When the polls opened at 7 a.m. on Nov. 6, voters were already lined up outside Precinct 4A. The rain and cold temperature didn’t lessen the determination of people who care deeply about voting in the presidential contest.
Evan Wells, 20-year-old junior student of the University of Georgia, arrived by 7:30 -- ager to vote for the first time in his life. “Exercise your right to vote as an American. It’s pretty cool,” said Wells.
Wells cares about economic issues and job creation. He voted for GOP candidate Mitt Romney because he thinks Romney knows how to balance budgets. He said that Obama’s handling the economy for the past four years is not satisfying as he doubled the debt.
Other early voters were equally enthusiastic in their support President Barack Obama.
Patrick Harrigan, 27-year-old teacher at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School who voted for Obama. He is concerned about human rights, especially for gay people and working women, and cares about issues affecting the middle class.
“Obama and I share the same values. Lots of issues he believes are what I believe as well,” he said.
This is the second national election for Harrigan, and he knows it won’t be the last. “I think my activity is burgeoning, growing, as I learn more and know how politics affects me, my life, my house and my job,” he said.
Shereca Hopp exited the polling place with her mother Shirley Hopp. Shereca Hopp is a 34-year-old teacher at Little One’s Academy East, and her 67-year-old mother has been a laundry worker for 22 years. Shereca is an only child and the two do most things together.
“We both voted for Barack Obama,” said the daughter. “All he believes is what I believe in. He believes in the medical insurance, the education of children and also the insurance for the elderly. Mitt Romney is against all these.”
Both women emphasized that they voted for the President because they agree with what he stands for, and not because they are African American.
Immigrants Kevin Wong and Annie Park, originally from Hong Kong and Korea but now U.S. citizens, voted for Obama because they support his positions on economic and social issues.
Kevin Wong moved from Hong Kong to the U.S. 15 years ago, now he’s a scientist at United States Environmental Protection Agency. When he first arrived he was in his early twenties and didn’t know much about U.S. politics. As he learned more, he found his views closer to those of the Democratic Party.
“I vote for Barack Obama because I care about the general public, like middle class and low income people, way more than Mitt Romney.” Wong said. He thinks that Romney is a pretty decent person, but believes a Romney presidency would benefit super-rich people.
He also disagrees with Romney’s conservative stands social issues, such as gay marriage and abortion.
Annie Park, a 36-year-old teacher who grew up in Atlanta, voted for Obama because she thinks he embodies some core American values such as freedom of reproductive choice where abortion and protecting the environment.
Park voted in her first Presidential Election in 2008, also at Precinct 4A. This time she’s more nervous. “Our economy just rebounded from the recession, things are very questionable for lots of Americans because in their daily life, they are struggling,” she said.
“I actually trust Obama, but it will take longer for everything to bounce back,” Park said. “Other candidates are like a weird gamble. Because it will not get extremely better in next four years.”
As a Korean-American woman, Park considers herself a minority in the United States. So it was a big deal for her to be able to vote for Obama in 2008, because she wanted to see a new face and someone with different perspectives.
“Things are changing,” Park said. “Hopefully Americans are smarter than just looking for color.” said.