Steady stream of voters head to polls

Polls close at 7 p.m. today

Of a handful of local voters polled in Jefferson City this morning, many said President Obama is starting to turn the country around and deserves another four years at the helm.

“I think he deserves a second chance,” said Kanisha Lewis as she went into Community Christian Church, 409 Ellis Blvd., to vote this morning. “I think he’ll get it together.”

Also voting at the church, which is Ward 5 Precinct 4, were Richard and Laramie Thompson, who said they want Congress to work better together and compromise more.

Richard Thompson said he voted to re-elect Democrat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, to make sure that one party doesn’t control both chambers of Congress.

He said he supports Jefferson City’s annexation and, despite being a smoker, supports Proposition B, which would raise tobacco taxes.

“Hopefully, I’ll quit,” he said with a laugh. “Hopefully, they’ll make it too expensive.”

The Thompsons are retired — he was a state worker, she was a teacher — but say they believe in social programs and the “principle of taking care of people,” as she said.

Of the people interviewed who specified their presidential vote, seven supported Obama and two picked Romney. A couple of people who were interviewed appeared to lean more conservative, but declined to specify their presidential pick.

Harold McCoy, a retired educator and member of the Eagles, said the country is on the upswing.

“I think he (Obama) should be given the chance to complete his mission,” he said.

Obama, he added, represents the lower middle class and people with disabilities.

McCoy said that the Fraternal Order of the Eagles created the impetus for Social Security. And he returned from his car to tell a reporter about his dislike for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, especially Akin’s stances on Social Security and women’s issues.

“Todd Akin must not be elected to the Senate,” he said.

Previously Akin has said: “Social Security, through the years, for many, many people, has been a terrible investment. It’s really a tax, is all it is. Social Security is a tax.”

Akin said it’s not responsible spending.

Whitey and Judy Owens voted at Moreau Heights Elementary School, which is Ward 5, Precinct 3.

“We’re heading in the right direction, so we just need to keep going,” he said.

His wife added: “I sure don’t want to go the other way.”

Judy Owens, a former 1st Ward City Council representative, said she opposes the Proposition B tobacco tax and supports the city’s annexation attempt.

“The city has to grow, and that’s the only way for it to grow,” she said.

Doloris Kelsey said the government gives too much away through welfare programs.

School children, she said, are given meals throughout the day at school, then given food to bring home.

That, she said, is the job of the parents.

“If people can’t afford babies, they shouldn’t be having them,” she said.

Austin Beck, 20, voted today at Moreau Heights, in his first presidential election.

“I voted for Mitt Romney. It wasn’t about him, it was about the other guy,” he said.

He said the country recently has been on a “down slope,” and he believes more things will get accomplished with Republicans in power.

While a quick, unscientific poll showed more supporters for Obama than Romney, a larger — yet just as unscientific poll — also shows Obama with the edge.

In downtown Jefferson City early this afternoon, Chez Monet’s “cookie” poll recently showed Obama is leading the race against Romney: 659 to 618.

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