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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 10:38 GMT
Young US voters: William

Name: William
Age: 17
Lives: Houston, Texas
Occupation: High-school student
Current voting intention: Republican
In 10 words or less:
"Christian, Eagle Scout, football player, hunter, Texan"

I am eager to vote in the 2008 presidential election.

While I don't know who the candidates will be at this stage, there are several issues that will influence my vote. The gender or race of the candidate is not a factor.

I am a conservative supporter of President Bush and intend to vote Republican.

As a Texan, immigration is a very important issue in my community. The US needs to do more to secure its borders to prevent further illegal immigration.

We should give the illegal aliens currently working in the US a path to legal residency and even citizenship, if they prove themselves capable and worthy.

However, any illegal alien that commits a crime should be deported.

Iraq is a mess, but we're there and we can't leave until the job is finished. It's time to consider all options, even partitioning the country among the various peoples of Iraq.

I believe the recent nomination of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defence is a good move towards finding a solution. It may be that we have to temporarily increase the number of troops in order to stabilise Iraq.

The 9/11 attacks left a strong impression on people my age and homeland security will continue to be an important issue for us.

Controlling who enters our country will help keep the terrorists out. The next administration needs to ensure our intelligence agencies continue to work with other agencies around the world to avoid another attack.

America must also become less dependent on foreign oil. The next government should encourage companies to pursue other energy sources of energy such as coal, nuclear energy, natural gas, and renewable sources such as wind turbines.

Lessening our dependence on foreign oil justifies more drilling in Alaska and along our coastal waters.

Gun Control is also an important issue for me. As a hunter, I believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to own sporting guns and handguns.

Ownership of semi-automatic and automatic weapons, whose primary use is for military or law enforcement purposes, should be strictly regulated. Using a gun in a crime justifies the harshest of penalties.

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