Many first time voters have a lot on their mind this election cycle. College students are coming of age in an unprecedented time, with the COVID-19 pandemic, civil uprisings for racial justice, and accelerating climate change. They're trying to figure it all out while keeping up with remote classes and assignments. As part of our Voices Behind the Vote series, UNM freshman Delaney Brigman spoke with KUNM about why voting is important to her and what young people want from their politicians.
Transcript: "I’m Delaney Brigman. I’m a Freshman at UNM. My major is political science and I have a really big passion for politics. "Since this is my first time voting in the first election, I actually am waiting to vote on the day of because I think it’s just such an important decision and you know, it’s part of our civil duty as an American citizen, so I want to do it day of. But I think that our generation is actually pushing more towards voting and I think that in the last election, a lot of the younger generation didn’t show up and we kind of suffered the consequences from that. So I think now that more people are going to vote, I think it will be great. And I’m really excited to vote. I think voting is awesome and I think that if people do want to discuss politics then they have to say that they voted because if you didn’t vote then you didn’t act towards, you know, making a difference. "I definitely do kind of side more with the, quote-unquote, the left or the extreme, such as [Alexandria Ocasio Cortez] or Bernie Sanders. I think that they’re very passionate and I like that they don’t back down regardless of the backlash that they get. Bernie has said that he does not support fracking, whereas with Biden he went back and forth with fracking, and now in the vice presidential debate, Kamala said that they do support fracking and I just wish that politicians stuck with their gut and that money wasn’t involved. "So, with the current election, Biden was not my first choice but I will still vote for him, I just wish that he did take a more, kind of, progressive approach more than moderate, but I think a lot voters tend to be scared of change and I wish that people would just be open and willing to make a difference and see actually what happens instead of just kind of wanting to stick with the social norm. So, I do wish that some politicians were more representative, but I mean, hopefully with the election of Biden we can make room for some more progressive ideas."