MEET THE PANEL
Lives: Albany, New York
Occupation: High-school student
Current voting intention: Democrat
In 10 words or less:
"Leader, intellectual, traveller, liberal, proud American"
I plan on voting for a Democrat in the 2008 presidential election, preferably a liberal or a moderate candidate.
What I am most interested in at this stage is whether Hillary Clinton plans on running.
I think that we need someone like her who is experienced in politics. We also need someone who is in touch with the younger generation.
A Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama ticket would fulfil both requirements.
They are the only candidates I would vote for right now. If they don't run, then I will seriously have to reconsider who gets my vote closer to election time.
The main issues that will influence my decision as a first-time voter are the costs of college tuition, whether or not the draft will be reinstated, and whether there will be enough job opportunities when I leave college.
I believe these are also the issues that matter to most people my age in my local area and across the US.
Young voters also care about social issues like abortion and poverty.
But mainly we care about whether or not we will be able to find a good job and if we will have a good standard of living. We want to be prosperous and happy when we get older.
I am also very concerned about whether or not we will still be in Iraq in two years.
I am very anti-war and - providing we are still there come election day - if a candidate comes along with a proper plan for withdrawal they have a good chance of getting my vote.
Another major concern as a first-time voter is whether my vote will be counted at all, following stories in recent elections of votes not being counted.
I will still vote, though, in the hope that it does!