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With the election coming up, people are sharing their thoughts on the election process, and what it means to be American.

click to enlarge Cheryl Lawson
  • Cheryl Lawson

Cheryl Lawson of northeast Colorado Springs works for El Paso County Child Support.

Do you think it's polite to keep voting opinions private? That works both ways. Some people get offended, and sometimes bringing up the candidate that you're voting for can cause a debate that goes in a direction that maybe you don't like.

What issues are you most concerned about? They need to increase our minimum pay. I'm concerned about how women get paid versus men, and their tier structure on any entry-level job.

Do you believe that every American who is eligible to vote should? Yes, I do. Because we always complain about, "Oh, this candidate this, and this candidate that," and I wonder if the candidate they really think should not be in that seat to govern our state would be in that seat if they'd voted.

click to enlarge Erica Vandiver and Francesca Leffert
  • Erica Vandiver and Francesca Leffert

Erica Vandiver of Manitou works for RTA Architects and Francesca Leffert of St. Louis is an information analyst.

Do you think it's polite to keep voting opinions private? Francesca: I think that with the decision as big as choosing a new president, it's important to get other peoples' perspectives. Erica: I think sharing on social media specifically is where people get in trouble. When you're not having a dialogue, it's hard to really understand what someone is saying.

What issues are you most concerned about? Francesca: Women's rights and immigration rights. I have a lot of friends who were not born in the U.S., and I'm really concerned about what could possibly happen with them. Erica: education.

Are political parties helpful or divisive? Erica: I think having categories helps people decide where to stand, but I think it's very limited, especially compared to most other countries that have multiple parties.

click to enlarge Andrew Germer
  • Andrew Germer

Andrew Germer of near Fillmore is in the Army.

What issues are you most concerned about? Defense. I'm in the Army I vote based on my job. For example, if Bernie Sanders was the candidate for the Democrats, I wouldn't vote for him because I'm not going to vote for someone who's willingly going to put me out of a job.

Do you believe that every American who is eligible to vote should? Yes, but if they don't want to vote, I guess they shouldn't. Young people don't vote. But people complain about the candidate who wins and say, "They represent older people," and it's because older people get into the polls and vote and you don't, so stop complaining.

Are political parties helpful or divisive? Personally, I'd like a parliamentary system, where there are more parties that can be more definitive. The system we have, when you try to encompass that many ideas into two parties, it just doesn't work.

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