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November 6, 2012
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A slice of polling life at LTCC

A steady stream of voters trickled into the precinct 502 polling place in the Aspen Room at the Lake Tahoe Community College on Tuesday for the final few hours of voting in the 2012 election.

Out of the eight voters who spoke with the Tribune, half said that they voted for President Barack Obama while the other half cast their ballot for Gov. Mitt Romney. Several expressed more interest in the local and state elections than the national presidential race, and four of the voters said that they considered Proposition 37, which would mandate labeling of genetically engineered food, and Proposition 30, which would increase sales and some income tax for education and public safety, two of the most important issues on the ballot.

Lauren Wheeler, a student at LTCC, said the voting experience went smoothly at the college and that she voted yes on Proposition 37 and Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty in California. She also cast her ballot in favor of Obama.

"I want to give him another shot, and I want him to finish what he's started. Plus, Romney is the devil," Wheeler said.

Fellow-student Andrea Villagrana voted for Obama because she felt that Romney's education policy threatens schools in the state and nationwide. Richard Ellis, another LTCC student, also stated his vehement support for Obama.

"I'd be really sad if Mitt Romney gets in. For people to allow that - with the majority of the population middle class - it would be irresponsible," Ellis said.

Ellis said he didn't have to think twice when it came to Proposition 30 and giving more funding to schools.

The three members of the Bell family arrived at the college with a different perspective, and each of them cast their lot for Romney, according to Gary Bell.

"I can't think what Obama's done that's positive. So it's a vote against Obama," he said.

Bell, who described himself as more of a libertarian than a republican, also said he admired Romney's respect of the constitution as a divine, unchangeable document. His daughter, Tresa Bell, said that she doesn't think her vote for the presidential race holds any sway.

"I think that for the presidential election, there are higher powers at work. I don't think my vote matters. But locally who we vote for makes a big difference. For our local community, we have a lot of stuff to say," Tresa Bell said.

She cited the loop road project as one of her main concerns in the community. She thinks Proposition 37 is critical, voting yes on the mandate.

For LTCC photography teacher Pat Leonard-Heffner, this election is particularly important because the presidential race is so close and because of Proposition 30. Leonard-Heffner sent her absentee ballot in for Obama because she likes and trusts him, and she also cast her ballot for Proposition 30 instead of the competing tax increase legislation, Proposition 38.

Locally, Leonard-Heffner said she supported Measure L that would unify El Dorado County's library tax system.

Monica Eisenstecken voted to keep the death penalty in California and she also voted for Romney because she supports his economic policies.

"I just think I like the capitalism concept, the keep-your-money-that-you-work-for method," she said.

Voting went smoothly for the 400 people that had passed through the LTCC Aspen Room as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, according to first-time polling clerk Mike Hickox. Hickox said that the community should know the definitive results of the local election by early tomorrow morning.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 6, 2012 10:36PM Published Nov 6, 2012 10:31PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.