Peninsula voters speak out about issues, candidates on Election Day

 

From first-time voters to long-time residents, voters around the San Francisco Peninsula told Peninsula Press their thoughts about candidates, hot issues and about voting in general.

Voter voices:


Xiaohe Liu

Xiaohe Liu
Xiaohe Liu is a first-time voter who became a naturalized United States citizen this past June. “I’m from China originally, where they don’t have the best election system,” said Liu. Liu is excited about the prospect of voting for the country he calls home, and even volunteered to help at the polls, but at the last minute was unable to with work. “I will try to vote every chance I have,” he said. (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Sruthi Naidu

Sruthi Naidu
Sruthi Naidu, 33, always tries to vote and brought her mother along to the polls. “Nothing on the ballot stood out particularly to me this time around except for the water proposition,” Naidu said. Proposition 1 authorizes $7.12 billion in new general obligation bonds, and re-allocates $425 million in previously authorized unsold bonds to fund various water-related programs. (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Paul Ceglielski

Paul Ceglielski
Fifty-year-old Paul Ceglielski voted today to focus particularly on the Palo Alto School Board election, as he was supporting his friend Terry Godfrey who is running. “I’ve lived in Palo Alto on and off for the last 15 years,” said Ceglielski. “Today what mattered most to me was voting for my friend and voting on the water bill [Proposition 1].” (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Kelsey Page

Kelsey Page
Kelsey Page is a Stanford freshman and a first-time voter. “I cared most about voting ‘no’ on Proposition 46,” Page said. “I come from a medical family, and I want to make sure doctors are protected.” The 18-year-old is involved in the Stanford student government as well. “I wasn’t hugely involved in getting out the vote for this election but I did write on my whiteboard: ‘Vote No on Prop 46,’” Page said. (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Karen McNay

Karen McNay
Senior citizen Karen McNay was most concerned with voting for the Palo Alto City Council, specifically in electing Lydia Kou. “[Kou] cares about the residents, not the high rises and corporations,” McNay said. McNay brought her son and daughter’s ballots to the polls as well. “Normally they come with me but today they weren’t able to,” McNay said. “When they turned 18, I told them to register to vote first, then we could talk about their birthday party.” (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


David Vick

David Vick
David Vick, a resident of Palo Alto for the last 40 years, is a regular voter but said this year he wasn’t particularly aware of all the candidates and propositions. “I didn’t fill out the entire ballot because I frankly wasn’t too informed,” said the 83-year-old. “I’ve read some articles and blogs online.” (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Jose Antonio Flores

Jose Antonio Flores
Jose Antonio Flores, an American citizen since 2003, said he wanted to vote for Gov. Jerry Brown because “he has done a lot for immigrants.” Flores was born in Guadalajara and has not missed an election since he started voting 11 years ago. “A vote here really counts,” Flores said. (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Marion and Charles Krause

Marion and Charles Krause
“We vote in every election,” said Marion Krause who went to the polls at Palo Alto High School with her husband Charles and their dog. “There are people dying in other countries trying to have a say in their government. We should never take our democracy for granted,” Krause said. Marion and Charles, who have been married for 40 years, met at Palo Alto High School and enjoy voting together at their alma mater. (Sabrina Elfarra & Carolina Wilson/Peninsula Press)


Donald Anderson

Donald Anderson
Donald Anderson, 70, a retired health insurance worker, said, “I voted yes (on Proposition 45). I think the insurance industry needs regulation just as much as any other industry and anything that’s going to provide that is fine by me.” (Maren Shapiro/Peninsula Press)


Tara Sanders

Tara Sanders
Tara Sanders, 44, an administrator in the Palo Alto City Government, voted against Proposition 45. “The regulation of insurance…I just don’t like that,” she said. (Maren Shapiro/Peninsula Press)


Bob Niederman

Bob Niederman
Bob Niederman, 68, a business consultant, voted no on Proposition 45. “You know, I’m not informed about it, but apparently the big insurance companies favor it, so I’m against it. I don’t trust insurance companies,” he said. (Maren Shapiro/Peninsula Press)


Jamila Rufaro

Jamila Rufaro
Jamila Rufaro is a 56-year-old artist who also worked as a field inspector on Election Day. She voted “no” on Proposition 45 because: “I was without insurance for a year and that was a pretty scary time. I just got insurance through Obamacare and most of the things I’ve read said that this was going to erode that coverage and make the rates higher.” (Maren Shapiro/Peninsula Press)


Nikolas Kallas

Nikolas Kallas
Nikolas Kallas, 43, was voting for the first time in a U.S. election. Kallas, who voted in Mountain View today, has dual citizenship in the U.S., where he was born, and in Norway, where he grew up. “In Norway, we have more parties—here, on the national level, I only had choices of Democrats or Republicans, but [in Norway] we have ten, fifteen, twenty different choices of parties,” he said. “When you have two main parties, like you have here, it gets more polarized … It seems difficult [for the two parties] to come to some kind of agreement.” (Liam Kane-Grade/Peninsula Press)


Geoff McGhee

Geoff McGhee
Geoff McGhee, 44, cast his ballot a half hour before the polls closed in Palo Alto. “I am impressed by the amount of responsibility afforded to voters,” said McGhee. “It is easy to miss the midterm election but I think it’s important to vote.” (Austin Meyer/Peninsula Press)


Susan Davis

Susan Davis
Susan Davis, 63, voted in Mountain View. Davis voted “yes” on Proposition 47 because she says “we are putting people in our prisons for offenses that are silly. It’s targeting young people and minorities, and I think it’s not appropriate to be charging people for these offenses that aren’t all that serious, in my estimation, and putting them in maximum security prisons … It bothers me to be putting a lot of money into prison systems and not money into education and things that would keep people from committing crimes.” (Liam Kane-Grade/Peninsula Press)


Deanna Mesa

Deanna Mesa
Deanna Mesa, 28, voted in Mountain View. She said she voted “yes” on Proposition 1 because “we’re in a drought … it was the only measure [on the ballot] to help with the drought going on in California … The money seemed like a lot, and it seemed kind of questionable, but with the ideas that [they had come up] with to support it, I figure that the money is going to be spent well.” (Liam Kane-Grade/Peninsula Press)


Irina and Robert Cobbs

Irina and Robert Cobbs
Robert Cobbs, 32, right, voted in Mountain View. He voted “no” on Proposition 1 because “it looked like there were a lot of opportunities for backdoor deals or ways that money could be embezzled. Who’s overseeing the money?” His wife, Irina Cobbs, 27, criticized the Mountain View election process. “We are in Silicon Valley, and the process takes so long … why is it not computerized, where they can find your address? It took [about] five minutes to find our address.” The Cobbs family is pictured with son Alex, 2. (Liam Kane-Grade/Peninsula Press)


Naveen Ramadasan

Naveen Ramadasan
Naveen Ramadasan, 47, says he voted ‘yes’ on Proposition 1 because: “I’m noticing water is a huge problem. I was just in India for six months, and it’s a huge issue [there]. Whatever we can do towards conserving, saving, increasing, we should. I don’t know why people would say ‘no’ to it.” (Liam Kane-Grade/Peninsula Press)


Kelly Wong

Kelly Wong
Kelly Wong, who voted in Mountain View, says he voted ‘yes’ on Proposition 1 because: “I feel like there needs to be more investment in infrastructure in the state…I probably would have voted ‘yes’ anyway, but definitely the drought clearly explains that we need more help in the water sector, too.” (Liam Kane-Grade/Peninsula Press)


Lauren Rodrigues

Lauren Rodrigues
Lauren Rodrigues, a 39-year-old, stay-at-home mom, had housing, schools and development on her mind as she went to the polls today in Mountain View. “We need more housing but we need it in a way that doesn’t overburden’’ the schools, she said. She said she wants to see a smart solution to a housing crunch that won’t overcrowd the school system since her two kids will enroll soon. (Yuqing Pan/Peninsula Press)


Rodney Young

Rodney Young
Rodney Young, 45, a systems administrator in Mountain View, said a new housing development plan was his primary concern when he voted. A developer has proposed to build a four-story condo at the intersection of El Camino Real and Shoreline Boulevard near where Young lives. Young said more housing would only make traffic worse on El Camino Real. “I am open to new housing, but maybe in residential areas, not on El Camino,” Young said. (Yuqing Pan/Peninsula Press)


Mike Groethe

Mike Groethe
When it comes to politics, Mike Groethe, a 69-year-old handyman in Mountain View, calls himself a “semi-cynic.” “Nowadays you don’t see candidates go out talking to people anymore. They have fliers and people talking for them,” Groethe said. Groethe said he voted for one candidate he had worked with and another who has longstanding reputation in the community, hoping they have a better sense of what it takes to be public servants. A resident since 1970, Groethe has witnessed Mountain View turning from orchard to a company town. “What happens to company towns? They vanish. That’s one thing the city council should keep in mind,” he said. (Yuqing Pan/Peninsula Press)


Patrik Lund

Patrik Lund
Patrik Lund, a father of three with two children in the San Francisco’s public school system, said he voted for Tom Torlakson because he felt Tuck’s focus on de-unionizing schools detracted from his commitment to education. San Francisco voters were split in a hotly contested state superintendent race between Torlakson and Marshall Tuck. “I voted for Torlakson because I think he’s got the right priorities for our kids’ education,” Lund said. “There’s a lot of union bashing going on in the so-called ‘reform movement’ and I think Tuck represents that.” (Laura Forman/Peninsula Press)


Chuck Malone

Chuck Malone
Chuck Malone, a 47 year-old Palo Alto resident, was the last one to cast his ballot at the University Lutheran Church in Palo Alto. “I want to make voting a habit. It forces me to get educated about local issues.” (Austin Meyer/Peninsula Press)