Voters Speak: Voices From Election Day

The economic crisis is a driving force in some voters' decisions at the polls, but there is no consensus among people NPR spoke with Tuesday about which candidate offered the better solution to the problem.

Most voters agree, though, that it is a historic election with a black presidential candidate and a female vice presidential candidate. Here, what's on voters' minds as they go to the polls on Election Day.

Mike Normansell

Mike Normansell
Ailsa Chang for NPR

Mike Normansell, 42, is a lifelong registered Republican who lives in a heavily Republican neighborhood in the swing county of Henrico, in the swing state of Virginia. He walked into his polling station Tuesday and voted for Obama.

Vicki Hill

Vicki Hill
Katie Knapp for NPR

The economy is the No. 1 election issue for 51-year-old Vicki Hill. Her financial situation has deteriorated over the past four years, and she's putting her hopes on Obama.

Bill King

Bill King
Scott Finn for NPR

Bill King cast his vote for McCain at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Charleston, W.Va. The 50-year-old retiree said McCain isn't his ideal Republican, but he fears Obama's strategy for handling the economic crisis would only make the situation worse.

Jesse Liberty Arquette

Jesse Liberty Arquette
Vincent Duffy for NPR

Jesse Liberty Arquette, a 35-year-old Brighton, Mich., resident, has sided with the Republican party in the past, but he's parting ways with it this election. His rift with the party has been growing over the past eight years, but one decision in particular by the McCain campaign clinched Arquette's vote for Obama.

Betty Anthony

Betty Anthony
Kate Archer Kent for NPR

Betty Anthony, 70, of Shreveport, La., is glad to witness such a historic election, with a black presidential candidate and a female vice presidential candidate. But America's racial divide continues to worry her.

Emily Levin

Emily Levin lives 20 miles northeast of Columbus, in New Albany, Ohio. Obama is popular with her generation, but she says he's not the candidate for her.

Jan Brown

Jan Brown has lived in Wasilla, Alaska, for 36 years, and much of that time has felt disconnected from the lower 48 states. Gov. Sarah Palin has changed that sense of alienation, she says.

Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd, a 52-year-old housing advocate and freelance writer, had the U.S.'s exit strategy from Iraq at the front of her mind Tuesday. She thinks Obama may have a better plan for getting out of Iraq with the least amount of damage. But race was also a factor for her.

Reporting by: Laura Sullivan/NPR; Sean Bowditch/NPR; Kate Concannon/NPR; Vincent Duffy/Michigan Radio; Scott Finn/West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Kate Archer Kent/Red River Radio; Katie Knapp/Omaha Public Radio

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