Steamboat’s first-time voters overwhelmed with election | SteamboatToday.com
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Steamboat’s first-time voters overwhelmed with election

Teresa Ristow
Steamboat Springs High School senior Meg Anderson talks about voting for the first time.
Teresa Ristow

— Some of Steamboat Springs’ young voters were feeling overwhelmed on the eve of Election Day but knew the importance of casting their first vote in a presidential election.

Others were feeling indifferent and chose to sit out their first opportunity to exercise their democratic right.

“I’m excited to see what happens, because it’s such an interesting election,” said Seth Warnick, an 18-year-old Colorado Mountain College student who planned to vote in person Tuesday.

Warnick said he’d studied the ballot and was looking forward to weighing in on local and national races and issues.

“I think I’ve done a good amount of research,” he said.

Millennials, ages 18 to 35, are now the United State’s largest living generation at 31 percent, surpassing the Baby Boomers, ages 52 to 70, earlier this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, giving them significant power at the polls, if they turn out to vote.

Steamboat Springs High School seniors Jessica Sandvik, Jessica Colombo and Meg Anderson said Monday they had already turned in their ballots and realized it took a lot of independent research to inform themselves on the issues.

“I didn’t understand a lot of what was on the ballot,” said Colombo, who sat down with her parents to vote.

Anderson, who turned 18 last week, wished her school had provided more voter education on the issues, rather than just encouraging students to register to vote.

“I had to do all this research on my own to feel like I was actually prepared,” Anderson said. “I wanted to be making good decisions.”

Sandvick said she voted for president, state senator and some of the local issues.

“It’s a civic duty and your chance to make a choice for something,” she said.

CMC student David Wildermuth, 19, said that although he was old enough to vote, he was choosing to sit out this election because he didn’t like either of the top two presidential candidates.

Several other CMC students interviewed also said they were choosing not to vote, despite finally being old enough.

CMC freshman Quianna Castro, 18, said Monday that while she had her ballot, she wasn’t sure she was informed enough about the issues and was still unsure if she would go through with voting.

“I’m just not sure, and I’m not caught up with the debates,” she said.

Brooke Stone, another CMC freshman, said she had already voted and found the process overwhelming and nerve-wracking.

“I felt like it was up to me to make the right decisions, like there were right and wrong answers,” Stone said.

She said the election season has been difficult to watch.

“It’s overwhelming to see so much conflict,” she said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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