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Politics & Government

Decision time: Delawareans cast their ballots

The polls are open and Delawareans are flocking to voting booths up and down the state.

Tomorrow morning Delawareans will wake up with new Governor and President-elects for the first time in eight years.

As of noon, state officials say about 160,000 people voted at the polls with another 24,000 casting an absentee ballot.

For many, the last year in presidential politics has been contentious.

 
Gayle Williams voted at her polling place in Dover. She was anxious about the presidential results, but said it was her duty to cast her ballot.

“People fought for the right to vote. I have a responsibility. I brought my son to show him we all have a responsibility to vote," Williams said.

To Williams the presidential race isn't the only important contest this year. She made sure to vote for Governor and Delaware’s lone U.S. House seat.

Michael Tiellman voted the entire ticket, too. He said people who don’t come out to vote today have no right to complain about what happens tomorrow.

“We all have a voice. If you don’t put it out there, then I don’t want to hear no complaining. Can’t do nothing about it if you don’t get out and vote.”

Volunteers at Wilmington’s Trolley Square polling place inside Luther Towers said voters were lined up outside as early as 6 a.m.

 

More than 200 First State residents voted there before 10 a.m., then the crowd started thinning out.

 

However, a steady stream of voters continued. Among them was resident Gary Copeland.

 

Copeland moved to Wilmington recently from Norfolk, Virginia and said the main issue driving him to the polls were gay rights.

 

“My husband and I want to make sure marriage equality remains the law of the land,” he said.

 

They’ve been together seventeen years, but just recently got married in the First State.

 

Copeland said the area could be more open when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

 

“The gay community in Wilmington is not very obvious,” Copeland said.

 

Copeland, who says he was born and bred as a yellow dog Democrat in Oklahoma, maintained his Democratic stance when voting Tuesday.

 

“I voted for a female for president and I voted straight down the Democratic ticket,” he said.

 

Copeland is a member of a worldwide organization of gay men called Prime Timers Worldwide, and hopes to start – or get involved – with a similar organization in Delaware.

 

Donald Trump supporters were out in force at polls in Milford, enjoying the sunshine and 70 degree temperatures.

 

76-year-old Charles Masten and his wife Judith from Harrington say they voted a straight Republican ticket.

 

Charles says Trump will help rebuild America to its former glory – especially in luring manufacturing jobs to return stateside.

 

“Bringing businesses back from the other countries. I think that our country is dying off. I think that’d be a great thing – he just wants to make it better and greater,” Masten said.

 
But that doesn’t mean they were excited to cast their ballot for Donald Trump.

 

Social worker Susanne Heritage Madanat from Milford says she would’ve rather have voted for Bernie Sanders, who lost to Clinton in a bruising primary.

 

“Trump is Trump and he’s not what I want my son to aspire to be either. I don’t like either one of them, but I think that if that scares us from voting we become a society that doesn’t vote,” Heritage Madanant said.

 

Abigmael Torres, a 39-year-old former Marine from Houston, says Trump would make an “awesome” president, forcing countries to respect America again.

 

Voters seemed split as to whether Americans could coalesce around their eventual president, but Torres says it can be done.

 

“I think everybody just needs to put the big boy’s underwear on, put the big girl panty on, stop bickering, stop fighting and let’s make America what America was before,” he said.

Polls close at 8 p.m.