My Day at the Polls: Selma Newbill

Hi! My name is Selma Newbill, and I’m a senior double major in English and Political Science at The University of Southern Mississippi. 2020 is a time of political strife and public unrest. This election determines human rights and freedoms for so many people, including me. Because this is the first time I’ve been old enough to vote in a presidential election, I decided that my civic duty went beyond just voting. I wanted to actively serve the community and represent those who are unable to serve because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health risks that come with working the polls this year. I had the pleasure of serving as a Poll Manager in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

It is so important for my generation to be politically active because as we have seen, complacency is not the answer to obtaining change. We must be the change we want to see in our world. We are the advocates, the leaders, the future, the present. We are America, no longer just the future of it. I’m inspired by my generation’s willingness to fight for what they believe in, regardless of what this year has brought us.


I never thought I would be politically active growing up because my family wasn’t outspoken about it, and my high school didn’t teach me much about politics. When I turned 15, I discovered Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and she taught me that I had no choice but to fight for those who are still fighting. I didn’t realize that I was and am still fighting. My political science training in college through classes and my involvement in Pi Sigma Alpha has taught me that I’m much more than a small dot on the earth.


Political science changed how I view myself. Our voices matters. Our votes matters. We matter. I’m here, voting and working the polls on my first presidential election, because it’s my civic duty, it’s my right, and it’s my fight. Happy Election Day!