Braden Smith (clockwise from top left), Gary Bachman, Raquel Martinez and Lisa Watson weigh in on their choices in this heated presidential election. Photos by Allison Long along@kcstar.com
Braden Smith (clockwise from top left), Gary Bachman, Raquel Martinez and Lisa Watson weigh in on their choices in this heated presidential election. Photos by Allison Long along@kcstar.com

Elections

I am: Voting my mind — why these local voters made their presidential choices

By David Frese

dfrese@kcstar.com

October 27, 2016 3:02 PM

If early voter turnout is any indication, this country’s citizens are ready to have their say in this heated presidential election.

More than 7.3 million people had already voted as of midweek. Counties in Texas reported record early voter turnout. Democrats were looking at improved performance compared to 2012 in North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona. Republicans were heartened by news of better performance in Iowa, according to CNN.

Closer to home, election workers saw long lines in Johnson County this past week; officials said they expected 160,000 of the county’s 400,000 registered voters to cast ballots early.

For this installment of our “I am …” series, we sought out four voters — two each from Missouri and Kansas — who were supporting the two major-party candidates: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Each is confident their candidate is just the person to turn this country around, though for different reasons. That’s democracy, folks.

Or as Overland Park’s Gary Bachman says, “The reality is most of our lives are lived in the middle. It’s valuable to understand both sides of the argument.”

Braden Smith of Parkville: Young conservative says it’s his patriotic duty to vote for Hillary Clinton

Raquel Martinez of Kansas City: For Latina grandmother, Donald Trump is more qualified

Gary Bachman of Overland Park: Park University professor makes deliberate choice to vote for Hillary Clinton

Lisa Watson of Kansas City, Kan.: Former liberal is voting for Donald Trump because of education

About this series

“I am” presents portraits of people in our community whose lives have aspects that intersect with the news. Our past stories featured people who are Muslim, people who are transgender, and parents raising black children.

Election 2016 in four minutes: A year and a half of historic surprises, scandals

At a rally in Miami, Donald Trump told supporters that despite his lead in Florida, he wants them to vote like they’re behind. Meanwhile in Chapel Hill, N.C., President Obama said "it's strange" that Trump's rhetoric has become accepted. Hillary Clinton and Trump also received starkly different endorsements to match their contrasting campaigns, one from the KKK and the other from Variety – it's the entertainment magazine's first endorsement in its 111-year history.

Alexa Ard & Meta Viers McClatchy

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