Reaction to the presidential race was mixed as voters left
the polls in California, where a contentious measure to ban the death penalty
in the state was also on the ballot.
“I voted for Barack Obama,” said Bonnie Mintun as she left her polling place in mid-afternoon. “I think he’s just getting started and deserves four more years to finish the job. As far as the death penalty goes, I don’t believe in taking a life as punishment.”
Mintun’s voting sentiments were opposed, however, by 50-year-old John Parker, who admitted to being a bit more conservative than many voters in his home state.
“The hard part for me is that I think our country is in trouble right now and I don’t really like either candidate, but I generally vote conservative, so I took Mitt Romney,” Parker said.
Citing his feeling that “there are many bad people in the world” and that California’s prisons are overcrowded, Parker was confident in his vote to retain the death penalty.
For Sonya Mogilner, the deciding issue in her vote for Obama was healthcare. “I’m a health care professional and I think the Affordable Care Act was necessary for our country,” noted Mogilner.
Shelley Westin, who showed up at the polling booth with four young children in tow, said the overriding concern that gave her vote to Romney was his different approach on healthcare.
California State Senator Lois Wolk was solidly in the Obama camp, citing the President’s efforts to stimulate the economy, the auto industry bailout and health care reform.
“I believe it’s time for the next generation to take over,” Wolk said, “And he and his family represent that to me.”
No matter how they voted, however, to a person everyone seemed pleased that the long election season was finally over.
“I’m very happy,” Mogilner said. “Now maybe I can watch some different commercials on TV.” That sentiment was echoed by Mintun, who noted it was “time to get back to work.”
Editor's Note: California was called for President Barack Obama earlier tonight. Stay tuned to scholastic.com/election for full vote counts.
—Kid Reporter Maev Dunning