The League of Nigerian American Women Voters

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By Gloria Adeyeye

Sometimes I think some groups of Nigerians in the United State with the documentation needed to vote, will not vote.

Am not sure why, but my assumption is that they want to, but they are on the fence. They are on the fence because they have not decided if they are Nigerian Americans or just Nigerians in America.

Every vote counts in the 2016 US elections and I would love for every Nigerian especially every Nigerian woman to vote as the primary comes to my town, and as we get ready for the big one in November. Make a decision now, you are a part of the system of the USA and your decision to vote or not, is a legacy for generations to come financially and economically.

Think how much bridge building initiatives will put us back if Donald trump wins. Off to Canada I go, how about you?

I know the election is a big deal and for the longest time I actually thought Bernie Sanders was going to win. I still do only now I know that Hillary may be the winner already. I love Bernie’s enthusiasm, the passion in his voice when he speaks is one of the reasons I believe he would deliver as promised. I will mention that I have been cautioned by people that his age makes a difference as he campaigns but Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is 73 years old.

If you are like me you still have time to research and make an informed decision. There was a time I was all for Hillary Clinton not sure about exactly all the reasons it changed, but with an option as classic as Bernie Sanders I opted for Bernie Sanders. Even, though I haven’t read up on all his plans in detail I ascribed to what Sean Connery said while on the bridge with Kevin Costner in the Movie The Untouchables ( Al Capone Movie)  “that who would claim to be what he is not” as such I believe in Bernie.

This past weekend I became aware of my local League of Women Voters at the Howard County, MD GreenFest event. Dedicated to helping, by educating women and all voters as we elect the next group of officials on a national, state and city level in this year’s elections.

The League of Women Voters, established since 1920, as a nonpartisan group, wants to continue to educate the American woman. They have fought through education and advocacy to improve government and impact policies in America.

The League of Women Voters has its national office in Washington,D.C., and local and state Leagues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

The resources they provide are useful so people can find information to aid in making an informed decision as the primaries move to Pennsylvania, Maryland etc. in a few days. The site they created for election purposes is Vote411.org, established for the sole purpose of providing a one-stop-shop for election related information. The site is very interactive and you can find information on where to vote from absentee voting to more complicated issues like voting machine malfunctions. On a test run I found that if you type in your address and zip code you will be matched to where you need to cast your vote, pretty cool.

I picked up their handout; it was a document that they made available in newspaper format. It had all the information on state, county, and national candidates running for elected positions in all aspects of the U.S. elections in 2016.  Also included are detailed interview sessions on each candidate, specific questions were asked of them and the responses they gave further explained and/or clarified their position on certain issues.

The first time I voted

The year 2006 was truly my first primary election voting, in Prince Georges County, Maryland. I remember nothing else about the day, but I do remember I voted for representative Donna Edwards. She lost that year and ran again in 2008 and won.

Now running as a congresswoman, the seat vacated by Senator Barbara Mikulski, she plans on continuing what Senator Mikulski’s did as a senator and also continuing her own legacy by fighting for women.

As Nigerians in America, our vote affects our finances whoever we elect (because by not voting you are saying yes to the other person) that determines where we live, where our children go to school, it determines tuition in college, determines funding for research, healthcare and how immigration policies are implemented.

You set an example for your children and community, even if my one vote is not what will make my candidate win, if I don’t show up and vote it does not matter.

Gloria Adeyeye is a freelance journalist and event planner based in the U.S. She loves art, history, and writing stories.