By PAUL GONZALEZ
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
Four local races were on the ballot on Tuesday — including a hotly contested County Supervisor race — but most voters said they turned out because of the presidential primary.
Fourteen states, including California, held primaries on Super Tuesday to decide who will be the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential candidate. The American Samoa territory also held caucuses on Tuesday.
Around one-third of the total delegates are won on Super Tuesday.
The polls got off to a hot start at Franklin Neighborhood Center Multipurpose Room polling place. Volunteer Alan Casebier said over 100 voters cast their votes before 10 a.m.
“This my first-time volunteering, but I worked for the census. I want to work for America in one way or another,” said Mr. Casebier who paused to hand a voter a ballot and direct him to a voting booth.
Mr. Casebier explained that he made sure the ballots were stuffed and the voters had everything they needed to cast their vote.
“I always vote. It’s our responsibility to vote, we get a choice and we have to express it,” Victoria Bessinger said.
Lydie Patchen added that she also votes every election cycle, but this primary was especially important because she hopes the Democratic candidate will prevail in November.
“I like better language; I don’t like people who are rude and vulgar and insulting. I voted for (Laura) Capps as well. She had knowledge and for education. She’s for all the stuff that I believe in,” said Ms. Patchen.
Trinity Episcopal Church Reverend Sarah Thomas echoed that sentiment at the Montecito Covenant Church polling place.
“I always vote. I feel like it is a privilege and a duty, but today does feel especially important to me. I really want to do everything I can to make sure that Trump is not reelected. It’s not a partisan issue for me, it’s a humanitarian issue. My faith is dictating this vote,” said Rev. Thomas.
Evan Jeffery took his 3-year-old daughter Gwen to the MacKenzie Center polling place to show her the importance of taking part in the democratic process.
“I didn’t take voting seriously when I first got the chance to vote and I wanted to set a good example. The first election I voted in was for Al Gore in 2000. Seeing how close it was in places and seeing subsequent years how big an effect it made, made me get a lot more involved in voting,” said Mr. Jeffrey as he watched Gwen on the playground.
Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders — who would win in California on Tuesday — got at least one vote at the Casa De Las Flores polling place in Carpinteria.
“Things have got to change completely. Healthcare, everything that he talks about, things have to change,” said Jon Nordling, owner of Nordling Installs in Carpinteria.
“The economic system is too weighted to the top. I’m a businessman too and I appreciate that, but still.”