Atlanta Teen Joins His 93-Year-Old Grandmother To Vote In His First Election
The pair was one of the oldest and youngest voters in Atlanta on Tuesday.
November 03, 2021 at 6:31 pm
Participating in our nation's democratic process is now a family affair for two Atlanta residents. King Walker, who turned 18 three weeks ago on Oct. 12, and his 93-year-old grandmother Flossie were one of the oldest and youngest paired voters in Atlanta when they went to cast their ballots on Tuesday.
In off-year elections, voter turnout tends to be low, which made this election especially important for the duo. Walker was eager to share this moment with his grandmother, 11 Alive reports.
Walker, who attends Booker T. Washington High School, immersed himself in classes such as Democracy Now, Rock the Vote, AMB Sports and Entertainment and the New Georgia Project as a means to increase his understanding of voting rights. He adds that he's also been greatly inspired by his grandmother.
"When I was younger I would always watch her go vote," he said, according to 11 Alive.
Although growing up Walker said he didn't know much about local elections, when the opportunity came to vote, Walker jumped at the chance to cast his first ballot alongside his grandmother.
“I used to think that just the presidential election matters, but it really matters who you put in congress, who your councilmembers are. Those are the people who are going to go to the legislative building and represent you. They also taught us how the government gives people voting rights but, bit by bit, takes them back,” he told Atlanta Civic Circle.
Flossie has always advocated the importance of voting and said she is extremely proud of her grandson for upholding his civic duty.
"It was exciting, to watch him get out and vote for the first time," she said on Election Day, according to 11 Alive.
Walker made sure he adequately researched each candidate to prepare before heading to the polls.
"I was doing the forum at APS and three of the candidates were there: Andre Dickens, Antonio Brown, and Sharon Gay. So, we got to ask them questions and that influenced who I was going to vote for," he said. "I was nervous and excited because it was my first time voting and you're seeing all the names and the people you've talked about and discussed."
Yet, despite his preparedness, Walker still encountered an obstacle when his precinct could not locate his voter registration. The whole ordeal lasted an hour, but Walker was determined to prevail and eventually voted by provisional ballot. In the end, he was able to cast his first vote alongside his grandmother, the person who influenced him and taught him the importance of democracy.
Walker has since participated in an Atlanta Public School initiative that introduces students to the importance of democracy and the government. He was also recently tapped to join the Student Advisory Council for the initiative.
After graduating college, Walker said he would open to running for city council and working his way up "as far as I can go."