Voters excited, wary in Auburn Gresham

In Auburn Gresham today, the buzz at the voting polls swirled around U.S. Senator Barack Obama, D-Il., and his historic presidential race.

Locally candidates fell to the background. Some voters even said the local races weren't important.

Still, a few voters at Little Elite Child Care Center at 8748 S. Aberdeen were paying attention to local candidates, too.

For example, a long-time voter who would only identify herself as Shawn, 32, said he voted for Anita Alvarez for state's attorney because "a lot of cases have been mishandled, and she may do a better job than the people already holding office."

Voters used the words "stress-free," smooth, and "easy" in describing the overall voting experience at Little Elite.

Another voter, Angela Smith, 38, felt that the arrows on the ballot are easier than the "punch thing," but electronic would be better. Electronic voting may stop cheaters during the election process, she says.

Voter Elaine McLauren "loved the early voting option," even though she was unable to get the time to vote before today.

Voter Karen Rivers said she voted a straight Democrat ticket on local races, and also supported Obama for president.

Rivers said she didn't vote for one of the referendums affecting her neighborhood, because she didn't have enough information. 

"They need to educate us about the other candidates and other minor people on the ballot," Rivers says. “We need to know more about who we’re voting for.”

An election judge said a crowd of more than 100 waited for the doors to open early this morning, but people had to wait no longer than 10 minutes, and there were no problems with the voting process.