November 8, 2016 Lawrenceville - Gwinnett County residents cast their votes Tuesday afternoon at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Lawrenceville on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/hshin@ajc.com
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/hshin@ajc.com

Voters let their voices be heard at the voting booth

Voters let their voices be heard at the ballot box all around metro Atlanta on Tuesday. Reporters from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to residents after they cast their ballots and they had a lot to say about the presidential race and matters closer to home.

Here’s what they had to say:

On the presidential race: “I didn’t choose either of the buffoons. I believe our two-party system is broken right now. It leads to extremes on both sides.”

On TSPLOST: “I was torn because that’s a lot of money, but I’ve seen these roads. I kind of felt obligated to vote for it.”

- Nikki Roberts, Alpharetta

On the presidential race: “I feel it’s my responsibility to vote, especially with the presidential election this year. I don’t feel comfortable with either one of these candidates. I have to make the best decision out of the two. That’s Trump. Part of it’s all the stuff going on with Hillary. I’m retired military; I had friends who mishandled classified information who had to serve jail time. I think everyone should be dealt with the same way.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted for it. I feel it’s a good thing, especially with local communities having input.”

- Eric Glick, Roswell

On the presidential race: “If Trump gets elected, this country’s going to change. I think my grandchildren will live under a very oppressive government…It bothers me. …The whole thing made Americans look like a bunch of fools around the world. It’s insult after insult. It makes me embarrassed. It makes me almost ashamed to be an American. I don’t want someone like that to represent me.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted for it, because as much as I don’t like the spend more money, if we don’t do something, we’re going to lose business. People are not going to want to come here.”

- Jim Tulley, Roswell

On the presidential race: “There’s too much government, too much regulation and inefficiency and that affected who I voted for. Trump. The previous regime, I think, is illicit, it has done a very poor job over the past eight years. I’m looking for a new approach. I’m not happy with either of the candidates.”

On TSPLOST: “I think I voted for that. Traffic in Atlanta is pretty much unacceptable. I’m hoping it will improve the situation to improve the roads.

- Michelle Fischer, Roswell

On the presidential race: “I think this one’s more critical than usual. I voted for Hillary. I agree with her platform and what she stands for. As the first woman, I think it’s very important. Even if she weren’t, I would still vote for her. It feels good. I feel very hopeful.”

On TSPLOST: “We definitely need that. With traffic, we need all that we can get to help. It’s probably the best solution put forward so far.”

- Beth Blake, Sandy Springs

On the presidential race: “I didn’t have strong feelings one way or another. I voted Hillary. …I think she had more experience, more policy options. I was uncomfortable with Trump. He was too ridiculous in his speech. …I typically said I’m Republican. I have to vote for the best candidate.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted for it. It’s important that we start to address transportation and traffic issues in North Fulton county. Somebody has to do something. It’s important enough that I’m willing to pay for it.”

- Carmen Beggs, Roswell

On the presidential race: “I think where there are crucial directions of movement, you have to make your input known. …There is for me, at least, a clear choice. I thought Hillary was much more stable for the office. She is at least experienced in the way things operate. Trump is shooting off from his hip a lot.”

On TSPLOST: “They’re very late to address it. Nothing seems to begin to get done until there’s a horrible traffic jam mess. …I voted for it. I think transportation problems need to be addressed, and I hope that would do it.”

- Roger Beggs, Roswell

Charlotte Ebel, Smyrna

“I believe [Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s] values are a lot more in line with min. I see Trump as more of a businessman and he’s never really held a political office so I don’t believe he knows how the government really works, and as a former military person I can’t support Hillary and what I know she did with those emails.”

- Charlotte Ebel, Smyrna

“I just think [Trump’s] the less of two evils. I’m not voting for him, I’m voting against the other one. This is the craziest election I’ve ever seen and I’ve been voting since Eisenhower. I don’t understand it.”

- David Canaday, Smyrna

“I want to continue the progress that we’ve had from Obama in terms of gay rights and progressive issues. I like [DeKalb CEO candidate] Mike Thurmond so I hope he gets back in.”

- Jarek Fleming, Brookhaven

“I’m happy with the way things are. ”I don’t want someone in there who doesn’t know what they’re doing. It’s scary when you have someone with a hot head and can’t be trusted.”

- Willie Yarbrough, Decatur

“One of the candidates is a little bit more stable than the other. [Clinton will] have a steady presence in office.”

- Jesse Lovelace, Decatur

On the Opportunity School District ballot question: “We want to be able to voice our opinions about schools, and those voices wouldn’t be heard if they’re taken over. Teachers and parents know what the students need.”

-Tanika Morris, Lithonia

“It’s important to me to make sure Hillary Clinton gets in. She’s been working her entire career to look out for people. Trump just works for himself.” On opposition to Stonecrest cityhood: “If they would have named it something else, maybe I would have voted for it. But I don’t like that it’s named after a mall.”

- Dan Reeves, Lithonia

On support for Stonecrest cityhood: “I really want to see a city of Stonecrest approved. Those tax dollars should be allocated to the city rather than going to other areas. By forming a city, we can have a voice and develop the area and make it a true live, work and play community.”

- Corey Brown, Lithonia

“I think the goal of the Libertarian Party is to get 5 percent nationally, that would give them national party status. I don’t think the goal is to cost any major party candidate a particular state, but I think he’ll do much better than [third party] candidates have done in the past. He’s somebody that would surround himself with qualified people. I’m not concerned about it, I’m concerned with somebody that’s going to do the right thing, that’s going to not take the country down a path into darkness and so I think Gary Johnson is somebody that is a positive candidate who is very ethical, who will take this country in a good direction.”

- David Shock, Kennesaw

On opposition to the Gwinnett County SPLOST: “No more taxes. I’m against taxes in general. We’ve been nickel and dimed by Gwinnett County.”

- Will Phillips, Lilburn

Kathryn Dowdy, Lilburn
Photo: HANDOUT

“I decided to vote for Trump. He wasn’t my original choice. But he’s our choice as a Republican. I did not want Hillary Clinton to be president. She’s a very dangerous person.”

- Kathryn Dowdy, Lilburn

“He’s not Hillary.”

On support of the Gwinnett SPLOST: “I just think Gwinnett County’s got better roads than DeKalb or Fulton. They’re doing a good job.”

- John Greindl, Norcross

“I voted for Hillary Clinton. I’ve known her a long time. I liked Bill Cliinton. Her policies are very good. We need Obamacare.”

- Ashish Biswah, Lilburn

“I’m not very comfortable with Donald Trump being our president, I don’t think his actions and his history are approvable, he’s just not the best candidate in my eyes, and although I’m not really supportive of Hillary’s potential actions in the past either, I think I’m taking the best option here out of the two.”

- Hayden Teague, Kennesaw

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice. Trump is the worst candidate. Hillary is the lesser of two evils. It’s like he knows nothing. …I don’t see how you can vote for somebody who flip-flops so much. Consistency’s the key. Real estate and taxes, that stuff don’t matter for me. You’ve got to be real for people. He wasn’t real enough for me at all. Hillary’s going to do what she needs to do for people. I wasn’t so much pro-Hillary as I was pro-America. We have come a long way, in my opinion. I don’t see how the progress keeps going with Trump.

On TSPLOST: “I said no. Seventy-five cents is a lot of tax. …It just didn’t sound right to me. …It didn’t make sense economically to me.”

On South Fulton cityhood: “I voted yes just because we need better emergency services response. I had a friend who was stabbed, and it took 20 minutes to get there.”

- Antoine Johnson, unincorporated Fulton County

“If you expect changes and you expect things to happen that you want to happen, you have to vote. I just want Atlanta to be a better place for my children. I voted for Hillary. Trump is just, he’s just not showing as a good candidate. His opinions, they don’t line up with mine.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted for the tax on that. I’m sort of in transportation. It’s going to get more jobs in for people.”

On cityhood: “We’re going to be part of somewhere. Might as well be part of a new city. Why not try something new?”

- Glemon English, unincorporated Fulton County

On the presidential election: “Trump. I’m Republican. I believe in the right to life for the unborn. I’m against abortion. I like his financial policies and his policies on the military. I like the idea of closing the borders to foreigners right now at this time with terrorism going on. …I think it was pretty easy because I saw Hillary Clinton’s record. Benghazi, Americans were killed. …She’s done an illegal email account. …She’s for Planned Parenthood.

On TSPLOST: I voted yes on that because we need a traffic light on Jones Road and Fairburn, and they’re going to pave Jones Road. It needs to be paved. We live on that road.”

On cityhood: “I voted yes on the City of South Fulton. It didn’t sound like there would be any new taxes. …If you’re not a city, all your taxes would pour into Atlanta because you would be incorporated into it. Schools would change to Atlanta.”

- Debbie Lloyd, unincorporated Fulton County

On the presidential election: “It’s probably the most important election we’ve had in a long time. Donald Trump is the worst choice ever. I don’t trust Donald Trump at all. I don’t trust anything he says. Hillary, she’s been around. I just don’t think Donald Trump has any idea. If you want bipartisan support, you’ve got to have Hillary Clinton. I just think he’s a joke. Republicans let their party down by having him as the nominee.”

On TSPLOST: “It’s needed. You need road improvements. Someone has to pay for them. It’s not going to be free.”

On cityhood: “It’s time. It’s been time. We’ve been fighting this issue for a long time. The tax dollars are going to go more for your interests. Something just needs to be done. There’s a little more control with what’s going on.”

- Patrick Cheney, unincorporated Fulton County

“I just believe it’s time for another change, to have a woman in the White House. Women have been running things since the beginning of time. Hillary is the right person for the job. She’s actually been president once already. I just believe she’s the right choice. We want to make America great again; America’s always been great. Him being in the White House is not going to make him great. If you have an ounce of sense, you’re able to see he’s not one for the presidency.”

On TSPLOST: “Yes. Certain things have to be changed. …It’s like being in my house and I don’t fix my house up. It’s going to deteriorate.”

On cityhood: “No. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I don’t think we would gain by voting that way.”

- Michael Anderson, unincorporated Fulton County

“To make a difference and get Hillary in. I didn’t like the things Trump was for. Pretty much everything. That pushed me toward her. I hope she wins.”

On TSPLOST: “I pretty much was open-minded on that. I voted for it. It’s going to be a good thing to do for South Fulton. It’s pretty much needed.”

On cityhood: “I voted against. Taxes are already high, extremely high. They’re going to end up going up.”

- Candice Hart, unincorporated Fulton County

“Eventually, it’s going to affect our future. I wish we could’ve stuck with Bernie Sanders. I had to go with Hillary. For one, I don’t like how Trump downs a lot of people. She had more positive views than Trump. Both are secretive, but Trump’s really out there.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted no because people need to be able to afford to go somewhere.”

On cityhood: “I was kind of nonchalant. Yeah. I really didn’t look into it, so I figured, why not?”

- Teluer Jordan, unincorporated Fulton County

“I definitely want to get a Republican in there. I voted for Mr. Trump. I like him for what he intends to do to help. Everybody’s going to have to earn what they get and I like that concept.”

- D.J. Ray, Hampton

“I don’t think I’ve seen a more important election. I wanted [my son] to see it.”

- Brittany Langford, Hampton. She brought her 8-year-old son Xander.

“I wanted to see something different. It’s definitely an election where you need to vote and have your voice heard.”

- Rohan Taylor, Hampton

“Trump scares the crap out of me. I voted for Hillary Clinton.”

- Michael Greenway, Fayetteville

“It’s been a very unusual election cycle. The two candidates are polarizing and they have different views in where they each want to take the country. There’s been a lot of conflict and drama, more so than usual.”

- Daniel Dejong, Fayetteville

“I was voting mainly for platform. [Trump] wasn’t my first choice. He was my next-to-last choice. I’m pro-life. I’m for traditional marriage. I’m hoping he’s going to stand behind those things like he said he will.”

- Heather Dejong, Fayetteville

“I’d feel bad if I didn’t do something as simple as voting. The whole election has been pretty chaotic. I haven’t seen much of both sides of the presidential debates. One side had better control over what they were saying.”

- Sonya Sengchanh, Fayetteville

“It’s the dirtiest election I’ve ever seen. He’s temperamental. Hillary’s talked about the issues. She’s more on top of what’s going on in the world.”

- Mary Dennis, unincorporated Clayton County

“I don’t think that [Trump] would be a qualified leader. I think that he is very, some of his views, they strike me as very…they have a very deep and negative impact on me.”

On opposition to the Opportunity School District: “I think that when you make a change like that, my perception is, if the change was so great, why isn’t it for everybody? Why isn’t it some change that’s going to take place in all schools? … I just don’t think that they’ve given enough information on it.”

- Suzette Anderson, Lawrenceville

Cliff Hunter
Photo: Tyler Estep/AJC

“We can see that there’s a double standard in our country, from where Hillary Clinton is as far as breaking the law completely with the emails, and not only that. Her policies are really, it’s just talk. It’s something where we need a complete turnaround from what Washington, D.C. is.”

- Cliff Hunter, Lawrenceville

“Donald Trump is just too arrogant. I think that if he humbled himself just a little bit more he could actually be good. But there’s too much arrogance.”

- Faith Endee, Lawrenceville

Voted for Trump because “I’m one of those angry white Americans.”

- John Giesler, East Cobb

“I voted today because I do not want Donald Trump to win. I know that my vote is important, so I wanted to make sure that I cast my ballot.”

On her opposition to the Opportunity School District: “I said no because I graduated from an Atlanta public high school and I just know that if the state intervenes with the school system it’s just going to mess it up and it’s going to make it more strict. I don’t support that.”

- Aleeia Smith, Atlanta

“I voted for Hillary because she has more presidential charge and the better temperrment. At the end of the day, it came down to how each (Clinton and Donald Trump) would react in a crisis, especially when asking to put our troops in harm’s way.”

On T-SPLOST votes: “I voted yes on both. I’m a MARTA user. My wife and I have one car so we use MARTA as well as ridesharing options like Uber. I also think that if we’re going to be a world class city, we need to find easier ways to move people around the city.”

— Chris Coad, Atlanta

“Hillary Clinton is smart and she’s prepared. She’s not ignorant in any way shape or form and she can represent the nation well to other nations. I wouldn’t be ashamed of her.”

On T-SPLOST votes: “The roads need to be upgraded and MARTA should be expanded. I use MARTA a lot. I have mobility issues and I like that MARTA provides a good service to those with disabilities. But I want it to expand so that it is accessible to more people who need it.

— Gina Clayton, Atlanta

[Trump and Clinton] are both horrible, so I took the least worst. I really like true marketplaces without any influencers. I think Hillary Clinton has influenced true marketplaces with her power and her husband’s power.

On T-SPLOST votes: I said no to both of those taxes because I want to keep taxes down low. I think our Atlanta taxes are too high and I have not seen any evidence that the city of Atlanta uses our taxes efficiently.

— MacKay Drake, Atlanta 

“Hillary Clinton was the better option, and better at handling international affairs and topics such as the U.S. Supreme Court. She has the leadership qualities we need now. We need someone who is level-headed.

On T-SPLOST: I voted yes on both. Atlanta needs a much improved transportation system. If you want great services, you have to support them.”

— Joe Kaczor Atlanta

“At the last second I voted Democrat. All of the controversies and fighting and the trash of the last four months was very bad for the country. But I settled on Hillary because she is more presidential and she has been in Washington for a long time. And unlike others, I don’t have anything against the Clintons. I considered Trump, but he comes across very harsh. I started to vote for him, but I couldn’t.

On T-SPLOST: I voted yes on both. I ride MARTA four times a week so I am an avid supporter. I think we have a lot of potholes in the city and though I don’t drive anymore, I still want the roads to be better.

— George Eaves, Atlanta

“I’m hopeful the American people don’t make an idiotic mistake and elect somebody with a track record of being corrupt. … People are so happy and easy to give away their rights so they can feel safe.”

— Tom Langston, Tucker

“I always vote. I feel like it’s the thing that gives you the right to complain. Making your voice heard is not only a privilege, but it’s an obligation. It’s the most effective way to get your voice heard. I voted for [DeKalb CEO candidate] Mike Thurmond. Because I’ve seen him, I’ve known him. The way he presents himself and the way he understands the issues seems to make the most sense to me. And he’s a Democrat.”

On support of Sheriff Jeff Mann: “He’s done a good job. In a time of really hostile issues regarding police and citizens, [the sheriff’s office has] done a good job of respecting the voice of the people while at the same time making order.”

On opposition to the Opportunity School District: “When you privatize and you take away the voice of the local people, you aren’t able to be as reflexive (in responding to issues). I don’t trust that [Gov.] Nathan Deal wouldn’t use this as a place to appoint his cronies…I feel like there are so many systemic issues that really have to be addressed at a local level.”

— Eren Thibadeau, Tucker

“It’s my first time actually and I just know that my vote counts. As an American citizen, I’ve been going through all the legal process and I’m proud to be a citizen and I’m proud to be doing what all Americans do: paying my taxes and doing things in the right way. Most of the illegal immigrants who are already here, they feel insecure, maybe because they’ve done something wrong” and could be deported. I’m paying taxes and following the rules, and that’s what everybody needs to do. I lean Republican. He’s got good experience. I’m worried about the economy and security. … There will be hopefully more jobs. That’s what we really need.”

— Franklin Garcia, Tucker

“I went with Hillary because she’s been in office. I wish we would’ve had better choices. I don’t like how [Trump] has said he knows more than some people in the military about security. Since I’ve been in the military over 20 something years, I know he don’t know more than some of those generals.”

On support of Michael Thurmond for DeKalb CEO: “We need a shake-up. I think he has more experience.” Watched him when he was with the schools and have confidence in him.

On support of Jeff Mann for DeKalb Sheriff: “It’s more about experience. He’s been with DeKalb so long.”

— Sammy Gay, Decatur

“I just can’t see Donald Trump as president. Not knocking anybody that’s voted for Donald Trump, I just couldn’t. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I just feel like anybody that would support a person that would say the things he says, blatantly… doesn’t need to be president of the United States or represent me. I just felt like Hillary was the better choice, or the better choice to beat Donald.”

On support for the Opportunity School District: “There’s a saying that it takes a village, and if I’m in a community where a school needs fixing, or a school needs uplifting and there’s something I can do as a citizen, I feel yeah, it’s part of my responsibility to make sure that my community is doing what it needs to do. And especially the state, that’s what we pay taxes for. Where’s the tax money going if the state’s not being held responsible? And if the state’s not being held responsible, who is being held responsible?”

On support of the transportation tax: “The roads are messed up around here and they need to be fixed. I’d rather them take it out of my pocket than pull it from the funding from the schools in the area or pull it from another budget. That’s not going to build the community up, that’ll kind of cripple us a little bit. So yeah, I voted for it.

On opposition to the transportation tax to expand MARTA: “I feel like MARTA proves to profit off of it, so why should I pay for MARTA to expand so they create a bigger profit.”

- Corey Daniels, Atlanta

On the presidential race: “I think this is the most controversial election I’ve seen in my time. I chose a particular individual, Hillary, because I feel her views and concepts are more befitting a people as a whole who are not any one people or race. …No one has a right to do what they please with women. I really don’t agree with having a female leader for the country. It’s a role for a man.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted yes on both. I would like to see road conditions improve. Atlanta’s a beautiful city. Like maintenance of a home, you just don’t want to leave it raggedy. Expanding MARTA could create more jobs, get people to work.”

- Marilyn Parks, Atlanta

“It’s just a very critical election. The sentiments being reflected by some parties are disconcerting. I hope we aren’t misled by polls showing a clear winner, and end up with a Brexit issue on our hands. I have very strong feelings against Trump.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted for MARTA and abstained on the other. I wasn’t informed enough. It’s really critical as Atlanta continues to grow that we have mass transit.”

- Emily Gettelfinger, Atlanta

“This year’s too close to chance. We’re in a bad situation.”

On TSPLOST: “I voted against TSPLOST and for MARTA. MARTA’s great; I think it helps people get around.”

- Amy Mitacek, Atlanta

“I voted for Donald Trump because I’m mad at the whole system. I’m upset at the entire system. I’m upset at Washington. Nothing gets done. I supported Trump in the primary because I want Washington all gone. If it were up to me we’d have term limits [for Congress] like we do for president. There wouldn’t be Republicans and Democrats that were in the House and Senate and in the Beltway for 30 or 40 years. That’s ridiculous. The founders never intended for people to serve to be career politicians.”

- Brian Benninghoff, Dunwoody

“Foreign policy was big for me. I’ve lived abroad a decent amount and perception of us is important. The perception of America has been pretty low. And one of the candidates would just make that fall off a cliff and die.”

- Kelsey McNamara, Dunwoody

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