat or LE50 in cash.

After the huge wave of politicization that hit Egypt since the revolution, a new segment of politically aware citizens has appeared on the scene. Some first-time voters have sworn on the souls of the martyrs that their heroic deaths won’t have been in vain.

"I am glad that Egyptians are getting involved in politics rather than football,” says Heba Wahdan, a young working woman. “I am thrilled; finally my voice counts."

Wadhan is one of many that have taken on the responsibility of educating the less-privileged around them.

“I will write a brief and simple summary of all the constitutional changes in question, and I will distributed it to all the security guards, valets and maids in my neighborhood,” she says enthusiastically.

“Other than being a national duty, my vote is a tribute to the souls of those who died during the revolution,” says Yasmine el-Serafy, a housewife. According to the young mother, her voice would be a great contribution in the future of her young daughter.

“I am not expecting much reform in my life time. A lot of damage has been done to this country and the minds of its citizens, and it will take decades to undo this negative effect. I want to change this country, so that our kids can enjoy their lives,” concludes the young mother.

Another person energized by political events is a young teacher called Amira. “I have been confused for the last few days, but for the first time I fought the feeling of passivity that had taken over my life,” she said.

The young woman stated that she has been attending every seminar possible in the last week to understand the new constitutional changes and the consequences of her "Yes" or "No" vote

“It’s a good feeling to know,” concludes Amira.

Others feel more compelled to vote in the upcoming referendum than in previous polls because they feel that this time the process will be fair.

“Agreeing and disagreeing are two faces to the same coin," says Wahdan. "Those who will vote 'Yes' and those who will vote 'No' are paving the way to democracy."

“I am in the winning team; I won, so why should I give up my right to vote now, after all the accomplishments of our victorious revolution?” asks Rasha Nassar, a human resources expert.

Voting is the continuation of what Egyptians have started on 25 January…Vote for your country…Vote for your future.