Choosing, Not Losing: What Young Voters Are Saying From The Polls

Young voters share their perspective on the campaign, the voting process and why they decided to become part of 20 Million Loud.

I came out to vote today because it's a right that other people fought voluntarily for us to have. I also believe my vote helps represent who I believe is the best leader for our country.

And even though there was plenty of spin on both sides, I think I made the right choice.

Israel, 24

Winter Park, FL



I waited in line for an hour and a half, but once I got in, it was easy.

I feel fairly confident about the candidates I chose and about the issues. I'm nervous now and anxious to see who will win the presidency.

I came out and voted because I wanted to put my voice out there. And since I have the right to vote, why not exercise that right?

Ellen, 21

Granville, OH



The ballot made sense but only because I looked up more info online. Now that I've voted, I'm just excited to find out the outcome. The campaign made me frustrated with politics and all the lies, and angry with the media for not giving us unbiased information.

Ever since the first presidential race I could remember as a kid, it has been important for me to be knowledgeable and involved. I want to do my part and take advantage of the liberties I'm given.

If I could say anything to the world, it would be to never stop caring — even when it's easy to get fed up with everything.

Beth, 28

Winter Garden, FL



This was my first time voting and I thought that the voting process was pretty straightforward and simple. I thought the campaign was really back-and-forth, but each party got their ideas across. Once you've got the information, voting is the right thing to do. In a democracy, you have to vote. My vote went for Bush.

Refugil, 19

Austin, TX



It was amazing. It was simple getting in to vote — there was a polling station right in my co-op and it wasn't confusing at all.

It felt like I finally got to say what I've been meaning to say for the past five months now. It's about making a statement summing up what you believe in. It's the ultimate feeling for an American.

I thought it was a really spirited campaign. A lot of it was based on hate and anger, but the issues were pretty clear. I felt like Bush and his campaign were pushed to the limit. Both candidates were equally qualified to debate, and so were the vice presidential candidates, and I watched all the debates. In the end, my vote went for Kerry.

Dalon, 19

Carrolton, TX



This was my first time voting. The lines were long and some of the categories on the ballot only had one candidate. I mostly understood what was on the ballot and I hope that I was making good decisions.

I cast my vote for Kerry because I want him deciding what my taxes are being spent on, and to support gay marriage.

Kelly, 19

Newark, OH



Casting my vote today was efficient. I guess I felt as good as one can in the system. I've done what I can and hope it will "do some good."

I came out today to attempt to reinstate an image of a functioning democracy and to ensure the end of a stolen term of service.

Ben, 23

Los Angeles, CA



If you don't want to vote for yourself, do it for all those who dedicated their lives for this right. It's my obligation as a citizen, and I feel that so many people have fought for this right that it would be inconsiderate of me to neglect it.

After I pulled the lever, I thought, "Here we go."

Jessica, 20

Los Angeles, CA



I was in Florida during the election, but I voted with an absentee ballot for Virginia. It was simple and quick and I felt privileged to cast my vote. I'm confident that Bush has the election in the bag, but the campaign was a roller coaster of certainties and disgust at the constant insulting of character by both parties.

Summer, 22

Bristol, VA



I thought there would be a lot more to it, but it's relatively painless. The ballot was very clear, and it was really easy. It felt good to hopefully make a difference. Since it was my first time voting, it was really interesting. It's just another one of those milestones in your life, something that you can finally do that you couldn't when you were a kid.

The campaign was very interesting. Both candidates had good points, but I had mixed feelings. I've never been that interested in politics, so it was tough to sort through all of the information. Ultimately, I voted for Kerry, because I think he can do a lot more for our country. He's more focused on what's happening here.

Becky, 20

Beaver Dam, WI



This is my first time voting and it was better than what I was thinking, and being my first time, it was cool.

After I cast my vote I still didn't get why I never vote. Had I known that it was fast and took no time, I would have been voting before.

Get out there and vote and party later. If I can do it, you can too. I used to be the one to say forget voting, well now I am here to say I did it and so can you.

Danielle, 26

Los Angeles, CA



The process at the polls was very easy and the poll workers were very helpful. The ballot was just like a sample ballot and when I cast my vote I felt as if my one small voice made the biggest sound ever.

I thought that both parties were very clear about what they wanted. And I came out today to make sure the United States is guided by the most responsible candidate. I think that's John Kerry.

Jazelle, 19

Compton, CA



The ballot was very easy to understand. The people handing them out were explaining to everyone how to make a mark, with a pen, through the arrow. There was also a full page, front and back, of amendments that was pretty confusing.

The campaign was tiresome. It was difficult to find out the whole truth about both candidates. I felt that there was a lot of twisting of the truth from both sides.

After voting now, I'm just ready to watch the fireworks tonight. Should be good TV for the next few days.

Aaron, 26

Orlando FL



The whole process at the polls today was pretty normal. The ballot was pretty easy to understand. Even though the campaign made me angry this year, I came out to vote because it's the right thing.

To the rest of y'all who haven't voted yet, I've got one word: vote.

Josh, 21

Council Bluffs, IA



Voting was pretty easy and the ballot made sense. I didn't really pay any attention to the campaign ads this year, but the debates were interesting and they helped me decide who I was going to vote for.

Since it's my first time, I felt it was my duty as a citizen to vote for our leader. I voted for John Kerry.

Tiffany, 18

Richardson, TX



I think both candidates had equally great and bad things in their platforms.

This is my first time voting. When I pulled the lever I felt like I was doing my part to make changes for this country. I voted because I'm sick of the incompetent leaders representing our country. Separate church from state, people!

Juan, 25

Hoboken, NJ



It was straightforward: I showed up, got a ballot and made my selections. In Illinois you just drop the form in a black box that looks like a paper shredder. It's not as exciting as pulling a lever, so the real elation comes when they give you the cool sticker that says you voted.

As a citizen of the USA, I have the opportunity to help decide who should lead our country. I believe it is more than just an opportunity but a responsibility that we should all exercise to help ensure that the freedoms we enjoy continue for generations to follow. My grandfather, who served in World War II, was wounded while fighting to give Europe the freedom to choose their leaders; all I have to do is vote.

Check the facts and vote smart. Study and learn about our founders and the principles that they believed are important to our nation's long-term success. Bush has my vote.

Matt, 26

Hinsdale, IL



The whole process was scary because I was still unsure about who to vote for. The whole campaign was intense. Both candidates made good points. When I pulled the lever, I felt nervous. I hope I made the right choice.

I came out to vote because I want to make a difference. I felt horrible after the last election and I decided to do something about it. This time out, people should be confident and support our leader. Whomever you choose.

Arlene, 22

Union City, NJ



I could see how there'd be a lot of confusion about where to vote. I knew what ward I was in, but people kept telling me to go to a different ward and vote.

The ballot, on the other hand, was really easy. I can't see how there would be any confusion.

I thought I'd have to wait in line, but I walked right in, registered, and voted in like 15 minutes total, so I was happy about that.

Everybody should come vote if there's somebody they think should be president. It's just one vote, but they all add up.

Justin, 19

Beaver Dam, WI



I want my vote to support the troops, environment, jobs and health care.

I know it's a cliché, but I didn't want to leave the election up to others. I wanted to have a say. When I cast my vote this morning, it made me feel like I'm not apathetic and that I actually care about politics.

And although I'm from Houston, I didn't vote for the Lone Star incumbent.

Sterling, 22

Washington, DC



My parents are from Jamaica and neither are citizens, so it was really important for me to make it to the polls and make important decisions for their sake. Immigration is an important issue in my house.

Katherine, 20

Washington, DC



The voting process was quick and easy. The ballot was pretty straightforward, but some of the amendment terminology was slightly confusing.

The campaign was ugly. Both parties slandered each other quite badly, but when I cast my vote, I felt a feeling of accomplishment!

I decided to vote because it is my civic duty, and as a Christian in the U.S., I wanted to take a stand on issues that are important to me.

Dwayne, 20

Gainesville, FL



Voting was easy — they went through the whole ballot and I feel good, like I did my duty. Even if my candidate doesn't win, my voice will be heard.

I think it's important to have your voice heard, especially with all the stuff that happened in the last election. You never know if your vote is going to make a difference. It's a privilege not given to many.

Go vote! It's important. If you don't exercise your privilege it will be taken from you.

Davi, 21

Austin TX



I moved since the last time I voted, but I registered ahead of time to make sure I'd be all set. So when I got to the polls it was easy. Hopefully, I made a difference and made the right choice.

I came out this morning to try to make a difference, to try to be that one person who chooses the next president. I voted for John Kerry.

Chad, 25

Beaver Dam, WI



I knew that no matter how long the lines were today, I had to get out and vote. I had to do my part to get the incumbent out of office.

Richard, 23

Washington, DC



This is my first presidential election and it went just fine — I was in and out. I actually feel like my vote is going to make a difference. The campaign this year got a little nasty, but that's just politics. I came out this morning to get my president and my senator elected. I cast my vote for George W. Bush.

Christopher, 19

Gainesville, FL



It was pretty easy to register here — just took about five minutes. The ballot made sense, but I don't like the races where you only have one candidate to choose from. You feel like you don't really have an option, but you feel like, "OK, I have to vote for this person."

I watched the Choose or Lose show on MTV last night with P. Diddy, and I thought it was really bad that Bush wouldn't comment directly on the questions he was asked. Kerry answered the questions. But I still voted for Bush because he has followed through on the things he said he was going to do four years ago.

Christine, 23

Beaver Dam, WI



I came out early this morning and waited in line for about an hour and a half. Once I got in there, the ballot was pretty easy to follow and I got my vote cast. Even though there was a wait, I knew that it was my duty as a citizen to be involved in the polical discourse in this way. I cast my vote for John Kerry.

Bonnie, 25

Washington, DC



The whole process this morning was fun, exciting and civil. The ballot made total sense and was pretty straightforward. When I pulled the lever, I felt proud to be part of a new generation of young voters who will make sure that our government is not entirely decided by the older generation.

Jason, 26

Queens, NY