OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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Valley voters set example for children
By Ronnie Thomas

Apiffany Smith left the polls after casting her ballot Tuesday afternoon at Somerville Road Elementary School with a good feeling.

“For me, the key issues are jobs and education, and I believe I made the right decision by voting a straight Democratic ticket,” said the 25-year-old who has three children — ages 5, 6 and 8 — in school. “And I voted because I wanted them to know early that it’s important to vote.”

Showing up at the polls on a chilly day appeared to warm the hearts of most adults who exercised their patriotic duties. But Smith wasn’t the only voter setting an example for the youngsters.

Carl Cole, who lost in a runoff to Don Kyle in the recent Decatur mayor’s race, came to Fort Decatur Recreation Center with his son Wynn, 2. The youngster, who gained notice in Cole’s political advertisements, sat with his dad at a table and observed him marking the ballot.

Smith voted the party line, noting President Barack Obama “did a good job the first term, and I want to see him again for the second term.”

But Cole said he split the ticket “on about an even number of the ones I actually voted on because some were unopposed. I didn’t write anybody in.”

On the 11 amendments, he said he voted no more than he voted yes.

“That’s because we need to overhaul our constitution completely,” he said.

As for the president, Cole turned to his son and asked, “Wynn, who did we vote for? Was it Gov. (Mitt) Romney or President Obama?”

The questions brought a blank stare and Cole interjected: “He says he isn’t going to say.”

Jim Dunlap, 83, who came to Fort Decatur with his wife, Aline, 82, said he did not vote a straight ticket.

“I voted for the judges on the Democratic side,” he said. “I’ve been in Morgan County all of my life, and they’ve done a good job. I also voted for several Republicans in other races.”

In his presidential pick, Jim Dunlap said he voted for the Republican, Romney.

“I know what Obama has done, and I wanted to see if Romney can do any better,” he said. “But we’re all going to have the same president. Whoever it is, I will back him.”

Alicia Mullican, 38, voting at Fort Decatur, said she was excited by the turnout.

“I was the 548th voter here, and that surprised me,” she said. “The poll workers said it was only the second time they had gone to a second (registration) book.”

Mullican would not comment on the selections she made.

“I wanted to get out and support my candidates,” she said.

At the Morgan County Courthouse, which was headed toward a solid turnout, Dr. Gil Crane, 86, a retired druggist, and his wife, Anne, 79, said they were looking for a change in the country’s leadership because of the economy.

Both said they voted independently and not along party lines.

“We vote for the person,” he said. Anne Crane noted, “What I think is wrong, I think the country has lost its value of what is truly important in life: religion and family. And because of the economics, I feel sorry for our grandchildren who are going to have to pay back the debt.”

At First Bible Church, David Prause, 23, said he voted a straight Republican ticket because he fears socialized medicine under President Obama. But Rosie Robinson Pickett, 70, said she voted a straight Democratic ticket because she approves of the job the president has done.

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