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What Michigan voters have to say about 2012 races

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012

Across Michigan, people are casting votes for dozens of races, including the White House, Senate, Congress and six highly-contentious ballot proposals. Here's what they're saying about why they cast their votes:

— "He's going to take the country in the right direction," said John Robinson, 38, a Lansing resident who works for an engineering firm and voted for President Barack Obama.

— "My values lined up with Mitt Romney," Wayne Humphrey, 61, of Lansing, who said he voted a straight Republican ticket. "I believe in the sanctity of marriage, and so does he. I'm a Christian. I vote my values."

— "I didn't like Mr. Romney's views. To me, he's not the answer. He's flip-flopping all the time," said Sharon Oakley, 49, a Jamaican-born Lansing resident voting in her second U.S. election.

— "As a Christian, that's an important issue for me," Kimber Lawrence, 51, said of abortion while going to vote in Lansing. "Obama is for it, and I just can't support that."

— "I really don't like Mitt Romney," said Wayne Deyo, a 22-year-old carpenter and first-time presidential voter from Livonia. "He's anti-union, and my whole family is union."

— "I just feel like I'd rather lower government spending, decrease the size of government," said Matthew Yaari, 23, of West Bloomfield Township, northwest of Detroit, on why he voted for Romney. "I really didn't think there was a huge difference between the two, but I gave the edge to Romney."

— "My husband is a business owner, and I think that he's going to benefit the next four years. I don't think Obama was able to follow through," said Michelle Gersin, 38, of West Bloomfield Township who cast her ballot for Romney. "This is for my household. If Obama was in town, I'd love to sit down and chat with him."

— "The governor should be able to step in," said Rodney Allen, 41, an information technology engineer from Wayne County's Canton Township who voted "yes" on Proposal 1, which asks voters whether to keep in place the law that allows the state to appoint managers for municipalities and school districts deemed to be in fiscal emergencies.

— "You can't say there's not enough money for police and fire protection, then go build a bridge," said Porsha Wilburn, 29, of Lansing, who voted "no" on all of the Michigan ballot proposals except for Proposal 6, which calls for changing the constitution to require a statewide vote on plans for any new international crossing.

— "I don't have a problem amending the constitution if it's for the betterment of all the people. But Matty Moroun's monopoly has got to end," said Frank Yoakam, 38, a general contractor who said he voted in Grosse Pointe Woods against Proposal 6.

— "That's just a joke. It's Matty Moroun trying to keep his monopoly going," said Russell Connolly, 53, a tool-and-die worker who voted "no" on Proposal 6 at Garfield Elementary in Livonia.

— "I just don't want to amend the constitution," said Sue Norton, a 53-year-old nurse from Canton Township who voted "yes" on Proposal 1 and "no" on the other five statewide ballot proposals.

— "I just don't see changing in the middle of the stream. Obama had a lot to deal with when he came into office. You can't change everything overnight," said William Mullins, 62, who said he was raised Republican but voted a straight Democratic ticket Tuesday.

— "I like his outlook on things," Neil Washburn, 25, a student/ bicycle mechanic from Traverse City, said of Romney. "The national debt is one of my deciding factors."

— "I think he's done a great job," Nancy Gray, 49, a community college English teacher from Traverse City, said of Obama. "I think he's an excellent work with the horrible mess he inherited. Romney is more interested in helping people who are rich, and not helping people, specifically, the poor."

— "I feel he's moved the country forward and really saved us from economic collapse and done most of what he said he was going to do," Mark Mitchell, 56, Traverse City, who works for nonprofit education consulting business and supported Obama.

— "I think he's a much better person," Gary Taelman, 62, said of Romney at a polling place in Grand Traverse County's Acme Township. "He has business experience, which I think is important. I don't think what's happening the last four years is where it should be."

— "I just think we need to stick up for good wages and equipment or tools that we need to perform our jobs. And it shouldn't come out of our personal funds," Dave Burkholder, 45, a plumber from Grand Traverse County's Acme Township, said of Proposal 2, a labor-backed proposal to guarantee union bargaining rights in the state constitution.

— "It puts the power in someone else's hands so they can take care of things without a lot of corruption," Dan Priebe, 29, of Grosse Pointe Woods, a student and movie projectionist, said of Proposal 1. He voted in favor of keeping the emergency manager law.

— "Mitt Romney is a better man for the job. I had enough of Obama. He's not a president. He's a joker ... Even with Bush, it was bad. But this guy made it worse," said Billy Paul, a 65-year-old retired railroad worker who showed up to the polls Tuesday to vote for the first time.

— "All he cares about is unions. I don't care about public assistance. I don't want it. I just want to work. But all he cares about are the unions — his buddies," said Peggy Paul, 62, who voted for Mitt Romney on Tuesday, and said the president spent too much time on health care reform and not enough time fixing the country's financial problems.

— "I don't think we've seen much happen at all in the past four years," said Erin Keem, 56, of Dearborn, a computer service manager. "I voted for Romney. I think he's got the business experience."

— "I think he's done a good job so far — but he still has a lot to do," James Fleming, 51, a diesel engine assembler from Dearborn, said of Obama.


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