Voters highlight significance of election, participation

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) — The consensus at the polls in Pensacola is that Election Day is an important one in the life of every American.

In addition to the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney, there are a number of amendments on the ballot and Floridians took to the polls with the gravity of the Nov. 6 general election in mind.

"I've never missed an election since I was 18," said one Florida voter. "And this is one of the biggest."

At each polling location in northwest Florida, political billboards and yard signs lined the entrance. Volunteers and party supporters waved to voters and made their final bids to earn a check mark on the ballot for their candidate.

"There was a line of cars out of the parking lot this morning," said a volunteer hoisting a banner for Romney Ryan 2012.

Even after the rush, the parking lots stayed full. Joshua Sparrow, a Korea War Veteran, turned up to do more than just cast his ballot in Cantonment.

"After I cast my first vote, I went into the military," said Sparrow. "I've been working the polls ever since. It's the only opportunity we have to voice our opinion that makes sense."

"It's our constitutional right," said Mindy Besch, a voter in Pensacola. "It's important for our voice to be heard."

But why go to the trouble? Voters in some places dealt with long lines and malfunctioning facilities.

"The contribution people have made to this country over the years is phenomenal," said voter Roger Silverthorne. "We owe it to them because they gave the ultimate sacrifice."

"I don't want to let all of the tears and sweat of our forefathers go to waste," said another voter.

And as for those who don't think it's worth their time to go to the polls?

"Shame on you," said Silverthorne. "If you don't vote, don't complain."

"No matter what anybody says, your vote does count," said Sparrow. "I'd take them by the arm and walk them inside and change their mind. I can be pretty persuasive."

Copyright 2014 WALA TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Florida (change)

Nicknamed the “Sunshine State,” Florida has a population of over 18.5 million people. Major cities include the capital of Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami and Pensacola.
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Governor: Rick Scott
Lieutenant Governor: Jennifer Carroll
Attorney General: Pam Bondi
State Treasurer: Jeff Atwater
Secretary of State: Kurt S. Browning

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