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Selena Gomez Explains Why She Didn’t Vote In The Last Election Amid Backlash

Voting is as much of a civic duty as it is a right.

In many ways (considering the various people who are citizens of our country and are unable to vote and those people who aren’t citizens and unable to do so in their own countries) making the conscientious decision to not vote is an extremely privileged action. So when singer and actress Selena Gomez admitted to giving up her vote in 2016, fans were quick to call her out.

As a result, the actress and mental health advocate is explaining her decision to vote for the first time this year and why she didn’t in the past. Truthfully, it is understandable.

For the very first time, Gomez sat down to talk about the upcoming election with Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CG7uqsyD1tT/

Speaking with Senator Harris in a video chat that was shared on Instagram, Selena explained that she didn’t vote because of a lack of education and mental health resources.

“To be honest, I think in the past when I was younger, I wasn’t very educated on the voting process,” she told Harris. “The past four years I’ve experienced a lot. I just feel that my vote counts more than ever. As a citizen, as someone who truly, truly cares about their country, not voting is just not an option.”

During their conversation, Harris commended Selena for an “incredible voice on the issue of lupus.”

“My sister wrote this year about the fact that she has lupus. It’s something that we have been, as a family, dealing with for many, many years. There are so many women of color who have lupus, and are still struggling to get the kind of attention and treatment that they deserve,” she explained. “That’s one of the things that Joe and I are fighting for, which is to hold onto the Affordable Care Act and expand it—including what you’ve talked a lot about: mental healthcare.”

If you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

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