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Columbia Missourian

WHAT VOTERS ARE SAYING: 'I'm a little over everything with the election, but I'm still anxious to know the outcome'

By Missourian Staff
November 6, 2012 | 9:30 a.m. CST
Ervin Gwin, a retired pool builder, fills out his paperwork before voting Tuesday at Paquin Tower. Gwin said the whole voting process went as "smooth" as the 2008 election.

Check back  for more updates as we continue to talk to voters around Boone County.

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"My big issues were health care and education. People shouldn't have to put themselves into debt to get a good education. Being a student definitely had an impact on that." — Brian Czaicki, 19, student

"I support Romney. I don't support Obamacare. I think people should get their own insurance and not have to deal with big companies." — Geanna Napolitano, 18, student

"I paid attention to Obama. I support what he's trying to do in regard to health insurance and taxes. He's trying to get the economy back to how it was. I voted to make a difference." — Amanda Cornelius, 18, student

"The propositions are the most important aspect to me. Some of the propositions affect me and I try to pay attention more to the local stuff." — Lauren Massey, 25, MU admissions representative

Parkade Elementary School 

"I saw something on Facebook a couple of months ago that really helped me make my decision for president. It said 'Who would you rather have as your direct supervisor at work, Romney or Obama?' I think Obama is more open to discussion. Romney's mind is already made up, there's no persuading him." —William Mitchell, 41, hairstylist at the Strand Salon & Spa

"I'm a nursing student, and I've seen people struggling. One cancer patient had her insurance company say they would pay for chemo, then said they wouldn't. Now she's a million dollars in debt." — Madelyn Tegerdine, 20, nursing student at Moberly Area Community College

"In the presidential race, I'm looking for a fresh start, a way for the middle class to start over." —Phil Wood, 72, retired band director for Columbia Public Schools

"I'm not highly political, I'm just not happy with the president right now." —Debi Hake, 34, music teacher and soccer coach

"I'm one of those people who is voting for the lesser of two evils. I would vote for the Green party, but they're not on the ballot. So I'm voting Libertarian. The important thing is to reduce the warfare state, to spend that money at home and reduce the deficit." —William Hastings, 72, retired teacher

"I can't get insurance for myself, so I want to vote for someone who is going to help me either get it or stay on my parents' insurance." —Austin Smith, 23, cook at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken

"It's my first time voting, I'm kind of excited. I like my guns, and I don't want them taken away, and on abortion, I'm pro-choice." —Dusty Reeves, 19, works for Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports

"I'm not a debater, but we work so hard to get the vote, I want to do it even if I don't like either candidate. I saw something on Facebook this morning that said, 'If Romney wins, I'm leaving the country. If Obama wins, I'm leaving the country. Really, I just like to travel.' I thought that was hilarious." —Caryn McManus, 49, call center attendant

Lange Middle School

"I have a strong opinion for Obama. I think the Republicans have been road-blocking Congress for the past two years, and I'm hoping the House of Representatives will get a Democratic majority to get things done." — Kevin Dingman, 48, quality control manager at MBS Textbook Exchange

"I don't like raising taxes on tobacco. I think it has been proven in New York and New Jersey that consumption will go down, and people will go across state lines to purchase their tobacco." — Chuck Westcott, 70, retired

"I'm following Proposition B, and I'm opposed to it because there won't be any control of it later, such as where the money will go. I also want to see Romney in office because I'm tired of the handouts with people expecting a sense of entitlement and programs to help everybody." — Penny Moore, manager with Columbia Insurance Group 

"I hope Proposition B fails because we don't need any new taxes." — Dennis Miller, 40, professor at MU

"I don't agree with the health care plan from Obama and want to see someone new in the office." — Tamara Garcia, 41, manager with Mason Eye Center at MU

"I don't think we have a very good choice for president this year. It's not that I don't care, I'm just more in the middle." — David Jones, 60, bus driver

"I'm most interested in the presidential race. I don't feel taxes should be raised at all, and don't agree with Obama raising taxes on anyone. I'm also concerned with the debt and what we're leaving our kids with." — Lindsey Ragsdale, 30, teacher with Columbia Public Schools

First Church of the Nazarene

"I voted for Proposition B. I think that's a good thing. If people want to smoke, the state can get a little extra for it." — Kevin Shrewsberry, 22, veterinary student

"The biggest issues for me are the environment and different social services. Proposition 1 is also a big issue. If it were to pass, it would make a huge difference in services." — Andrea Pauley, 29, social worker with Lutheran Family and Children's Services

"I thought it was a very, very important election. It is important for people to vote in this one. I voted for Mitt Romney; Obama scares me." — Tracy Jones, 48, administrative assistant

"This election was a pretty important one with Proposition B and the president. I feel that Romney stands for a lot of what I believe in." — Cecil Jones, 47, maintenance

"I'm more excited about this election than I have been for a long time. Whoever wins, it's an important election. Personally, I'd love to have dinner with Barack Obama, but he's done too many things I don't like. My vote for Romney is more of an anti-Obama vote." — Emily Mora, 55, paralegal

"I voted for Obama because I think he's done a great job, and I'm usually a straight Democratic voter. I voted no on Proposition B because it's an awesome idea, but just like the lottery, the money will be appropriated somewhere else." — Larry Allen, 65, semi-retired

Southern Boone County Senior Center, Ashland

"Libya is my No. 1 issue. I'm a veteran, and I think our president needs to back our service people." — Johnny Workman, 49, dental office manager

"I vote every four years and even in between. It's our duty to vote. It's something that we've fought for the last 200-some years." — Debra Becker, 42, administrative coordinator for the Red Cross

"I just came out to vote because the race is so close and I wanted to voice my opinions about the issues. If you don't vote, you can't complain." — Jenny Hollandsworth, 34, social worker for long-term care facility

"I voted in favor of Prop B. We want to feed into education funding and also curb smoking, which has exploded in the U.S. over the years. Cigarettes are a major health issue and almost as huge as the obesity problem. — Rick Rother, elementary school art teacher

Rock Bridge High School

"I always vote, but I think this is one of the most important elections in the last 100 years." — Barry O'Neill, 63, retired store manager of Sears Roebuck & Co.

"I came to vote for change, to vote for Mitt Romney and to vote for Prop B." — James Garret, 41, Joe Machens employee

"There are a lot of local issues, the Senate race and a number of propositions, and I'm voting yes on Prop B." — Greg Mitchell, 51, attorney

"The economy is the most important issue, and I'm hoping something on the federal level will help change it." — Lacey Burrell, 30, closing manager at Veterans United

Grace Bible Church

"I didn't vote on half of (the propositions). I didn't have a stance one way or another and if I don't have a stance I just don't vote." — Brian Boughton, 41, equipment operator for J D Kelly Excavating

"I like the levy tax, especially the cigarette tax. I'm not a smoker so I could care less. It's better for the kids." — Donna Ogborn, 40, teacher at West Junior High School

"We voted no on the cigarette tax because my husband smokes. Hopefully, it encourages him to quit." —Melissa Fike, 29, teacher at Oakland Junior High School

"I didn't vote for Prop B. I don't want them (government) getting more money because they misuse it. It's like the lottery — they don't use it for what it was intended." — Jeff Perkins, 48, programmer assistant at Columbia Insurance Group

"I feel like there is a significant lack of mental health education. In general, we have a lack of mental health providers in Boone County." — Nicole Campione-Barr, 35, assistant professor of psychology at MU

Boone County Fire Protection District Headquarters

"Just fundamentally, I believe more in the principles (Obama) portrays. I think he probably hasn't had a chance to do what he needs to do. I don't like changing things in midstream." — Eddie Hedrick, 67, retired from health care

"People just don't have work. There's a lot of homeless people and hungry people because there's just no work for them." — Robin Jones, health care worker

"If [Proposition 1] passes, this is going to help kids in Boone County, and there's just a lot of need. There's a lot of at-risk kids." — Laurie Paris, 45, social worker.

"There are people who think the country is going in the right direction and people who think this country needs change, and that's what I was focusing on." — Matthew Lucas, 38, Boone Electric employee (engineering department)

"I think [Proposition 1] for putting the kids first is very important. I also think voting for Claire McCaskill over Todd Akin is extremely important. I don't think my vote for the president is going to turn the entire state." — Leah Cohn, professor of veterinary medicine

 Armory Sports and Recreation Center

"I see a positive increase in the economy and I need Obamacare for my mom and my sick uncle. Medicare is really important even though I do not use it. It is good to know that my dad has Medicare when he needs it and I know my Pops really needs it." — Terrell Fane, 26, rehabilitation technician 

"I came out to vote today because I had a civics teacher who taught us all about our civic duty. I am 32 and I have been an election judge six or seven times. I have spent years doing unpaid political volunteerism." — Sarah Caldwell, 32, election judge 

"I voted because I can vote and I think this is the least you can do. The economy is a big issue for me and also for me it's women's rights."  — Carina Collins, 26, graduate student 

"It's our duty to vote. I am excited to be voting for the first time in this election. I missed the last election by two months. I think there are a lot of things that are important in this election — locally, state, and nationally. They all add up." — Joel Saeger, 21, student 

"I voted because I want to make a difference and have my voice heard. The most important issue in this election, for me, is student loans. The current governor, Nixon, is not into giving students loans. I voted for him last time, but I did not this time for that reason." — Shanice Hunter, 23, student at Columbia College  

"I think the most important issue is the presidential election. I don't know where this country is going and that's why this election is so important."  — Willie Trent, 69, owns a rollerskating rink

"I voted because I guess it seemed like a productive thing to do with my day. This is my first time voting in a presidential election. The most important issue in this election is lowering taxes for the middle class. It greatly affects my parents, whom I love." — Kelli Chittum, 20, student at Columbia College/Gumby's phone girl 

"We are not a swing state so the presidential race is not the most important for me. You can't complain if you do not participate [in the election]." — Zach Rubin, 27, student and teacher

Reynolds Alumni Center

"I definitely wanted to see what the outcome of Proposition B was. I'm definitely for that."  — Charlie Landis, 22, MU student

"I just think that it's time for some new leadership in the U.S." — Andi Kaufman, 19, MU student

"I'm graduating so I'm more worried about the national elections. Funding for education, women's abortion rights and First Amendment freedoms."  — Jamie Hausman, 21, MU student

"Social issues for me are what I really vote on. I think same-sex marriage needs to be allowed and the welfare system needs to continue to be in existence." — Zane Thompson, 21, MU student

"Probably the presidency. I just feel like the presidential candidate has a big impact on our future and the direction our country is going in. " — Annie Maas, 19, MU student

"I was in my political science class and Wendy Noren, county clerk, came in and gave us a presentation on what she does and how it works. I thought it sounded cool and a good way to find out how the election works....It's been a lot slower than I thought it would be."  — Samantha Orlowski, 18, MU student, first-time election judge

"I know a lot of people who've done this and I thought, 'Why not?'...I had to get up really early, but it's fun to be a part of the voting process." — Catherine Volmert, 49, Stay-at-home-mom, first-time election judge 

Hampton Inn and Suites

"The McCaskill-Akin thing brought me out — what he said about legitimate rape. That was ridiculous. Otherwise I don't care about state issues." — Phillip Mohebalian, 29, MU graduate student in forestry

"I felt like the Senate race was important because the magnitude of what they are doing in Washington makes a big difference." — Casey Elliott, 27, attorney with Van Matre, Harrison, Hollis, Taylor and Bacon

"I think the presidential race is very close, and it's important where we are, at this point in time with the economy." — Tyler Hoffmann, 24, stockbroker with Scottrade

"A lot of it I tuned out because I get tired of it, but I do try to be informed about candidates. I don't like all of the negative and all the phone calls. The phone rings non stop." — Jeanie Byland, 61, mortgage loan officer at Mid America Mortgage Services

"It was a historic election, and I wanted my voice to be heard. The nation is so divided right now between parties." — Tyler Ridgway, 21, sophomore at Moberly Area Community College

"I'm very ready for the election to be over so we can move forward. There are a lot more pressing things going on."  — Brian Mitchell, 35, director of Hillel, Jewish campus center

"As an attorney, I came out to vote no on Amendment 3, which would do away with our nonpartisan court plan. I also wanted to come out and support Claire today. She has had a tough fight but I think she has done a great job."  — Craig Cooper, 29, attorney with Faber and Brand

"This is my first election, and I feel very informed. I have been following closely, watching debates. I'm getting really antsy, losing sleep over this election. If you don't vote you don't have the right to bitch about who the president is." — Natalie Condon, 20, MU sophomore in strategic communications

"It's our civil duty to vote, it's something that we have to do and it's important if we want to have our voices heard." — Dario Cersosimo, 35, engineer

"I participated in 2008 back in high school to get the word out to encourage people to vote for change. I wanted to come out this morning to choose people I believe will make changes that will better our state and our country." — Michael Murphy, 20, student

"It was my first time voting and I was just really really excited so I wanted to come before my classes; I was dancing around my room yesterday thinking about it." — Christina Palmer, 19, student

Rock Bridge Elementary School

"I was more concerned with voting on the state issues because there are more things  to vote for.  I think it's sad that we have the lowest tax on cigarettes in the country. As a cancer nurse, I see a lot of death from lung cancer so I am for Prop B."  — Sue Sinele, 49, registered nurse

"I thought most about the economy today, a lot relating to the war. I think our current government is doing alright."  — Mike Kelly, 23, teacher 

"I voted for Obama. The other guy just didn't have a plan."  — Pat Kelly, 21, student

"I vote for the person more than the party, but on issues I usually do vote 90 percent Republican. I think they have raised tobacco prices enough. I don't even smoke; I just think that tobacco tax is crazy."  — Gus Moosmann, 55, plumber 

"I think the state election affects me more. I was torn on Prop B; I just hope the money goes where they say it's going if it's passed."  — Jerry Flanagan, 49, loan presser 

"I really think a lot of people are voting against their class. I work 40 hours a week, make less than $30,000 a year, and I don't have health care. Last year, I had a seizure and I had to spend over 25 percent of my income on health care. Health care is an important issue."  — Tim Werts, 33, piano instructor

"I'm a full blown Democrat. Claire McCaskill, Barack Obama, Karen Miller. On the state level, I just think that everybody is hurting right now. I voted pretty much 'no' on any tax increase."  — Mark Burr, 55, pipe fitter

"I hope that Prop B will prohibit people from smoking while helping the schools at the same time."  — Nina Gust, 53, Rock Bridge Elementary School

"Voting for president was the biggest election today. I was practically in tears when voting. The decision has world-wide economic consequences."  — Kristin Birks, 52, University Hospital employee

"All my decisions today were definite. No uncertainty for me."  — Maggie McDermott, 55, Moberly Area Community College

"I'm anti-tobacco tax increase. It's a cash grab, a tax based on trying to get people to quit. That doesn't work.  — Kevin Bay, 42, businessman

"Voting is not like it was 200 years ago; it just isn't."  — John Hawkins, 60, retired

Broadway Christian Church

"I had to vote against Todd Akin because I have a wife and daughter that I respect too much to support him." — Paul Sanderson, 59, instructor at Westminster College

"I think it's important to vote against more taxes. I think the money is there already and tax money is misappropriated. They need to reorganize."  — Laurie Weaver, 51, Math specialist at Columbia College

"I'm really concerned that we have a guy in office that has no clue what he's doing and is about to destroy generations of work by our founders and other people who have built our nation based on strong market and strong capitalist values." — Zach Gunter, 35, loan officer

"(Obama) promised to make our economy better, and yet he made it 10 times worse." — Bri Gamache, 20, student

"I was voting against the news media and their bias and for someone who understands business and economics. I just get really frustrated throughout the election cycle at what I perceive to be a Democrat bias in the news media." — Tom Cole, 58, woodworker

"Prop 1 and Prop B are especially important to me. I think that if those two pass, it will show how the state of Missouri prioritizes children, their education and the value of their safety." — Tia Felts, 30, stay-at-home mom and event planner

Columbia Public Library

"I'm hoping that Prop B will motivate people to quit smoking."  —Lisa Guillory, 57, audiologist

"I am not opposed to taxing of any fashion if it provides more money for education or social services."  — Mark Lehman, 50, information technology at MU

"It's important to vote. I was very well informed on every decision I made today, although I had to hold my nose on a couple of them just because I didn't like either of the options."  — Ronald J. Leone, 49, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association

"Women's issues were big for me on the state level. I wanted to make sure the wrong person didn't get elected." — Tracy Jones, 46, cosmetologist

"I think increasing education funding is a great idea, and the cigarette tax seems logical to me. I grew up in a family of smokers who all have health problems because of it."  — Elizabeth Behrens, 24, loan processor

Parkade Baptist Church

"The most important issue is to improve the quality of life for everyone without attachment to race, color, religious belief and gender. Everybody should have a fair chance. Those politicians who are supposed to represent people somehow forget it. If you think Obama is not a good president, help him to be a good one. Don't wait for four years and let the American people suffer. If you are in a sinking boat, you are not gonna help because you don't like the leader?" — Larry Nave, 63, security officer at Fulton Hospital

"We should not be rolling back the progress we've made. Civil rights, like gay rights and women's rights, are in danger, they are much bigger issues. Comments made by legislatures across the country show certain ignorance and frightening future plans if they are in power." — Brian Cain, 29, librarian 

"I don't want Christian religious values to dictate governmental policies." — Cassandra Casperson, 33, academic adviser at MU

"The president should be willing to maintain social programs and infrastructure. I'm worrying that huge cuts will be detrimental to the economy. Rolling back social programs will ultimately slow the economy down. People who advocate those things will not necessarily like to see the results. It's ideological-driven, not result-driven." — Clint McMillen, 33, graphic designer at MU

"Forget the party, look at the facts and do what's right." — Jamold Little, 37, insurance team manager

"The economy is improving. I'm better off than four years ago. It was slow, but it all picked up again. This year is probably the best year in the past four years." — Eric Grant, 49, contractor

"I like the path we are taking. There's not enough time in four years to see the effects of the plans. It's too soon to tell. I'd like to see it through the end." — Ben Muzzey, 29, loan officer

"Democrats and Republicans can't agree on anything. People should do away with the parties." — Randall Koontz, 69, custodian

Armory Sports and Recreation Center

"We'd be the laughing stock of the country if Todd Akin wins. His stance on women is pretty backwards." — Braden Leap, 25, MU graduate instructor of sociology of sport

"We have a presidential race with two diametrically opposed candidates. One, Mitt Romney, is for enterprise and the other, Barack Obama, is for a socialist state." — Bruce Jamison, 64, locksmith

"I voted because of my belief in democracy. In the last election I was an undergraduate. This is the first administration which I'll be in the work force under, so I have a lot of investment in the outcome." Michael Cerame, 23, MU graduate student in social work

"As an educator, I voted for Proposition B, to bring in extra funding supporting education. ... I'm from Chicago. Today might be cold for Missouri, but I'm used to this misery." — Joe Pintz, 38, MU professor of art

"I've volunteered for elections since I was a freshman, after my sister told me about it. It's nice being involved in the process." — Amy Dickinson, 20, volunteer  

"I believe the ideology of the Republican Party is bad for America." — Michael MacMann, 52, painter 

Dripping Springs Christian Church

"I vote every time. I tend to vote against anything changing the Constitution. Generally, I'm against things that raise taxes, because so much money is squandered. If they put it where they say they're going to put it, maybe I wouldn't be against it — like Prop B." — Mark McGee, 51

 "Growing up, I learned that voting is just something you do. A lot of people today think their vote doesn't count, and maybe there could be a better system than the electoral college. But not every person in every country in the world has the right to vote, to make decisions for the direction of their country. It's our civic duty." — Dave Lamb, 23, Columbia College communications major 

"The government has enough money to do what needs to be done. When they put up a feel good issue like (the quarter-cent Boone County sales tax for children's mental health services), they could have taken that money from some other source." — Roy Knapp, 51, co-owner Knapp Drafting & Design 

"The country's debt has got to be taken care of. And I don't see how they can do it without improving the economy." — Bill Thomas, 72 

"I think the country is getting better with the president we've got, and I think we need to give him another four years to straighten it out. I think Missouri is creating jobs, and I think it's getting better all the time." — Donald Carey, 76, retired from Central States Processing 

"The Democrats are liberal. And I'm liberal. And Obama — I think he didn't have enough time to clean up the mess Bush made, so I think he needs four more years. And Mitt Romney's a mess. He keeps changing back and forth. And I do have concerns about his Mormonism. I've read up on the Mormons, I had a boyfriend who was Mormon. I disagree with their treatment of women and, until recently, their treatment of minorities, not allowing blacks to be priests." — Nina Secrease, 71, Columbia

Campus Lutheran Church

"Voting for the president was the most difficult decision. I was a swing vote until today when I voted for Obama. I have a lot of gay friends, and I agree with his stances on student loans." – Zach Mourning, 19, "poor college student" at MU

"There were no real hard decisions for me. I was passionate about Obama, Mary Still and Proposition 1. Obama has done a good job working with a difficult economy and deserves four more years. I like Mary Still because she is is not only a defender of MU, but a defender of choice in a year where it has been under attack." – Wayne Brekhus, 47, associate sociology professor at MU

"I was really excited to vote for the first time. Social and women's issues swayed me to vote for Obama." – Megan Rocha, 20, MU student

"I am ready for a more progressive leaning government. I was glad to vote for Obama for a second time. I support the mental health sales tax, even though it is a regressive tax." – Don Love, 64, retired teacher

"I wasn't passionate about any candidate, but I don't want a Republican presidency. I voted for Obama though. I cried with happiness in 2008 because I couldn't believe we elected a black president. I also love the amount of young people out voting today." – Bev Peterson, research analyst at MU

"My vote for Obama was as much a vote against the Republican platform." – Chris Howe, 42, contractor

"I was really excited to vote for the first time. I voted for Obama because I'm passionate about same sex marriage." – Berkeley Lovelace, 18, MU student

"I was really passionate against Akin and against the Missouri court plan. I was torn on the president, but I voted for Obama because I didn't want my vote to go to waste." – Andrew Stashefsky, 25, MU law school student

Fairview Road Church of Christ

"I joked that if a bill to increase tobacco tax existed, I would vote for it. Anything to get my friends to stop smoking." — Neil Guinn, 30, document control specialist

"I had fun voting. I got a sticker." — Ava Kois, 4 (Neil Guinn’s stepdaughter)

"She is facing an incumbent, so for Mary Still, it’s a really tough race. I sincerely think she will be elected.  She will represent Boone County issues well. I think canvassing like this is a fun, last-ditch effort to get people energized." — Nicole Galloway, 30, canvassing for 19th Senate District candidate Mary Still

"The machine didn’t work in there, but other than that, it was a smooth operation. I’m voting for smaller federal government. I’m voting for Romney because I believe in a fiscal government policy. I’ll have to believe what they say in the news that it is a relative toss-up, but I do believe Romney will win."  — Steve Richardson, 47, health care administrator

"I felt good about the process and glad I live in a country where I can vote and express my opinion. I felt that the vote on mental health care for children was important. It’s underfunded, and we need to pay more attention to it." — Kathleen Ellis, 41, nurse

"It’s good to get out here early and see everybody out here. I voted against Amendment 3. I think the current plan is not broken, and to change it would inject partisanship in the process. I voted for Romney because the current direction of the country has not been positive, and we’ve given the president four years."  — Tom Ellis, 42, lawyer

"We have been very busy so far. The machine is malfunctioning, so we’ve had to do the ballots old style where the people fill them in manually and then we count them after. I’d say we’ve had about 200 people so far."  — Kelli Hopkins, election official

"Social Security and Medicare are very important to me, so I voted for Obama." — John Hong, 72, retired

Shepard Elementary School

 "I wanted to make sure I voted for Proposition 1 because a lot of kids need help. Even in as great of a place as Columbia, kids are struggling and will continue to unless someone intervenes." — Chuck Crews, 64, self-employed

"I think health care is the most important issue to me because the system is flawed and, being a young person, a lot of jobs I've been applying for lately don't provide health care coverage." — Olivia Aguilar, 22, Missouri Review office worker

"I'm going to The Blue Note for their watch party. I attended the one they had for the last presidential election; there was a lot of energy and a good crowd. It's awesome, especially if it goes the way you want it!" — Laura Noren, 57, registered nurse

"It's important to get out and vote. The state of the country is up to us." — Jalisa Ray, 22, graduate student 

"I'll watch some results, but the swing states have made it so complicated now that the winner probably won't be announced for another three weeks. I won't be losing sleep over it tonight." — Curtis Wester, 51, respiratory therapist

Woodcrest Chapel

"I vote every year. The most important issues this year are the presidential and Senate races; most people are voting not because of what they want to be done, but because of what they don't want to be done." — Ike Radcliff, 73, self-employed carpet cleaner

"I'm a veteran an I always vote; it's what we fought for. Prop B is also big for me, I'd rather people not smoke but if they do I'd like it to help kids." — John Tharp, retired MU faculty

"I voted because I have an intense dislike of the path Obama has taken this country." — Cris Burnam, 49, president of Storage Mart

"The biggest issue for me is national leadership. State and federal government have to tighten their belts and live within their means. We do as citizens so our government should definitely set the example. There are Americans living paycheck to paycheck, and the government should be as frugal as many American citizens are." — Marco Tapia, 58, Columbia College employee

First Christian Church in Centralia

"I'm fed up, like a lot of other Americans, with the way the economy is. It's a shame there isn't a candidate for president worth voting for." — Larry Vandiver, 53, owner of I.C. Billiards

"It would be a hard one to call, but (Janet Thompson) is in a higher populated area, closer to Columbia. (Don) Boorman is in the northern extreme, he has a hard task ahead of him." — Art Dollens, 54, service subcontractor 

"We're voting in school to see who we want for the next president. I think it's cool, finally the kids would be able to do something for America."  — Anthony Stevens, 10, student

"The biggest thing for me is we want jobs. I don't like things going toward stupid socialism. I want someone to say 'bye' with that (Affordable Health Care Act) and to stand up for what our country really is." — Stephanie Kelly, 23, Boone Hospital Center EMT 

"We've just had four years of one person, and I don't agree with his policies. He's for abortion and I'm not, for gay marriage and I'm not. That put me on the other side for sure." — Jim McCubbin, 75, retired

"They're taking all of the money from our kids' schools. (The politicians) had money for them. Why do they have the right to take it away from our kids?" — Ruby Parker, 29, full-time student

Southern Boone County Senior Center in Ashland

"I heard there was a need." — Debi Paynter, poll worker, on her decision to apply for the job. As of 8 a.m., 390 people had voted at the Ashland location

"The hope and change we voted for last time didn't happen. It was hope and discouragement."  — Lyn Heying, minister, 65

"[Vote] because you want a change of president. Lower taxes, jobs creation — those are my two big concerns. I voted no on Prop A, yes on Prop B, yes on Prop E ... the amendment was no." — Julie S., IT sports specialist, 47

"Everything's important, from the economy to military issues to abortion and all that stuff. I just wanted to put my two cents in, I guess." — Sean Counihan, environmental specialist, 35

Paquin Tower

"Got to get out before classes, I don’t have time the rest of the day. Voting’s an easy way to let your voice be heard, and it’s something everyone should do." — Cale Roberts, 20, MU student

"I’m always really active in politics, I’ve volunteered in campaigns. It’s important for young people to vote, especially college students, because a lot of decisions affect them." — Sam Dicke, 20, MU student

"I think it’s a crucial election. We’ve got a high national debt. And the economy – we need more jobs." — Phil Reid, 71, retired

"For me voting is about freedom and the right to vote in this nation. So I came here to vote even though I’m not sure either candidate is super-qualified." — Travis Sterrett, 22, MU student

"Maybe the candidates aren’t the best for the job, but I do have the right to vote." — Tyler Haddad, 22, MU student

"I feel like exercising the right to vote is one of the most important parts of American society. I feel like the most important issue in the election is non-partisanship. What we’ve seen often is strong partisanship between both major parties. I don’t think constantly saying ‘You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong,’ will help." — John Mitchell, 20, MU student

Oak Towers senior living center

"I trust Obama and I believe in what he believes in. I don't believe he's been given a chance to do his job and I want to give him a second chance." — Eltonya Rhoades, 34, executive assistant at Columbia Housing Authority

"Obama did an excellent job, considering what he was dealing with, cleaning up all the messes Bush left." — Kathy Sims, 55, appointment scheduler at Columbia Orthopaedics

"I think Proposition 1 was important for the kids. With the police department in St. Louis, I felt something else should be tried so I voted yes." — Judy Young Cushenberry, 49, retired

"I'm trying to get Obama back into office. That's it. At least give him one more term. His plan's working. It's like the tortoise and the hare — Obama's going slow and doing it right. I also want to get rid of Todd Akin. That man's nuts." — Michael Kent, 49, custodian

"You know what they do when you can't pay your mortgage? They take your house. And they're gonna take our house." — Hal Williams, 75, retired physician

"The most important thing was the presidential election. I know it'll have an impact for many years — not just four — with the justices he appoints." — Barbie Banks, 30, coordinator for the Adult Enrichment Program at Columbia Public Schools

"I voted for Obama. I like Obama — he's a good president. He's a friend of the Spanish." — Doralisa Calmed, cleaning woman for MU residence life

"I'm old and I've been treated well by the government. I'm all for Medicare. I think Obama's kind and his wife is kind." — Naomi Steinkuhler, 93, retired dental assistant

St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church

"I don't have formal plans for the results, but I'll definitely be glued to it. This will be an exciting day." — Matthew Laudano, 33, lawyer for the Attorney General's office

"I wanted my daughter to see how many people vote which hopefully will make her want to vote when she grows up." — Sam Buffaloe, 30, public defender for the state of Missouri

"Women's issues such as birth control are most important for me, so that's a big part of my vote." — Heather Black, 27, pharmacy technician

"I'm interested most in Prop B, the presidential race, and Senate race. I think they're important for our future and for women." — Cathy Scroggs, MU Student Affairs

"I'm a little over everything with the election, but I'm still anxious to know the outcome. I'm just sick of listening to people argue." — Lyndsey Dunn, 25, graphic designer

"Prop B was important because I think funding for education should be emphasized in Missouri, both for higher and elementary education." — Ian George, 31, MU graduate student in neuroscience

"I would rather see the health care proposition defeated because I think the current plan is good and hampering that wouldn't be helpful." — Diane Gollaher, 29, loan processor