AP PHOTOS: Americans cast ballots for their next president

AP News
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Posted: Nov 08, 2016 5:46 PM
AP PHOTOS: Americans cast ballots for their next president

Americans across the country headed to the polls Tuesday to elect the 45th president of the United States. Here's what some voters had to say on Election Day:

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Roy Brook, a retiree from Bessemer, Alabama, stood outside the Muscoda Community Center waiving two small American flags after being the first in line to vote.

He said there is one and only one path to a better America.

"Donald Trump," the 67-year-old Republican voter said. "There is only one of the two candidates who will put America first."

Casting a ballot for Trump was to some degree a catharsis for Brook.

"Going to vote was a sense that I finally got to express my feelings." He added that he feels "very optimistic" about the outcome of the vote.

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Balda Burns voted her party affiliation, casting a ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton at the St. Mark's Day School in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

The election, she said, was "bad" for the United States.

"It was too radical," said Burns. "I'm glad it's over, and we can just be at peace now."

What does she ask of the winner of the presidential race?

"Peace and love. Just listen to help the people that are suffering. It's very important to bring jobs back," she said.

"Whoever gets in I'll be OK with it," the 86-year-old retired nursing assistant said. "I just ask God to give me a few years more of life."

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Russell Madison of Humansville, Missouri, bemoaned the selections available on the presidential ballot.

The 80-year-old rancher said it was hard to believe that "out of 300 some million people, we have two of the poorest people running for president that I can imagine."

Still, the self-described independent cast his vote for Donald Trump.

"No way in a person's right mind would someone vote for Hillary," he said of the Democrat Clinton.

"Even though I don't particularly like Trump, I think he has a lot of good ideas."

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On a chilly, pre-dawn morning in Boulder, Colorado, 57-year-old MJ McCoy dropped her ballot into an official county voting box.

She was excited about the possibility of a female president.

"I think it is really awesome, and it's been overshadowed by all the negativity in the campaign," said McCoy, a food industry recruiter. She voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump.

"It meant a lot to me that women finally have a chance to have the highest office in the country," McCoy said.

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Yoana Baraschi voted — along with her daughter — for Clinton at a school in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, where a line stretched down the block. She identifies as a Democrat.

"It's a right and privilege to be able to vote so I think we should all do our part," said Baraschi, a 60-year-old designer who emigrated from Romania 30 years ago.

Hoping to help elect the country's first female president, Baraschi said, "It's about time."

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Republican Amanda Pacilli of Hinesburg, Vermont, kept her choice of president close to the chest.

The 29-year-old customer service manager said, however, that she is a Republican and that she felt relief that Election Day had finally arrived.

"If my candidate does not win I will definitely not be let down," Pacilli said. "No matter what, I will accept who our president is because I feel that the president is just a face for the rest of our government and the people ... there are really a lot of people behind the president that are really making things happen."

She added: "I would have much rather had a more positive female person on our ballot than Hillary Clinton."

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Peter McGough, a 58-year-old artist from New York, is a self-described "Bernie person." But he bit the bullet and cast his vote for Hillary Clinton.

"I want the Democrats to win," he said as he voted in a school cafeteria in the West Village. "I am filled with optimism. I think she'll try her best to bring the country together and bring a message of hope to America."

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At the stroke of midnight, polls in three tiny New Hampshire towns flung open. State law allows communities with fewer than 100 voters to open their polls at midnight and close them as soon as all registered voters have cast their ballots.

"If 100 percent of this small town can get up in the middle of the night to vote the rest of the electorate should be able to spend an hour of their day to vote," said Tom Tillotson, the town moderator in Dixville Notch.

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Donald Trump got the votes of John and Colleen Kramer, a retired couple from Stockton, Missouri.

John, 64, says he was a Republican but is "fed up" with what the party has done after getting control of Congress. Still, he voted for Trump at the Caplinger Mills Trading Post, a general store at a popular outdoor recreation area in the Missouri Ozarks. He hopes for national unity after the election.

"If Trump is elected I hope it will come together, if not were gonna have two separate societies in this country," he said.

Colleen, 68, describes herself as an independent. She says she wouldn't mind voting for a female president — just not the one currently on the ballot.

"I have no problem with a woman president, I have a problem with the person running today," she said. "It's not at all about the gender, it's what the person stands for and how they've lived their lives before I vote for someone to lead this country."