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What N. Dakota voters have to say about 2012 races

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Thousands of people voted across North Dakota on Tuesday for president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and various ballot initiatives. Here's what they said about why they cast their votes:

—"He's for lower taxes, less spending, less government," said Ed Vanover, 65, of Bismarck, who owns rights to explore for oil on several properties, explaining his support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Vanover said he voted for North Dakota's Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Rick Berg, "for the same reasons."

—"I don't think (President Barack Obama) will reform (federal farm policy). I think he's just going to throw it out. (Republican presidential candidate Mitt) Romney, he'll reform it, and hopefully get us somewhere," said Willy Marler, 19, of Rogers, explaining his vote for Romney. In North Dakota's U.S. Senate race, Marler backed Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, saying, "I think she supports North Dakota better. She understands North Dakota and the way we live up here. It's a lot different from New York City or Los Angeles."

— "I like my guns," said Kurt Triplett, a 26-year-old Bismarck salesman who voted a straight Republican ticket.

— "I don't know if I'm a Republican or Democrat, but I think Romney is the better candidate," said Nicole Gipp, a 20-year-old cashier at a Bismarck McDonald's who was voting for the first time.

— "I don't think we can trust Rick Berg to do what's best for North Dakota. I think he will do whatever the Republicans want him to do," said Sara Kincaid, a 34-year-old substitute teacher in Bismarck. "I think Heidi (Heitkamp) will do what's best for North Dakota and think she tends to be more independent and won't vote along party lines."

— "A vote for Heidi (Heitkamp) would be a vote for Obama. The No. 1 reason I voted for Romney is because it's a vote against Obama," said 94-year-old Sol Wezelman, a retired Bismarck insurance agent who voted a straight Republican ticket.

— "The way things are right now, we're not moving ahead," said Eric Rudrud, a 63-year-old state Transportation Department employee and Republican voter. "We need to do things to get people employed."

— "I'm nine months pregnant and I don't believe in abortion or anything else Obama supports," said Ashley Lee, a 24-year-old stay-at-home mom and Bismarck Republican. "There are better options."

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