After spending the lion’s share of today there, I suggest some of the finest polling places in town are in the new District 9. I visited an elementary school surrounded by violet jacaranda trees in Kensington, a Buddhist temple in City Heights and a church in Mt. Hope whose white steeple stood starkly against the bright blue sky at noon.

But it wasn’t just the places that made my morning enjoyable; I had a bunch of interesting conversations with my San Diego neighbors about the issues that matter most to them this Election Day. I posted snippets along the way, but here’s a roundup of some of the things I heard and noticed:

I started off the morning at the City Heights Recreation Center.

Debbie Garcia, 63, voted at City Hts Rec Ctr for Fletcher. “… the other people were too extreme on either side.” 1/2…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Garcia said she’s a registered Democrat, but if she’d been allowed to cast a vote in the Republican presidential primary, she’d have voted for Mitt Romney. She voted against Prop. B, the measure to change city employee pensions to 401(k) plans, even though she said the pensions need to change. And she voted for Marti Emerald for City Council, who would be representing City Heights for the first time if reelected.

Next I went to Benjamin Franklin Elementary in Kensington.

Jacarandas poppin’ this morning at the Franklin Elementary polling place. #sdvote…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

I met Todd Cardiff, an environmental attorney.

Todd Cardiff, 44: most important vote today is against “anti-union” Prop A, “not a fair way to treat city workers.”…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Cardiff voted for Filner (“anybody but DeMaio”) and Emerald, who he says has been a good environmental voice on Council. Voted against B.

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Then I talked to Edward Beasley.

Edward Beasley, 47, voted anti- Prop A & B, attempts to “bust unions.” Camarillo b/c Emerald doesn’t have right bkgnd.…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Beasley voted Filner; others “a right-wing loon & a sneaky rightwing loon who does latenight deals.” Dumanis? “not a real interest.” #sdvote

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

I headed next for the Wesley United Methodist Church polling place at 54th Street and El Cajon Boulevard. It seemed most folks voting here were from Talmadge or the border of the College Area.

At 54th/El Cajon poll, Angie Johnsey, 76, voted for DeMaio and for A and B. “I think our unions are too powerful.”…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

On mayor, Johnsey said she “wasn’t real happy with any of them” but feared Fletcher would back unions. Voted against Emerald. #sdvote

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

I came back through City Heights to stop by the Buddhist temple on Central Avenue.

Not a bad place to vote in City Heights. #sdvote…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Shirtless dude passing the Buddhist temple declines to state his name but predicts DeMaio will be San Diego’s next mayor. #sdvote

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

The next person I met was wearing a shirt, and a fabulously appropriate one at that.

Sharon Heiner, 70, sports the best shirt I’ve seen. Has lived here for 37 yrs, since the moniker was “East SD” #sdvote…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Heiner voted for Romney (her most important vote) & DeMaio. “We need to change the pensions.” Voted for Prop B. but also for Marti Emerald.

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

I headed down the road to one of three southeastern San Diego neighborhoods in the new Ninth District: Mt. Hope.

Variations on a theme, but bit of a different spot from the last. Now at Mt Sinai Baptist Church in Mt Hope. #sdvote…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Here’s Glenda Patrick, 62, a retired city worker who’s lived in Mt Hope all her life. #sdvote…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

Patrick said she voted for Filner, whose kids went to school with hers, and against Prop B. DeMaio? “No way!” Voted Emerald. #sdvote

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

The next person I met in Mt. Hope was Patrick’s polar opposite.

Mt Hope’s Israel Alvarez, 35, just voted for Carl DeMaio, which he considered most important race today. #sdvote…

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

“Nobody likes DeMaio because he actually takes a stand on things he thinks are important.” But Alvarez, for 1, likes pensions stance #sdvote

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

In Mt Hope, Alvarez also voted for Camarillo, whom he said he knew the most about, and for Prop B. #sdvote

— Kelly Bennett (@kellyrbennett) June 5, 2012

I tried to find more voices from the district’s other two southeastern neighborhoods, Southcrest and Mountain View, but couldn’t find anyone willing to talk with me.

Thanks to everyone who shared their perspective with me this morning. These are the kind of reporting days I love — getting to talk with all sorts of different people about things that matter to them.

What about you? See an opinion above you like? One you disagree with? Whom did you vote for, and why? Leave us a comment below and share your two cents. And watch our election coverage page for our other polling place coverage from districts 1 and 7.

And meanwhile, catch up on the issues these voters talked about with our handy voter’s guide.

I’m Kelly Bennett, arts editor for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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