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First-time voter says war in Iraq is the No. 1 issue

Modesto Junior College student Roxanne Canales admits she doesn't know much about politics.

"I really should make a better habit of researching political issues," the 19-year-old said. "Honestly, it is not No. 1 on my list of priorities. I do not make much of an effort to know what is taking place in the world of politics. If I am aware of something I usually have my brother to thank."

Asked to rank a few political issues in order of importance, Roxanne responded honestly: "I know this must sound terrible, but I lack the interest. Each issue is important but I do not have enough knowledge of them all to rank them in concern to me."

This year's election will be the first in which Roxanne will be able to vote for a presidential candidate, and she will be voting as a Republican. Her older brother and her parents are Republicans, too.

She has chosen to be discreet about the candidate she will be voting for this fall. "Actually, for reasons I'm not even sure of, I decided not to reveal who I am voting for. It's one big mystery."

So, what issues are important to Roxanne?

"Without a doubt, I think the primary concern with today's society is the war in Iraq," she said. "It is an issue that is close to the hearts of many because of our loved ones that are serving in the military. However, it is also an issue that is difficult to understand. There is so much that we cannot even begin to grasp."

Asked to rank the importance of politics to her on a scale of 1 to 10, Canales answered, "Honestly, I will probably have to say a five. Politics should definitely be important to me, but there is still room for improvement."