Philly voters' passions on display in pivotal election - Metro US

Philly voters’ passions on display in pivotal election

Robert Ryan cast his vote for Clinton near 12th Street and Lehigh Avenue, and said he
Sam Newhouse

More than 100 Temple students waited in line for more than an hour at 10th and Oxford streets to cast their vote at midday on Tuesday, an indicator of the large turnout on Election Day in Philadelphia.

For many of them. this was the first presidential electionof their lives.

“It’s been kind of crazy!” said Temple student Brittany Whelan, 18, who voted for Hillary. “The outcome is going to make a big difference.”

She has supported Clinton since the primaries.

“I’m a big fan of Hillary,” she said. “I know there’s been scandals, but I think she’s going to go in there and do some good. I trust her.”

Others acknowledged they were lukewarm on Clinton, but despise Trump.

“I’m glad it’s finally coming to an end,” said Joseph Lorenzo, 18, who originally supported Bernie Sanders. “I’m not the happiest about it, but at the same time she’s the best option we have. … One of my biggest motivators is being against Trump, but I do believe she can do some good.”

Many voters said they just wanted the race over with.

“I’m getting tired of Trump running his mouth,” said Robert Ryan, 69, who voted for Clinton near 12th Street and Lehigh Avenue.

“He just picks on Hillary. He talks about her like a dog. Have some kind of respect! You don’t talk about people like that,” Ryan said. “Darn near everything that came out of Donald Trump’s mouth was a racist remark.”

Even in heavily Democratic Philadelphia, some were tossing in for Trump, including JoAnne Roberts, 63, of Fishtown.

“F— that b—-,” Roberts, who voted for Trump along with her daughter, said of Clinton. “I could spit on her.”

She brought up Benghazi and foreign policy as reasons for her stance.

“Politicians are all people like her, doing what they want, stealing money, they’re liars, thieves, letting our guys get killed over there and not even speaking to their parents,” she said. “They talk about how he treats women … but what about you let your husband do? And stayed with him?”

As for Trump: “He’s strong. He’ll let them know, if you wanna f— with us, we’ll f— with you,” she said.

A.J. Thomson, a Democratic committeeman at the polling place where Roberts voted, wasn’t impressed.

“We’re still whupping his ass despite those two votes,” he said.

One Fishtowner who voted for Clinton was Esmeralda Hajdinaj, 24, who originally supported Sanders but said she was happy to vote for Hillary. She noted some Americans seem to take their right to vote for granted.

“In the end it lies on every single person. Don’t be upset you didn’t take the opportunity to use your right as an American citizen if you’re not happy with the result,” she said.

Hajdinaj, who was born in Albania and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, declined to label all of Trump’s supporters xenophobic.

“It’s part of the cycle of history,” she observed. “It’s not necessarily that people don’t like immigrants, but there is an inherent anger with political stagnation. It’s easier to find a scapegoat than to look at problems with your political leaders.”

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