Steady turnout driven by different issues

A number of voters were doing their best Tuesday to help Cole County Clerk Marvin Register reach his 56 percent turnout prediction for this year’s elections.

“A couple of local, city issues — the smoking ban — and also the puppy mill thing brought me out to vote,” Bill Farr said, after voting at Faith Lutheran Church, 2027 Industrial Drive.

“The smoking ban — I think area businesses need to ‘man-up’ and make those decisions on their own, without requiring the local, city government to make those decisions for them.”

For many city residents, Proposition C was the burning issue that brought them out to the polls on Tuesday.

“I think it’s anybody’s right if they want to smoke,” said nonsmoker Barbara Engler, after voting at Community Christian Church, 409 Ellis Blvd. “I think it’s getting out of hand,” she said of government control.

Rita Summers, who also voted at the church, agreed: “I think business owners ought to be able to make their own choice.”

Proposition B also carried some voters to the polls, like Farr, “primarily because I think it is going to, eventually, restrict area farmers.”

Engler said there’s already enough dog breeding laws on the books, while Summers supported the idea for tougher regulations.

Andrea Schonhardt, who votes at Fairgrounds Road Church of Christ, said: “I want puppies safe; I’m sick of smoke, and I don’t want more taxes.”

Brent Fischer also voted at the Fairgrounds Road church.

“I feel like we probably need to take our political system back to the center of the road, a little bit,” he said. “I think we’re leaning one way or another too much, all the time.

“It’s more about political parties than it is about us as Americans, and I’m about tired of that.”

Lawmakers brought Carl Wilson to the polls.

“What brought me out today was voting for our new representatives,” he said. “I wanted to make some changes and go with somebody different for a change.”

For Henry Chamberlain, Republicans and Democrats are all the same, and he doesn’t want either representing him. Tuesday was his chance to try to vote out both parties.

“I will always vote third party,” he said. “Any chance I can get to get out a Republican or Democrat, I’ll do it.”

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