BU News Service
This article was previously published in the Brookline Tab.
BROOKLINE — Voters cast their ballots in Brookline starting early Tuesday morning.
Jenna Deutsch, 27, a program manager, said she lives around the corner which makes voting at Precinct 2 in Brookline easiest for her.
“It’s great voting here,” Deutsch said. “I don’t think I’ll wait in line for like hours. But I think it was great the amount of people that voted early this year.”
Brookline resident Raphael “Ray” Feuerstein, said he was on his way to pick up his 92-year-old father so he could vote as well.
“Trump asked me to vote and said it was my civic duty, unfortunately not for him,”Feuerstein said. “In a democracy you can vote as you please and as a united country, not divided.”
Doug Allen said he voted for Charlie Baker but “the rest of my ticket was Democratic.”
“It’s my civic duty,” Allen said. “It should be everyone’s. Also, we have an idiot in the White House. I have to vote against the idiot even though I’m not fully Democratic … This is how the country is supposed to run. It’s called the United States of America.”
Esther Weil, 79, said she has only ever not voted once in her life because she was out of the country.
“I feel the responsibility to vote all the time but I feel this election was so important because of Trump and the Republicans,” Weil said. “I felt it was very important even though Massachusetts is a generally liberal state.
Casey Johnson, a 29-year-old who works in marketing, said she always votes but felt it was especially necessary this time.
“I typically vote in most elections but I feel particularly energized this time around,” Johnson said.
Jenny, 24, a graduate student from Boston College, said simply voting is important.
“Everybody counts and if I want my opinion heard, I should vote,” Jenny said.
Ellen Clegg, 67, former editorial page editor of the Boston Globe said she voted because she felt she owed it to her ancestors could not.
“My grandmother didn’t have the right to vote until she was in her 20s, so in that spirit I’m doing it for her ,” Clegg said.
Carrie Johnson, who took her young son to the polling station, said she wants to vote in officials who can help make change.
“It’s important considering what happened last few years,” said Johnson. “If people who are running can give us the change we need, we should vote.”
Prasanna Gore, 51, a Brookline resident who voted in Precinct 2, said voting is an obligation.
“That’s the only way you can make a difference,” Gore said. “Your candidate or party might not always win but it’s your obligation.”
Byron Parrish, 70, a retired Brookline resident who voted in Precinct 8, said voting in Massachusetts often isn’t seen as important as in other states.
“Theoretically in this district it is not as essential that we vote, I think high turnout in Florida, Georgia and Texas will be more important,” Parrish said. “But we wanted to support Elizabeth Warren.”
Kathleen Parrish, 71, a Brookline resident who voted in Precinct 8, said she felt it was her “obligation as an American to vote.”
“I’ve been writing ‘Get out and vote’ post cards and letters all fall, so fingers crossed,” she said.
Lillian Lagos, 72, came to vote at the Precinct 2 location after handing out flyers earlier Tuesday morning to oppose the instillation of a marijuana dispensary on Saint Mary’s Street. She said she felt conflicted about some issues on the ballot.
“I want to do the right thing but I just don’t know what that is,” Lagos said. “I have been asking questions and I am going to go pray. I am going to vote but I don’t know what I am voting for.”
Elizabeth Kane, a wine business professional who would normally be at home working on a Tuesday afternoon, said she stood in front of the Precinct 1 polling place with her clipboard in hand “to bring awareness to people in our neighborhood.
“I live in the St. Mary’s neighborhood and I’ve joined a group that’s opposing the recreational retail shop for pot which is to be opened at Waxy’s,” said Kane.
Yvonne, 56, a molecular geneticist said she opposes the current president. To her, this election means making America who she believes it’s meant to be.
“We need to go back to having some moral values and respect,” Yvonne said.
“Voting is very important, I feel it’s our right,” said artist Esther Robbins, 81. “It’s important if we want things to change, hopefully.”
Nancy Hollomon, 82, said the booths were fast and efficient.
“I was surprised because there was a long row of voting booths and only three were empty,” Hollomon said. “People were going in and out really as fast as [they were] processed.”
Ellen Sugarman a 50-year-old comedian, said candidates in other states are much more important than those being elected here.
“Obviously I cared about Elizabeth Warren, Jay Gonzalez, to vote out Baker and [support] Question Three,” Sugarman said.
Matthew Mong, 40, said he voted because the ballot Question 1 was important to him.
“Number One is very controversial about the nurses hours and I don’t understand why it’s a referendum,” Mong said. “I worry about the nurses. I feel uncomfortable on setting limits.”
“I am trans and voting is a necessity to be able to keep my rights.” said Steph Oro, 22, of Brookline.
Kelly Reiser, 30, a scientist, said she does not have one specific issue in mind to vote on.
“I’m just here to practice my civic duty,” Reiser said.
Tim, 28, manages a cafe and said the Massachusetts Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Initiative, also known as Question 3, brought him to the polls today.
“I hope everyone votes yes,” he said.
Alex Kent, 35, a research tech said by working in the medical field he would immediately feel the impacts on funding from Question 1.
“That would affect stuff like obviously my employment and funding for research,” Kent said. “That was my concern.”
Shimon Amir, 65, a Brookline financial advisor, said he’s mostly focused on Question 1.
“Question 1 was really on mind,” Amir said. “The governor is going to stay the governor,” he added unenthusiastically.
“Voters need to go to the polls if they want to see change,” said Eric Gutierrez, 33. “I am just hoping that people turn out.”
Cassandra Smith, 71, said she voted Republican but was mostly focused on Question 1.
“Question 1 is important to me,” Smith said. “I voted for for Charlie Baker and voted Republican all the way down.”
Tyrese Cox and Randasia Williams, seniors at Newbury College, said their voting experience at Precinct 14 was efficient and easy.
“They accommodated us really well,” Cox said. “We are students from a nearby college so we registered to vote at our school and they made sure that we can vote here, they were very helpful.”
Ben Sattin said he came prepared and the process was “smooth”
“I looked up all the candidates and questions beforehand, so I know exactly what I am voting for,” Sattin said. “Massachusetts isn’t really competitive, but I will definitely be watching the results tonight.”
Rachel Duncan, Olivia Ritter, Maggie Leone, Gaurav Bagur and Puja Patel, Andrew Huang, Kevin Qiao, Sam Drysdale, Natalie Gallego, Diana Leane, Griffin Buch, Anjali Balakrishna, Haley Lerner, Caitlin McCombs, Hedy Yang, Cindy Chen, Andrew Huang contributed to this report.