Inside the Mind of a First-Time Voter

By APS Communication Intern Giselle De Haro

This upcoming year holds many firsts for students my age: graduating high school, moving from home and exercising our right to vote. My name is Giselle De Haro; I am a Gateway High School senior and soon-to-be first-time voter!

Anticipation of being a first-time voter evokes emotions similar to when I sat behind the wheel of a car for the first time. I remember the plunging sensation of fear in my stomach thinking of the impact my actions may have amongst others on the road, but I was grateful for the new opportunity. Now, I have the opportunity and right to vote, which comes with the same sense of responsibility.

Determining the right candidate to vote for can be challenging, especially with the overwhelming number of election advertisements. That’s why, even in previous elections, I enjoyed researching candidates and visiting town hall meetings with my best friend. The passion of the attendees inspired us to get more involved and promote the importance of voting.

My teachers have also played an integral role in my passion for politics. Last year, my International Baccalaureate Global Politics course with Mr. Glunz heavily impacted my academic and personal growth. He pushed me outside of my comfort zone and sparked my interest in political science. After completing his class, I felt confident in my political knowledge, which is helping me to formulate my own perspective and indulge in political debates. 

I am also grateful for my AVID teacher Mr. Wittmer and Diploma Programme Spanish teacher Mr. Keldsen who challenged me to think critically and formulate my own views. They were always happy to answer any questions I had regarding the news and encouraged me to become more involved. It was only a matter of time until my friends and I were registered to vote.

Now, I can finally participate in something I’ve been learning and raising awareness about! I’ve realized that others’
passions and interests only fuel my own. I have a voice and I’m going to use it. 


November Election in Colorado
We encourage all Aurora citizens who are 18 or older to vote in the statewide election on Tuesday, Nov. 5! In addition to statewide measures, voters may weigh in on local ballot questions. There are five people running for three at-large seats on the APS Board of Education.

All ballot drop boxes are open 24/7. Voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 5, and all ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Don’t forget to sign the back of your ballot envelope!

Happy voting!