On Monday, I saw my candidate with former President Bill Clinton and what seemed like every Democrat this side of the Mississippi.

By Kelly Devine - weekly column

I am endorsing John Kerry for the next President of the United States.

On Monday, I saw my candidate with former President Bill Clinton and what seemed like every Democrat this side of the Mississippi.

Wednesday, I attended a rally with Sen. Hillary Clinton. And last month, I saw Sen. John Edwards when he came to town to campaign with our local candidates.

Along with all these Democratic rallies, I even made time for a Republican event starring President George W. Bush.

Although I did not vote for Bush in the 2000 election and had originally intended on voting for whoever or whatever ran against the incumbent, I have come to like John Kerry and what he stands for.

I am voting for a man who has a progressive plan for the country. I trust Kerry's motivations and plans for the upcoming four to eight years.

Often called a flip-flopper, Kerry shows intelligence when talking about the issues. He collects all available information and makes decisions accordingly, which sometimes leads to changing his mind based on changing facts.

Many people seem to be voting for Bush because of national security. I feel confident Kerry will protect the country and take the appropriate measures to counter 9/11 and handle the ongoing war in the Middle East.

America was attacked while Republican Bush was in office. The country suffered an unimaginable disaster during his administration. Right there, he already failed his citizens.

On top of that, Bush is about to finish up his first term in office. After four years, I'm unsatisfied. I understand his original agenda was disrupted after the 9/11 attacks, but what he has accomplished since has left me disappointed and not willing to give him another try in the most important position in the world.

Religion is another thing that affects my decision.

I'm Catholic. I went to Catholic school for eight years. I don't go to church every week. I don't agree with a lot of the dogma the Pope tells Catholics. I do, however, consider myself to have a nice Christian attitude. I'm polite, friendly, honest and have an abundant conscience, despite what some may think.

I don't approve of my church preaching who to vote for. I don't like the fact that the president considers prayer over intelligence information. The leader of the free world shouldn't exclude entire populations of people who don't share a God with him. This country was founded on freedom of religion, and church and state were separated quite awhile ago.

Abortion should not be an issue to base one's vote. I don't think anything's going to happen one way or the other, despite who is elected. Neither side can change anything because so many people feel so strongly about both sides.

It's not fair to say you can't vote for someone who think it's OK to kill babies but it is OK with sending innocent soldiers and Iraqi citizens to their deaths.

Too many Americans are unemployed and under-employed with no or not enough health insurance. Kerry wants to stop outsourcing and help make healthcare and prescription drugs affordable.

I like how Kerry owns up to being rich and doesn't pretend to be one of us. When he talks about Bush's tax cuts for millionaires, he says he'll be getting the breaks, not us - the middle class.

John Kerry seems like a decent man - an eloquent speaker with strong convictions.

I think his plans for the country that will help our economy and secure our nation. Like Kerry, I want America to be "stronger at home, respected in the world."

I hope to see Pennsylvania and the majority of the country lit up in blue on Tuesday night.

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I want to remind everyone to get out to the polls this Tuesday, Nov. 2.

For first time voters, don't be nervous. When I was 18 for the 2000 election, I told the poll workers that it was my first time, and they explained the machine and procedure to me. Don't be afraid to ask for help. They don't mind, and it's better than making a mistake.

If you incur a problem when attempting to vote, ask for a provisional ballot. If there was an error in your registration, a provisional ballot can be completed and later ruled on.

Don't let the lines scare you off. Stop by the polls preferably in the afternoon because peak hours will be the rush times before and after work.

To reach Voter Services, call 610-344-6410 for Chester County and 610-278-3280 for Montgomery County.

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Kelly Devine can be reached at kdevine@phoenixvillenews.com.

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