Austin Spriggs, 19, a sophomore at Virginia Union University in Richmond, cast his first ballot for President Obama. He said he forgave the president for not fully righting the economy and was willing to let him finish the job.
"We're all human, we all make mistakes," Spriggs said. "We do the best we can to not repeat those mistakes."
Don Musselman, a 75-year-old retired appliance salesman from Chesterfield County, voted for Romney but not enthusiastically.
"To be honest, I didn't want either one of them," he said. But he said Obama "is causing us to pay too much taxes and giving away too much money."
Said Musselman, "I want to see some change come. It's more economics than anything else."
Penny Taylor, 54, an insurance worker from Henrico County, voted for Romney. Her husband has been laid off twice in the last four years from jobs in construction management and is now doing temporary work.
"He aligns more with my values and also, I think we need a change to help the economy. ... I think he has a lot of experience in the business arena and hopefully he'll be able to bring that into the government."
Josh and Erin Evans survived the long wait at a polling place across from Virginia Union University in Richmond and voted for Obama, but each arrived at the decision differently.
"I feel conflicted," Erin Evans, 30, a registered nurse, said. "Financially I'm one way, the health care stuff another way."
Her husband, also a medical professional, was swayed by the passage of comprehensive health care reform, and Romney's ill-chosen, secretly recorded words describing nearly half the population as dependent on the government.
"What really pissed me off was the 47 percent comment," said Evans, 29, adding that his voting record through the years has been split Republican and Democrat. "At that point, it made it no questions asked for me. Before that I was still trying to figure out who was doing what, but I was still probably pro-Obama from the previous four years."
Beverly Webb, a 53-year-old salon owner from Chesterfield County, said she voted a straight Democratic ticket.
"I believe Obama is passionate about people," she said. "I also like the health care, which drove me to make the choice."
Webb, who said she voted for President George W. Bush eight years ago, also praised Obama's views on women's rights issues and his bailout of the auto industry. And she said the economy is rebounding under Obama's leadership.
"Banks are lending money, people are buying cars, staying in their homes and getting jobs," she said.
Rick Higgins, 51, and his wife, Monica Morris, 47, described themselves as independents but both voted a straight Democratic ticket at their Richmond polling place. Each voted for Obama for a second time.
"I still love him," said Monica Morris, a physician. "He's a sea of calm."
Higgins, a web developer, said he simply liked the direction the country was going under Obama.
"To me it's either progressive change, look for new things, or keep things the way they were," he said.
"The way there were in 1950," Morris said.
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