One woman started to tear up outside the Carrillo Recreation Center voting precinct Tuesday morning as she told the News-Press she was worried about humanity.
“I’m worried about divisiveness,” she said.
She’s even lost friendships when political viewpoints revealed different values.
“Over the course of the past four years, I realized that at the core, our fundamental values were really very, very different,” she said. “Like my friends, we can go out and have cocktails and get dinner and have drinks, but they didn’t actually believe in equality.”
It was very personal to her, so she didn’t want her name published.
All those interviewed brought different opinions, values and concerns to their ballot. Some smiled as they greeted poll workers at the Santa Barbara site, but others had a serious disposition.
Sophie Mitchell, a Santa Barbara City College student, said it was her first time voting in a general election.
“It seems like the world is just on fire right now,” she said. “I think both ways are going to be crazy for the world.”
Even though she didn’t have confidence in either presidential outcome, she said she thought the election is important for the future of the country.
Another voter who didn’t want to be named said he wasn’t “pumped either way.” He walked out of the recreation center with a morose expression.
A woman named Mary was more optimistic.
“I’m hoping for a good end to this. A lot of these social problems that we’re having right now, I hope that we can progress to a better situation,” she said.
Steven Wienecke said COVID-19 has been an important factor.
“We need an administration who’s willing to take things seriously and can actually put a plan in place to get things better,” he said.
He cares about local issues too and researched candidates from both parties but didn’t like when local politicians praised the president on their websites.
Augustine Cruz viewed the election as a duty. He was most worried about the futures of schools, kids and workers.
Everyone showed reverence for the occasion, even if the impending outcome made them feel anxious.
The poll workers smiled, bringing a warm feeling at the entry to the recreation center. Inside, it smelled like sanitizer. There was plenty of room to stay six feet apart.
The polling place was sparse as a handful of voters dropped off ballots. Occasionally, one used a poll booth, but many had their ballots already dotted with black ink.
They grabbed “I voted” stickers and smoothed them out across their chest. A few immediately took pictures of themselves adorned with the sign of civic duty.