Barack Obama for My First Time Voting

I am very excited to cast my very first vote in a presidential election.

In Her Words

Obama for My First Time

Why being of voting age is especially important to me this year

-Carolyn French

Barack Obama and Sarah PalinTo say that I am “psyched” to officially join the millions of Americans who shuffle into makeshift voting booths around the country once every four years would be an understatement. I am pumped, ecstatic, on Cloud Nine!

During the Bush/Gore election back in 2000 I was all of 12. Delving into politics was not exactly high on my priority list, though I did spend a decent amount of time chatting about the candidates with my girlfriends; more than most spring chickens in our 6th grade class anyway.

The only difference between that election and the one that is swiftly approaching is my excitement level. Even if I had been legally allowed to vote back in the day, I wouldn’t have felt this … driven. Yes, I was a part of the sizeable group that prematurely announced “If Bush wins I’m moving to Canada,” but I also identified with the melancholy bunch who thought, “why bother?” because choosing between W. and Gore felt like trying to single out the lesser of two evils.

I admit that I have not been following the recent primaries and national conventions as much as I originally anticipated, but the segments that I have seen and heard and read about are very inspiring; more accurately, Senator Barack Obama is very inspiring.

The fact that he is Black has little to do with it, although I think it’s absolutely wonderful that we’ve come so far. It’s about how dedicated he is to the well-being of the American people, not to mention the planet. He actually cares, and obviously has a head upon his shoulders.

John McCain and his “lipstick pig,” on the other hand, are Obama’s polar opposites.

Because Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin seems to be garnering the majority of the attention these days, I’d like to take a moment to discuss why this is such a terrifying possibility to me. The following – courtesy of – is a brief roundup of topics that Mrs. Palin has spoken out about, ones that (I feel) should cost her the vice-presidency.

• Opposes stem cell research
• Chooses “life”, even if her own daughter were to become pregnant by rape
• Opposes use of public funds for abortions
• Believes it’s OK to deny benefits to homosexual couples and thinks marriage should only be between a man and a woman
• Sued US government because she wanted them to stop listing polar bears as endangered
• Opposes “explicit” sex-education programs
• Thinks global warming affects Alaska, but is not man-made
• Convinced McCain to drill offshore; which has not yet been OKed by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

In this day and age, do we really want someone helping to run the show who dismisses global warming and environmental issues in general, is opposed to stem cell research and abortion, and who would gladly deny benefits to same-sex couples?

I know I don’t, which is precisely why I am counting the days until I can hand over my very first vote – for Barack Obama – in a presidential election.

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