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Voters

Voters in Dane County weighed in Tuesday on how they voted and why.

Many of the voters who talked to the State Journal said they felt it was important to cast their ballots on Tuesday because they want change, whether it was in national politics or at the state level.

'Repudiation of Trump'

Merranda Isely said she hopes the outcome of Tuesday’s election is “a repudiation of Trump and what he stands for. I hope the country stops standing for hate.”

“You have to (vote). The future is important,” said Isely, who cast her ballot at the Monona Community Center.

'Time for change'

“It’s time for change in this state,” said Brian Carless, after voting in Monona. “The changes that we started eight years ago have got to be stopped. As homeowners, things have only gotten worse. Everything has gotten more expensive. They just shifted the cost to cities and municipalities.”

Against Scott Walker

Also at the Monona Community Center, Brian Phillips said he voted, simply, “to change Scott Walker’s reign.”

Voting is 'cool'

About a dozen Cub Scouts, in their blue uniforms, got an early lesson on how to vote. Monona election officials showed them where to register and how to cast their ballots.

“It’s cool,” was one scout’s assessment as his dad hurried him out the door to attend a Badger basketball game.

Voter cites leadership

Steve Medall said he supports Tony Evers and Tammy Baldwin. “There are a lot of important issues confronting the state and the country at stake; leadership will play a very, very important role in making the present and the future better,” Medall said.

Unaffiliated voter

Emily Pupack said she is not affiliated with a political party and “is interested to see how everyone, collectively, votes.” Pupack, also a Monona voter, said people are always complaining but don’t do anything toward a solution. She said voting is her way of trying to effect change.

An important routine

Ellen Lundquist and her young children, Bruce, 6, and Lyra, 4, rode their bicycles to The Village on Park so that Lundquist could vote.

“I want to make (voting) part of our routine,” Lundquist said. She said she voted for Democratic candidates as “the lesser of two evils. I’m pretty discouraged with both parties,” she said.

First-time voter

For UW freshman Calvin O’Donnell, it was his first chance to vote. “Your vote does matter,” said O’Donnell, 18. “I guess I don’t feel it’s going to change anything directly,” he said, but O’Donnell said he would tell his friends to vote, saying with “group mentality,” change may be possible.

Important to be heard

Theodore Pedracine, who also cast his ballot at The Village on Park, said he always votes. “Even though your voice is small, you want your voice to be heard – just a little bit,” he said.

Showing support

At Olbrich Gardens, Agate Nesaule said she came out to vote because “I like a lot of the people who are running and wanted to support them.” Tammy Baldwin and Chris Taylor are among her favorites.

'A lot at stake'

“There’s a lot at stake in our state and in our country. I want to share my voice,” said Cheryl Saltzman, a former teacher, who said she backed Tony Evers and Tammy Baldwin.

Against Walker

Robert Grether said he voted because he “would like to see Scott Walker no longer our governor.”

Stronger republic

Brian Bockelman, who held his almost-three-year-old son Teddy against his shoulder as they left Olbrich Gardens, did not want to say who he voted for. “It’s a hotly contested election,” Bockelman said. “I hope the outcome is a stronger republic, with more people voting.”

'Both self-serving'

Joe Bagley of Verona said he used to be a Republican but considers himself an independent now and voted a straight Democratic ticket on Tuesday. “I think I’m struggling to understand the Republican agenda, but I’m not satisfied with the Democratic agenda, either,” he said. “I think they are both self-serving, and I wish there were more than two main parties. Issues aren’t as polarizing as they make them out to be. Real life is much more complicated.”

Anti-trump vote

Tonya Tuomi, an independent from Verona, voted a straight Democrat ticket. “I feel like it was more of an anti-Trump vote for me,” she said. As the country has become more divisive, “the lack of listening to what the people are saying is frustrating to me,” she said.

Straight ticket

Sharon Stuckey of Mount Horeb said she rarely votes a straight ticket but voted for all Democrats on Tuesday “because I believe in education. I believe education under Gov. Walker has been gutted the last two terms. I also believe the roads are in terrible condition. Even some Republicans are in favor of raising the gas tax to improve them.”

Independent splits votes

Lisa Wendorff of Verona said she is an independent who voted for every Democrat on the ballot except for the Attorney General race, in which she voted for Republican incumbent Brad Schimel. Wendorff said she opted for Schimel after reading a newspaper article comparing the candidates. “I liked (Schimel’s) record better,” she said.

Blames Doyle for roads

Tom Benell of Verona said he’s a Republican and voted a straight Republican ticket. He said he thought Walker was doing a good job and “the state is in good shape.” He also said former Gov. Jim Doyle deserves more blame for the poor condition of state roads because he raided the Department of Transportation budget when he was governor to fund other programs. “I’d take that (transportation) department and go private for design and engineering,” he said. “They just got too far behind (with repairs), and it’s an overloaded agency. It could better in the private sector.”

Likes Walker's record

Chris Spitzig of Verona is a Republican who voted a straight Republican ticket. He said he thinks Walker is doing a good job. “We were in a $3 billion deficit; now it’s a plus. Roads are getting fixed slowly but surely.”

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Rob Schultz has won multiple writing awards at the state and national levels and covers an array of topics for the Wisconsin State Journal in south-central and southwestern Wisconsin.

Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.