In Ohio, Voters Discuss Election

Voters in Ohio talk about what brought them to the polls and who they voted for. Both John McCain and Barack Obama are campaigning hard to win the crucial swing state's 20 electoral votes.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

We'll be hearing from voters all over the country in our program today, and first this hour to Ohio. NPR's David Greene has been hanging out at polling stations in that pivotal swing state.

DAVID GREENE: Ertha Cuinn(ph) cast her vote in an African Methodist Episcopal church in Columbus. She told me a bit of her story.

Ms. ERTHA CUINN: I was born in the middle of a cotton field.

GREENE: That cotton field was in Arkansas, and Ertha said she faced a lot of prejudice growing up in the South. Today she said she came to this church in Columbus and voted for Barack Obama because he's the first African-American to get this far in politics.

Ms. CUINN: I'm 79 years old, and we have not had a fair break since I've been in this world. And we needed that. That's why I voted for him. Even if he doesn't win, I'm still proud that he got as far as he did.

GREENE: Do you think racism is something that will start to evaporate if...

Ms. CUINN: No.

GREENE: If he's in office.

Ms. CUINN: It'd never. You got people who hate. You got people who hate, and they hate black people. Why? I don't know, because I'm beautiful.

Ms. STEPHANIE CARTWRIGHT(ph): This is a fairly conservative community, and I voted for Barack Obama.

GREENE: That's Stephanie Cartwright. We caught her after voting in Upper Arlington, a wealthy suburb of Columbus. She said she trusts Obama to make sure less fortunate Americans survive these tough economic times, even if Obama would raise her taxes.

Ms. CARTWRIGHT: I'm in the over 250 bracket. And I'm more than willing to share that.

GREENE: Suburbs like this one outside Columbus have been a battleground in this presidential race, and voters said the choice wasn't easy.

Ms. CAROL RICCO(ph): It was a rough decision, a rough decision on my part.

GREENE: Carol Ricco went for McCain. She said he and his Republican allies raised a lot of questions about what she called Obama's associations.

Ms. RICCO: Some of these smear tactics that we were forced to listen to about Obama were really weighing heavily on my mind.

GREENE: You call them smear, but do you think they were fair attacks from the McCain side or...

Mr. RICCO: Yes. Yes, I do. I do. Everything has to come out.

GREENE: Up the street, I met Harry Griffith(ph). He's a Republican who backed both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. This time, McCain got his vote. He said he's worried Obama just lacks the experience.

Mr. HARRY GRIFFITH: I think he needs to dig a few more trenches. And you look at Senator John McCain, and I'm - and don't get me wrong, I'm not some crazy Republican, but he's done just about everything for this country but die for it, and we all know that.

GREENE: But Harry said if his man doesn't win, he'd give Obama a chance.

Mr. GRIFFITH: Hopefully, he'll go in there, and he'll do his job, and he'll make this better. And same with John McCain. There's just nothing worse than a sore loser because this is the greatest day in America.

GREENE: David Greene, NPR News, Columbus.

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