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Evie Chan

Student Art Contest: Senior Division, Second Place

 

10th Grade – Oregon Episcopal School


Protecting the rights of all citizens to vote is central to an ideal democracy. Election results must reflect the will of the people, not the preference of those with the loudest voices or those already holding political power. Freedom and the democratic process rely on the active participation of all citizens. We

must stand up to those purposefully making it harder for individuals to cast their votes. Working together we can lift every voice and support marginalized communities struggling to vote. Universal vote by mail counters efforts aimed at voter intimidation and voter suppression. Vote by mail is the law in Oregon and is an important step towards encouraging the amplification of all voices. In the words of Minoru Yasui, we should “. . . go forth, not with sadness or with heavy hearts, but firm with the conviction that we shall unceasingly dedicate ourselves to the perpetuation of the democratic ideals and the principles of freedom.” Vote by mail should be guaranteed nationwide and we all must work to ensure this becomes available in every state. My artwork is a stamp advocating for a national vote by mail system. The stamp symbolizes the opportunity to mail or drop off a ballot. Stamps for ballot return by mail should be provided free of charge to all voters in the United States. Ballots must be available in multiple languages and at reading levels that facilitate equal understanding of critical issues and make voting easy for all. Ballot boxes for drop off should be located centrally in all communities. The ballots in this painting represent diverse voices from different communities and constituents across the United States making their way to our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. and my commitment to protect and raise all voices in honor of the legacy of Minoru Yasui.

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