Voters find themselves frustrated on one hand, proud on the other

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.

Editor's note: The following are glimpses of how Election Day 2012 played out in various Alachua County precincts:

At Precinct 29 in Haile Plantation, two young voters said they didn't support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney because they are part of the "47 percent."

"We don't personally have money to borrow from our parents, so we voted for (Democrat Barack) Obama," said Lindsey Wright, a 24-year-old UF telecommunications junior.

Her friend Alex Barr, a 33-year-old chef, said he felt people shouldn't expect Obama to fix everything in four years.

"He's not Superman," he said. "And if you don't get Superman, you get Lex Luther."

— Alli Langley


A Veterans Affairs medical center technician, who declined to give her name, said she wrote her own name in for the presidential race on the ballot.

"I don't favor or trust either of those guys," she said at the Freedom Community Center at Kanapaha Park, the polling station for Precinct 48. "I'm not going to give you my name, though, because that would embarrass me — people at work would make fun of me."

Domino's Pizza employee Andrew Maniscalco said that, before the election, he gave the Supervisor of Elections Office all his information so he could vote.

"Then I just moved across the street to Cabana Beach Apartments, and now I can't vote here because I have a different ZIP code," he said.

Precinct 48 was the second precinct he visited on Election Day, he said. A poll worker told him he had to go to another precinct.

He was so frustrated he decided not to vote and said, "Anarchy in the USA!"

— Matthew Steecker


Marci Silver, a legal observer from the Obama campaign, stood outside the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (Precinct 44) starting at 8 a.m. looking for voters with pink provisional ballots. Most of those she saw were because of address changes, especially among students.

"I'm here to make sure every vote counts," she said. "I don't ask who they're voting for. All I'm here to do is help address any problems."

Silver said anyone who casts a provisional ballot should contact the Supervisor of Elections before Thursday to make sure his or her vote is counted.

— Monivette Cordeiro


At the Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development (Precinct 25), 530 W. University Ave., Max Famiglietti, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering senior at the University of Florida, said he voted only for president and left the rest of his ballot blank. He said he had been busy with school and didn't have time to research. "I didn't want to vote uninformed," he said.

Joyce Hayes wanted to cast a ballot for President Barack Obama. However, Hayes said she was unable to vote because she presented an expired ID to poll workers.

"I didn't have the money to get a new one," she said. "I didn't think about it."

— Chris Alcantara


At Mount Carmel Baptist Church, a stern poll deputy stood at the door to the Precinct 13 polling station ensuring that not a single cellphone would go off inside.

Teneka Mavin, 36, was one of the few who exited without an "I Voted" sticker proudly adhered to the chest. She explained that she had tucked it in her purse so that she could save it for later, for a different shirt, when she went to volunteer at her son's school later.

It is important to her, she said, that her son and his peers see that she has voted and, at an early age, start to understand the importance one vote has.

— Jessica Kegu


Outside Precinct 46 at Westside Baptist Church, Patricia LeJeune was proud of her vote. "I feel I've done my job," she said at the church, 10000 Newberry Road.

The retiree declined to say whom she voted for but said senior benefits were the most important issue to her and that she is against new taxes.

Her husband, James LeJeune, 71, a retired Honeywell field service technician, said he voted for Romney. "After four years, Obama should have gotten us out of the mess we're in," he said. "I think a businessman is what we need."

He said he voted against the local road tax because of the added trucks for the new Gainesville Regional Utilities biomass plant.

"Why fix it if they're going to rip it up?" he said.

— Alli Langley


Poll workers had an issue with where state Rep. Keith Perry was standing while soliciting votes Tuesday morning at the Reitz Union.

Perry said he was told he had to be 100 feet outside the entrance to the open area of the building. He didn't think the rules were being correctly implemented, but he moved outside the no-solicitation area.

— William Kennedy


At the Westside Recreation Center, 1001 NW 34th St., Precinct 26, around 7 a.m., one woman walked out of the center after voting and met her husband sitting on a bench with their golden retriever. They traded off the dog like parents of a child at a roller-coaster ride.

Another voter, Carol Binello, 59, an administrative assistant at the UF Foundation, said she voted for President Barack Obama.

"He has started making a change for the better," she said. "He needs another chance. It was too big a mess to fix in four years."

She said she also supported the road tax.

"It's a tiny bit of money that could make such a huge difference. I'm all for it," she said. "The roads are a mess."

Dr. Bob Casey, 81, a retired family physician and Marine Corps veteran who served in Korea, served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000 as the first Republican elected in Alachua County since the Civil War.

He voted for Romney, the school and road taxes and Sheriff Sadie Darnell.

"I did vote for a couple Democrats," he said.

— Alli Langley


At the Reitz Union, Genevieve Howard, a UF freshman, said she wishes she had informed herself more ahead of time regarding local elections and the Supreme Court.

"Honestly, it's kind of a ‘Who sucks less?' thing," she said. She voted for Obama, she said, because some of the things Romney has said rubbed her the wrong way.

— William Kennedy

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