Lauren Cisneros is a sophomore at Modesto Junior College who had voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, "with a full heart." However, the 19-year-old is unsure if she will vote now that the presidential race comes down to John McCain and Barack Obama.
"I can't see myself voting for somebody I don't believe in," she said. "Not only was she (Clinton) experienced in matters of state, she was a big proponent of all of the issues that I really care about. I don't need a spiritual leader, I need a political leader."
Lauren gets her information from a variety of sources, both print, such as Time Magazine and the New York Times, and the Internet. For her, the most pressing political issue is the war in Iraq.
"We've gotten ourselves into a position where nothing's going to be easy," she said. "I've got a cousin in there, so it's not like I'm some chanting hippie with no personal connection. We can't just pull out, because anything that happens, we're responsible for. We have a responsibility to the people there. We've seen in Africa what happens when you remove a dictator, and immediate pull-out is not an option."
Lauren also is passionate about the issue of abortion and considers herself pro-choice, though she notes that the labels make her seem "anti-life."
"I have the right as a woman to choose what to do with my body," she said. "If we offer these choices, it doesn't concern most people. I get really irritated when people try to take these choices away. It's nobody's business. America is full of people who watch too much TV and want to be a part of other people's lives too much."
Lauren is vice president of the associated student body at Modesto Junior College for the 2007-08 school year, and volunteered as part of a phone bank for Clinton during the primaries. She said it's important for teens to get involved in politics.
"As a demographic, we're never going to be taken seriously unless we start voting," she said.