Community steps in to make sure a student’s vote counts

Community steps in to make sure a student’s vote count

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Sam Shields is from Georgia, but he goes to Union Presbyterian Seminary here in Virginia.

He was trying to vote absentee, but several clerical errors put his vote in jeopardy, so the community stepped in and paid for his flight back to Georgia to vote in person.

“I voted today at the poll at Wynnton United Methodist church in Columbus Georgia because that was my only option,” said Union Presbyterian Seminary student Sam Shields. “They said that the address that I had put down did not exist.”

Shield’s then tried two more times and election officials in Georgia said the that the street spelling was wrong and that the finally ballot wouldn’t arrive in time.

“I did everything I could, and I was being told that I wasn’t going to vote even though I followed the process to the T and that was frustrating,” said Shields.

But Shields didn’t let that discouraged him, he posted his story on Facebook asking for help and the community responded.

“He posted that he hadn’t received his ballet and I said look, this is an important election, it’s an historical election in Georgia. If you can find a flight down there, I will chip in," said Samuel Adams, professor of Biblical Studies at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Within hours, the community stepped up, donating money after they saw his hassles.

“There aren’t words to describe how humble and privileged I am to have a community that is willing to go out of there way to make this happen," said Shields.

Despite all the struggles, Shields is proving no vote is to small.

“He’s proving that every vote count and he’s proving that he isn’t going to be swayed or he is not going to be snafu in the Georgia election process," said Adams.

And no matter that outcome of Georgia’s election, Sam is just happy that he was able to fulfill his civic responsibility.

“Even as a millennial, when we have a reputation for being apathetic within political and community spears, that one vote makes a large difference,” said Shields.

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