And an independent that said he was employed by U.S. Customs said he voted for Obama because, “In the last eight years we have suffered discrepancies in our jobs.”
One 27-year-old man said he supported McCain because “I’m a traditional Republican and I agree with what he says and less of what Obama says.” And a 76-year-old Hispanic man said, “I think he’s less liberal than Obama, that’s why.”
One 34-year-old white Republican man said, “I voted for McCain but I didn’t like it. He was the best of the two. This country is in deep deep trouble and I would have gladly voted for Ron Paul.”
More than 1,000 voters a day have marked early ballots in the Clark Center this week. At any given time, about 60 people are in line to vote, and the procedure takes about 20 minutes. Aides seem to be everywhere to help voters with their questions. Miami-Dade County has about 50 electronic voting machines to service those in line plus eight wheelchair-accessible booths in the Clark lobby, whose brown-and-orange tile floors and aluminum ceiling might best be described as “business dull.”
The methodology used by this reporter was simple: The only persons interviewed were those emerging from the polling place with an “I voted” sticker displayed on their clothing. No particular age or racial group was selected; voters were approached as they came out. To get them to speak freely, each was told they would not be asked their name or address but could volunteer that information if they so desired.
They were then asked three neutral questions: “Are you a registered Democrat, Republican or Independent?” “Who did you just vote for for President?” “What decided you to vote that way?” This reporter then estimated their age and noted their race and gender.
Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based reporter and public relations consultant who formerly worked for the Chicago Daily News and wire services. Currently, he writes for national magazines and blogs. Reach him at [email protected]