November 3, 2008
With Election Day looming ahead, many Colorado State University students have voting on their minds. First-time voter Tiffani Kelly, 19, is among the many young voters on Colorado State's campus who are informed, opinionated and ready for change.
Kelly, a natural science major with a concentration in biology education, said that being a first-time voter was both exciting and stressful.
Desire to make informed decisions
"When I first opened my ballot, I thought it was weird to be making those decisions," Kelly said. "It's very exciting because this is such a crucial time in the United States, but it was somewhat stressful trying to learn about everything. I wanted to make an informed decision."
Kelly, a sophomore, is from the small town of Limon on Colorado's eastern plains. She chose to vote by mail-in ballot to avoid long lines on Election Day.
"I remember hearing about how horrible the lines were four year ago, and I definitely didn't want to go through that for this election," she explained. "I also didn't want to be rushed at the polls. I just wanted to sit down and take my time."
Political views shaped by many sources
And who will she be voting for? Her political views, Kelly said, have come from a number of sources.
"For the most part, I've done a lot of my own research. I like to hear both sides and then come to my own conclusion," she said. "I tried to find sources that aren't biased and just state the facts."
Kelly also said that her family and friends have influenced her decisions.
"My parents are conservative and they definitely influence my opinions," she said. "I also like to talk to my friends, especially my roommates. They are Democrats, and they give me a different point of view."
New found interest in politics
Before this election year, Kelly says that she wasn't that interested in politics.
"Now that I'm older, I'm beginning to see how everything affects me. I know how important it is to vote. If something bad happens and you didn't vote, then I don't think you have the right to complain," she explained.
"I think no matter what happens, people are ready for a change. For me, voting is how I'll help make that happen," she said.
By Stephanie Miller, Office of Public Relations intern
Contact: Kimberly Sorenson
Phone: (970) 491-0757