Californians joined millions of American voters from Alaska to New York in casting their ballots at polls in 24 states throughout the country yesterday to take part in historic fight between Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) and Republicans Mike Huckabee (Ark.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Mitt Romney (Mass.), which should decide who will lead their party’s national ticket this fall.
On Super Tuesday, radio station KPFK 90.7 FM was at CSUN for a live broadcast of Sonali Kolhatkar’s morning program, “Uprising.” Norman Solomon, Theresa Montana and Gabriel Gutierrez were part of a panel in which they discussed the candidates for the primary elections, their position and issues concerning American democracy. (Oscar Monjaras, Staff Photographer)
Voter turn out numbers are expected to be the largest in history and break primary voting records from coast to coast according to political analyst nation-wide. Poll worker Pauline Zaimah, who volunteered at the Disabled Veterans Center on Corbin Avenue in Reseda, agrees with them.
“More younger people are turning out, we had three who were first time voters, they just turned 18,” she said.
Zaimah also said she thinks that the presidential race will have the largest voter turnout in history as she said she had voters cast ballots who had not voted in the last two or three elections but now want their voices heard.
Volunteer poll worker Cindy Childers from Shirley Avenue Elementary School polling station said, “Other then the presidential election this is the busiest I have ever seen it. We had a line of five or six people this morning all seven polling stations were filled.”
Visits to various polling places in the San Fernando Valley showed a continuous steady stream of voters at each site, which kept polling volunteers busy all day. A few dozen voters interviewed as they were leaving gave various reasons why they were prompted to cast their votes they way they did.
Some cast their votes for Clinton because they think she has the track record and experience needed to lead the country.
Teri Gressman, 44, of Woodland Hills, had not voted in ten years, but said she now wanted to make her voice clear.
“I voted for Clinton because the first Clinton cleaned up after the first Bush and I have confidence the second Clinton will clean up after the second Bush. I like her, I’ve always liked him and they will make a great team,” she said.
“I voted for Hillary as I want her to clean up that place,” said Nanette Jones, 63, of Tarzana.
Others voted for Clinton for her experience, wisdom and how she has handled crisis in her personal life.
“Her judgment to stand by (former President Bill Clinton) after the affair shows she would do the right thing for government as she does not make compulsive decisions,” said Daniel Campos, of Reseda.
“Hillary is stronger, more experienced,” said Satik Andrilssian, 48, of Woodland Hills. “I am hoping Obama will be vice president as they will make a great team,” she said.
Los Angeles resident Brian Brown said, “Hillary has Bill. He spoke on her campaign trail and said she was going to bring Republicans and Democrats together.”
Obama supporters said that he represented change, hope and has an excitement surrounding him they haven’t seen in decades.
Hsim Lee, 50, of Northridge said, “I voted for Obama as I think he is fresh and represents the change that needs to occur.”
“He seems to bring an energy I have not seen in a long time,” said Pam Ogus, 57, of Winnetka. “He is uniting people. He brings new energy and hope into politics.”
Tony Silbert, 42, of Tarzana said he finds Obama very inspirational and has the skills needed to relate to the people and if elected would present a different face to the world.
Don Agronsky, 49, of Winnetka said, “Obama represents the best opportunity for the United States to redefine itself domestically and internationally.”
Romney voters said that they support him for his track record in business and his conservative beliefs.
“I voted for Romney because I am a conservative and he represents conservative values,” said Robert Zangwill, 78, of Northridge.
“He is the only one in the whole group who is going to do anything about immigration,” Don Vineyard, 58, of Simi Valley, said.
“Romney shares a lot of the same family values I have and I like his platform,” said Robert Allen, 54, of Reseda.
Allen’s wife Teresa agrees, “He saved the Olympics in Utah, ran a successful business and has worked with budgets as a governor.”
McCain voters said they support him, as he is a stanch Republican.
CSUN alum Kristopher Valentine, 25, of Reseda said, “I’m Republican and I like where McCain stands on issues and stands by party (lines). Romney is fake.”
“We have to end the cycle of Bush and Clinton’s in the White House. If Clinton wins this year, then Jeb Bush will run and win then Chelsea Clinton will run and win and then Jeb’s son will run and win and so on and so on,” Valentine said.
“I never voted Republican before,” said Tara Katibah, 43, of Tarzana. “I had enough of the democratic brew ha. One is too divisive and one is too young.”
The democratic candidate needs 2,025 delegate votes and the Republican candidate needs 1,191 delegate votes to represent their party in the general election in November. Neither is expected to be determined by Tuesday’s primary election.