First-time voters cast their ballots in Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” David Knott, 18, was excited to cast his vote for the first time ever today.
“You get to decide who gets to lead you for the next four years,” said Knott, a student at Colorado Mountain College.
Knott said he’s not a Democrat but he voted for Barack Obama because Obama has people’s best interests in mind. John McCain’s record shows he agreed with unpopular President George Bush almost all the time, Knott said.
“I don’t want another Bush in office,” he said. “The fact that he chose Sarah Palin is even worse.”
Knott believes McCain picked Palin in an attempt to gather the female vote, but Palin has little experience.
“She says that looking at Russia counts as foreign policy experience,” he said.
Knott won’t be paying too much attention to the television or polls until it’s over. He doesn’t trust them.
CMC students Amanda Robinson, 21, and Tim Hellickson, 22, also cast their first votes in any presidential election today for Obama.
“I think Obama’s calling now,” Robinson joked, looking at a cell phone call from a friend.
Hellickson and Robinson hoped their votes would count toward an Obama victory.
“Let’s hope so,” Robinson said. “It’s still somewhat of a democracy.”
“There’s a lot of people that probably canceled out our votes,” Hellickson said.
Hellickson called this a “very pivotal” election. Both he and Robinson felt that it was the first time in a long time or possibly ever that a presidential candidate offered something at all different than the Washington status quo. They thought that might be a factor motivating young voters to get out and vote, which could help Obama win.
Hellickson said one great thing about Obama is his desire to reduce the role of lobbying in national politics.
The pair came armed with information after having discussed the issues in the presidential election and the questions on the ballot in informal “Socratic cafe discussions” involving professors and students at CMC.
They hoped for the passage of Amendment 58, which would essentially increase severance tax bills for energy companies. The two saw no reason enormously profitable oil and gas companies shouldn’t be taxed more, even if the funds ended up going to the state and not getting redistributed in a perfectly fair fashion back to the communities the taxes came from.
“(Amendment) 58 is going to be good,” Hellickson said. “They (oil and gas companies) make so much off of oil.”
Robinson said the Socratic discussion group was trying to get more people involved from the community, in particular to take the side of the Republicans that seemed to lack representation among CMC staff and students.
Hellickson and Robinson said they’re not impressed with a lot of young people they know at CMC who think it’s popular and cool to be an Obama supporter but didn’t even bother to register to vote. They wear T-shirts or other Obama paraphernalia but didn’t cast a vote. There’s also the people who don’t seem to form their own opinions but may have voted anyway.
“I think a lot of kids aren’t very opinionated and they regurgitate what their parents told them,” Hellickson said.
Robinson said there’s a number of people from wealthy families who have Republican values but don’t know why. Conversely, there’s also the “stoney” kids who jump on the Obama train without knowing much about issues because of some vague notion he would be better for the environment, she said.
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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