The Voters Speak

CP reporters interviewed early voters around the metro area on Tuesday morning. Hereís what some of them had to say about whatís at stake.

PHOTO BY BILL KELLEY

Lorraine Stafford, "under 30"
Homemaker, mother of five
Arlington Senior High School, St. Paul

[If Kerry wins], I hope they don't just back out of the war completely and leave us in the dark, where we'll not have any oil. We will have nothing if he just backs out. Right now we have it but it's expensive. But that's part of life. We hate to pay $2 for it right now, but I'd hate to pay $5. If there wasn't a war I might have gone the other way. I just think it's a bad idea to change in the middle of a war.

Mike Lynch, 44
Pastor
Powderhorn Park building, Minneapolis

I vote the Bible. I vote morality, the sanctity of life. I vote on the important issues, definitely the issues of war, who's better equipped. And I think Bush is better equipped. If Kerry's elected, I'm gonna do a lot of praying. If he's president, I still have to pray for the man. I pray for the president now. I think Bush is the best candidate, but I would still pray for Kerry.

PHOTO BY RAOUL BENAVIDES
PHOTO BY DIANA WATTERS

Tameka Scott, 28
Carpenter
Jordan New Life Community Church, Minneapolis

I'm a felon and actually haven't been able to vote. I've been on the paper for five years, you know, probation and all that. So I hurried up today and got down here, dropped my kids off at school and got going.

I've voted before, but I didn't help Bush get in the first time. Don't blame me. I just feel like Bush is a liar. The wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time. But we're dealing with other issues here, like health care. I'm not sure Kerry has a plan either, but the fact is, I don't trust the president. I don't like the way he looks, or acts; I don't like his demeanor. He's not trustworthy. I've watched Fahrenheit 9/11; I've watched his press conferences. I know what he's up to.

The whole thing is that we keep losing jobs. I'm a single mother of four, and I've got a job, but it's seasonal. There's no other work for me to look for. I'm a felon, I've worked through that, and there's a lot of barriers there just to get a job.

Look, as far as blacks, we've got to get together as a culture. We've got kids shooting each other on these streets every night. How are you gonna get to the governor or the president and get their attention if you can't even take care of yourselves?

PHOTO BY BILL KELLEY

Waeil Kattaria, 21
Student
Arlington Senior High School, St. Paul

We got the election stolen from us last time. But we got it stolen because it was a close race and not many people voted. They can't steal it unless it's close. If they only have to steal one state, and the state happens to be his brother's state, then yeah, they can do it. But if they've got to steal two, three, four states, then they can't do it.... Maybe my vote might not count. Maybe my vote is gonna get robbed. Maybe they're gonna throw it away. Maybe the electronic system's gonna mess up. Hell, maybe they'll steal all the states. I don't know. But you know what? I'm gonna do my part. I'm gonna talk about it to people who will listen and I'm gonna vote. I'm gonna do my little part. I know that if everybody does their little part it's going to be okay.

PHOTO BY BILL KELLEY

Wardell Warren, 73
Retiree
Model Cities, St. Paul

The country needs to turn around and go the other direction because the way things are going isn't going too well. As far as the economy and all the companies sending things overseas, the work and all that. We need more work over here. A lot of people are out of work.

I've been in the service. I was in the Korean conflict over there. We've got our soldiers over there getting killed. When are we going to get out? Another Vietnam? We don't know when we're going to leave. And the deficit the country's in. How many trillions of dollars? The next generation will be paying for that and paying for that, all the way down the line. You know what I'm saying? I hope we get it a little turned around here.

Kay St. John, 48
Former maid and school worker now on disability
Little Earth Neighborhood Early Learning Center, Minneapolis

I never voted in my life before today. This is the first time I ever voted because I am so sick of Bush! I don't understand why he has to hurt everybody so much, especially the poor people. The rich people, it might not matter, although if I was rich I wouldn't vote for Bush anyway. He's cut off all the programs. Programs for rent, for lights, for electricity, for heat. We just go from check to check. I'm not a money person. If I have food and all my bills are paid, I'm fine. But I only get $605 a month; I'm on disability because of my back. And even if you work two or three jobs, which our family has done sometimes, it is hard to make ends meet.

PHOTO BY NICK VLCEK
PHOTO BY MIKE MOSEDALE
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