Voters in Avon say election is a ‘big deal’ |

Voters in Avon say election is a ‘big deal’

Charlie Owen
Avon, CO Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyJennifer Ott, left, votes in Avon Tuesday morning.

AVON, Colorado ” This was Jeremy Sjadahl-Brainard’s first election, and the ex-Army recruit had no hesitation when asked who he voted for in Avon, Colorado.

“I voted for Barack Obama,” said the 21-year-old Vail resident. “I’m really not up for another four years of the same crap we’ve been putting up with for the past eight.”

Sjadahl-Brainard gave specific reasons for his Obama vote. He said most importantly he believes Obama would withdraw American troops from Iraq, improve the education system and cut back on wasteful government spending.

And while this election is important to him for many reasons, he said it’s the most important election in his lifetime for the rest of the country too.

“I think what’s making it a big deal is that everybody’s actually taking more interest in it than they used to. They’re actually going out there and saying ‘you know what, my vote is going to count this time, and I’m going to go out there and put my say in’ and a lot of people didn’t do that in the past. I think that’s the big deal,” Sjadahl-Brainard said.

But Sjadahl-Brainard wasn’t the only one voting for the first time this Tuesday. Sonia Segarra also cast her debut ballot for Obama. She used to live in the American commonwealth of Puerto Rico, but is now an Avon resident and legally able to vote in U.S. elections.

“He’s young, and he has new ideas, and I think he has a very good charisma and I think he will do a good job,” said Segarra while leaving the Avon Town Hall after voting.

Segarra feels confident that Obama will do a good job, she said, even though she’s unsure of exactly what changes he would make once in office.

She also expected longer lines at the polls, and was surprised at how easy the whole process was, at least here in Avon, and feels good about her decision.

In fact, the only voters willing to talk about who they chose in the voting booth all spoke up for Obama. A couple people who didn’t care to divulge their candidate still had something to say about this election, however.

Avon resident Jens Werner had no comment on who he was voting for, but he did say he hopes the younger voters come out and vote and that it becomes a tradition with them, not something they’ll forget about in the next four years.

With most of the focus on national politics right now, Werner hopes some of that energy will trickle down to the local level, too. With the large number of state initiatives and candidates to choose from on this year’s ballot, Eagle Valley residents have a lot of choices to make.

“I probably weigh them both equally,” said Avon resident Jim Mallas of the local and national elections, but declined to comment on his presidential pick. “Just because what’s going on here is going to be affected by the national election and obviously what’s going on locally in the political realm is important, always.”

Jennifer Ott, whose most pressing issues were the economy and the war, said she doesn’t think McCain is a bad candidate, she just thinks Obama will bring about the change this country needs.

And like many voters this morning, she said she’s glad it’s all over now. She’s also one of millions of Americans waiting to see if their candidate is the next to take office, or if they’ll be suffering from voter hangover once the election is called.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

Support Local Journalism