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Tri-State area voters sound off about their choices

November 03, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE - As citizens across the Tri-State area cast their ballots on Tuesday, Barbara Buckler of Smithsburg voted in a presidential election for the first time in about 30 years, she said.

"I guess it just seemed like it was more important to me," Buckler, 56, said.

After voting for Kerry, the registered Democrat said, "I feel we need a change."

But Randy Moss, a registered Republican who lives in Hagerstown, disagreed.

"I feel like with where the country is at now and the conflict overseas, I don't think it's a good idea to change leadership in the middle of that," Moss, 46, said.

Tri-State area voters talked about their choices for president as they left polling places. Their opinions differed on who was the best choice and why, and on whether the race would be close.

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Cliff Huie, 60, of Martinsburg, W.Va., said he voted for Kerry, but he didn't think the results of the presidential election would be known for a long time.

"Everybody's got battalions of lawyers," he said.

Skye McNair, 23, of Fayetteville, Pa., was voting for the first time Tuesday. She registered as a Democrat, but said she decided to vote for George Bush.

"I like Bush's views better than Kerry's. Particularly the gun law," McNair said of the candidates' positions on gun control.

In Berkeley County, W.Va., Donald Mitchell, of Martinsburg, a Vietnam War veteran, said he cast his vote Tuesday for Bush.

"I'm voting for Bush. I'm not voting against somebody, although I am against John Kerry," Mitchell, 50, said. "I'm voting for Bush and I'm a registered Democrat."

"Kerry. Because I feel that he's going to do something about the job situation and the health-care situation in the United States," said Cherie Yeager, 41, of Fayetteville, another first-time voter and registered Democrat. Yeager said she also was concerned about the war in Iraq and the security of U.S. borders.

Cody Sipes and Caitlin Flagg attend the same political science class at Hagerstown Community College and voted for the first time Tuesday but the similarities ended there.

Sipes, 20, a registered Republican who lives in Hancock, said he voted for Bush because he feels more secure with Bush as president than he would with Kerry. He does not trust Kerry, he said.

Flagg, 18, a registered Democrat from Williamsport, said she voted for Kerry.

"I think John Kerry will make a better president than George Bush. In his four years, he has not really proven himself," Flagg said.

Dawn Brown, 28, of Martinsburg, said she voted for Bush.

"I don't believe a thing that Kerry says," she said. "He flip-flops. He changes his mind too much."

Andrew Mazzocchi, 21, a registered Republican who lives in Hagerstown, said he voted for Bush because he thinks the war on terror would be fought in the United States if Kerry were elected.

Laura Croft, 21, a registered Democrat who lives in Smithsburg, said, "I support (Kerry's) issues more than I do Bush."

Some voters found the choice a hard one.

"Everything was sort of on the borderline. It was pretty hard to really decide," said Ralph E. Seylar, 80, of Chambersburg, Pa., a Democrat who said he voted for Kerry.

Mae Seylar, 77, said it was not a hard decision for her. She said she believed Kerry would do a better job on economic and senior issues.

Bush "said he was going to be a unifier and the only thing he has unified is the Democratic Party," said Joe Makosky, 57, of Chambersburg. A registered Democrat, he said he voted for Kerry.

"I voted for George Bush because he's the more believable of the two," said Thelma L. Keefer, 77, of Chambersburg, a registered Republican.

"Bush all the way," said Allison Black, a Republican and a student at Wilson College in Chambersburg. "The defense of this country should be the top priority, and I don't want anybody in office who can't make up their mind."

"I believe we need some kind of a change. I don't know Kerry is necessarily the person to make that change," said Mary Anne Gladden, 61, of Chambersburg. The registered Democrat said, despite that, she voted for Kerry.

Paul Orr, 24, of Martinsburg, said he believes Bush "did a pretty good job for the past four years."

Craig Odom, 56, a Martinsburg union worker, said he voted for Kerry.

"Our union stressed strongly that we vote for Kerry," he said. "Republicans are not for the unions. The Democrats are."




Washington County voter turnout


2004*70%200069%199670%199280%198877%198477%




Staff writers Pepper Ballard, Don Aines and Richard Belisle contributed to this story.

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