The tight presidential race between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney was the main draw that brought out voters Tuesday in Kent County. Residents spoke of their civic duty to vote and help shape the future of America.
Everyone who stopped and chatted with the Dover Post Tuesday as they exited the poll at South Dover Elementary School was most excited about the presidential race on Election Day because they felt the future they envisioned for America was on the line.
Most voters kept whom they voted for a closely guarded secret. But they spoke of their civic duty and pride of coming out to vote in every presidential election.
Nancy and Ed Mulford brought their granddaughters, Jada Lehman, 13, and Marissa Doucette, 7, with them to South Dover Elementary. Jada entered the voting booth with her Nana while Lehman entered the booth with her Pop Pop.
"I think it's important to show by example the importance of doing your part as a citizen in voting and the importance of having a voice in who's going to run our country," Nancy Mulford said. "I think it's important that we pass that on to the next generations."
The lesson was not lost on the girls.
"I think it's cool," Marissa said, talking about the red dots she saw when Nana pushed the buttons.
Jada was more blunt in her assessment.
"Don't complain if you don't vote," she said.
Ed Mulford said he and his wife always voted in presidential elections and most off-year elections as well because of their congressional implications.
"Surprises do happen and, like Jada said, you can't complain if you haven't done what you're allowed to do," he said. "It's a privilege and a duty."
Kimberly Randall and Sandra Harrison went to South Dover Elementary, where Randall, 21, voted for the first time.
"My whole family was excited about it and now it's here," Randall said. "We were talking about it all week.
Harrison, meanwhile, found out that her polling place had changed and was instructed by state Department of Elections for Kent County to proceed to Towne Point Elementary School.
"It was mostly the president that brought me out," Harrison said. "When it comes to the president, I feel as though that's very important. On top of God, I think a president has a lot to do with our progress."
Both Randall and Harrison expressed support for President Obama, who was in a neck-and-neck race with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"I don't want to see Obama out of office and that's who I voted for," Randall said. "I would like to see him go four more years just to see what he can do. He's trying to make a change and you've got to give him a chance."
South Dover Elementary voter Charles Getz preferred to not talk about whom he voted for. But he predicted that Election Day would not be the end of the tight race between Obama and Romney.
"You're going to hear it for a while after," Getz said. "This election's not going to be over [Tuesday] night."
Nonetheless, it was important to come out Tuesday to exercise a privilege that not everybody used, Getz said
"You either like what's happened the last four years or you don't," he added.
The campaign workers greeting people at South Dover Elementary were
impressed with the steady crowd that came out to vote. Among them were Sharron Taylor and Ellie Viola, who is the mother of House District 32 Democratic candidate Andria Bennett.
"In the morning, you had the rush with people voting before they went to work," Viola said. "Then, again at lunchtime. It's been very, very steady."
Across from Viola and Taylor were Alexandra Fleming, the niece of House District 31 Republican candidate Sam Chick, and Trevor Mullane.
"It's been good to see how enthusiastic people are to vote," said Fleming, a Lake Forest High School graduate.
Mullane, a Milford High grad, figured out who was receptive to campaign literature and who was not on Election Day.
"There are two specific types and you can kind of tell," he said. "Some people have their mind made up already and will walk around you while other people are still looking at the signs trying to make up their minds."