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Residents in the beach towns of Encinitas and Solana Beach turned out to the polls today to cast their votes.
Some were motivated by state issues on the ballot, like gun control or whether to ban the death penalty. Others worried about prescription drug prices. Still others feared what would happen if their presidential pick didn’t win.
Generally, less attention was paid to local measures, like Encinitas’ Measure T or the countywide sales tax hike Measure A.
Here’s what a handful of voters had to say on Election Day.
Sarapia Walker, from Encinitas, said, “Just being a citizen” is why she voted. “It’s definitely been a rollercoaster of visuals and personalities, but it’s always good to vote.”
Walker voted for local Measure A, but said the death penalty is what she cares about most.
“I believe in the death penalty, but then the racial issues come into play … I want it to be reformed,” Walker said. “They just keep on appealing. They could live for decades on death row.”
She’s also worried about having non-specialized lawyers handling death-penalty cases – Proposition 66 would widen the pool of lawyers who handle those appeals, to include people who don’t have experience handling those cases. She voted against that proposal.
“They aren’t going to know what to ask, so it would be a concern,” she said.
Gene Walker also said the death penalty tugs at him the most out of any issue.
“I think the death penalty prop. I regard that as state terrorism,” he said. “We’re one of the few democracies that does that. I think that’s an important one. Even if one innocent person is executed, it’s not worth it.”
Walker added, “This is a critical election. Could be a disastrous turning point. Hoping it won’t be that way.”
Fellow Solana Beach voter Janet Nielsen said, “I do not want Donald Trump to be president and I want to change our congressional representative.”
She voted for Hillary Clinton for president, Doug Applegate for Congress and Dave Roberts for county supervisor.
Nielsen said she cared the most about a statewide proposition that seeks to lower prescription drug prices.
“Prop. 61 was the prescription drugs. They are horrendously overpriced and I don’t think we should be paying more than the VA,” she said.
Encinitas resident Michael Moore showed up to the polls at Beacon’s Bible Church with his daughter.
Moore said he voted against Measure A, and against the proposed statewide tax hike on cigarettes.
“There was the smoking tax, and I just don’t think we need to keep taxing the heck out of every product on the market,” Moore said.
He voted for incumbent Rep. Darrell Issa because “he’s an entrepreneur,” and for Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, who is seeking the District 3 county supervisor seat.
“She was our mayor here. I think she did a fine job, and there were the issues with Roberts and ethics,” he said.
When it came to Measure T, an Encinitas proposal involving affordable housing development, things were a bit trickier for Moore, who voted no.
“That was a tough one, because I know yes on T, you go right along with the state guidelines, but there’s too much development. We need to keep the small-town feeling … It would be nice to keep the Leucadia, Encinitas feel,” he said.
For Encinitas resident Galyn Thompson deciding whether to vote was a no-brainer.
“I vote every year, ever since I was 18,” he said. Thompson voted for Issa for Congress and Gaspar for county supervisor.
“Kristin is awesome. She’s one of the few politicians that’s just honest and straightforward,” he said, referring to Gaspar.
Thompson voted against the Measure A, but said his major concern involves school bonds.
“I vote no on all bond issues that have to do with education. Fifty percent of the entire state budget goes to education. I work a lot with kids, so I’m really motivated on different ways of educating kids, so charter schooling, private schooling, home schooling,” Thompson said.
Encinitas resident Michael Kugler also supported Gaspar, because “she’s more pro-business.”
He also backed Issa because “he does what he says he’s gonna do, and I don’t know Applegate. He’s got a cool name, though. Issa seems to listen to what people want and fights for it.”
Kugler said he voted “to make America great again, starting with our leadership.”
His biggest concern is “probably gun rights,” so he voted no on Proposition 63, which would require background checks for ammunition purchases.
Solana Beach voter Barbara Varanese was quick to say why she voted: “We came out to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to make sure our country goes in the right direction.”
Leaving the polls at Solana Beach School District, Greg Billmeyer said he voted no on Measure A.
“There’s a lot of measures on there, but in general I’m looking to rein in spending and that’s what dictated my vote,” he said.
Billmeyer said the tenor of this year’s election has been terrible.
“It is such a partisan election. You can lose friends over it,” he said.