I didn't find a single McCain voter down at the Multnomah County elections office this morning. But there were a surprising number of Gordon Smith voters among those who voted for "that one," and of course, the usual hilarity as to how people made their voting decisions. Here goes:
Jack Anthony, 65, worked at Freightliner as a quality assurance employee in the Machinist's Union until he retired. He's not happy that the plant is due to be closing soon, but he's voting for Obama because he thinks he'll kick start the economy.
Michael Delong, 18, is a freshman at Reed College, who thinks the elections office is "like a microcosm of America." He voted for Obama because he agrees with his policies and thinks he's an impressive guy. He also voted for Jeff Merkley. "I don't like Gordon Smith, because he pretends to be a moderate, but really he's a conservative," he says.
Jesse Thiesson, 21, works at a bookstore. He voted for Obama and Merkley. "I voted straight democrat apart from for Allen Alley for state treasurer," he says. "I love Ben Westlund, but he doesn't have any qualifications to be state treasurer and Alley has them in spades. He also voted for Amanda Fritz. "I voted for Jeff Bissonette in the primary, but the more I heard about Fritz's record and history, I saw her at a Portland Women's Crisis Line fundraiser...Charles Lewis seems like a great guy but Amanda Fritz impressed me a lot more."
Eric Koopman, 25, is a full time student at MACC, transferring to PNCA to get his bachelor's degree in fine arts. He voted for Obama. "I don't think voting for a third party really helps much," he said. "Back in 2000 I liked McCain because he was more bipartisan, but come election time, he's gotten more republican and I don't like that." Koopman also voted for Gordon Smith. "I went through the ballots, I don't trust the TV ads that much, and I liked Smith's stances on choice, and some of his economic policies," he said. He voted for Amanda Fritz, "just randomly, honestly. It's funny how much money goes into the campaigns, when it's just check check check check check. One of the races was blank, so I jokingly put Tom Cruise in the box. It'd be interesting to hear his speech."
KC Stimson, 26, an infant preschool teacher, spent the night up on Powell Butte with a bunch of friends the other night to try to figure out who to vote for. "We lit a bunch of candles, took a bunch of dead shit up there, some whisky and beer, we got really stoned and waited for a sign of something. But it didn't really arrive. So we walked down in the morning and went to Fred Meyer and the atmosphere was pretty much that we should vote for Obama. So I voted for him. The presidential election seemed to be the most important one this time."
Natalie Paden, 21, a sociology student at Lewis and Clark, voted "very excitedly and enthusiastically," she says. She voted for Barack Obama, and pretty much along party lines, including for Ben Westlund. For city council, she voted for Amanda Fritz, "she was a nurse, she seemed well-educated and she volunteers a lot," she says. "Charles Lewis just seemed a little too removed from the people," she said.
Hannah Palmer, 20, is an English student at Lewis and Clark. She voted for Obama because she thinks "it's time that we move in a new direction, and he's the candidate." She didn't vote in the Fritz/Lewis race, "cos I didn't know enough about them, although they both seem qualified."
Brandon, 29, refused to give his last name, but works in the restaurant industry. He voted for Obama, "for change," and for Gordon Smith, because he seemed "like the lesser of two evils...I really don't like either of them."
Jason Cannon, 27, a musician, brought his daughter Nakayah along to vote. He voted "democrat down the line, pretty much," saying Obama is going to be "bigger for the world than he is for America. I drew something out, in 200 hundred years we've gone from the abolition of slavery to having a potential black for president, and that part of racism is now wearing itself out as well. The race is more than black and white."
Vanessa Berntson, 25, manages a restuarant. She voted for Obama because he's the person that most represents her views, particularly on foreign policy. She voted for Jeff Merkley, Earl Blumenauer, and Amanda Fritz, too. "I like her," she says. "I like her bio, she has the most experience, and she seems to be the most on top of her shit."