• 59°

Local voters have mixed feelings on choices

Brian Romski

University of Mississippi

After over a year of grueling campaigns, voters in Lafayette County are now able to get out today and make their voices heard, as the future of their country rests in their hands.

On this chilly cloudy Tuesday morning, 30 minutes outside of Oxford, off County Road 436, sits an old firehouse where potential voters, volunteers, and other workers sit from sunrise to sunset working the polls. For Carol Tuberville who has been volunteering for the past 20 years, she takes pride in her civic duty of helping people vote.

“Its a hot mess!” Tuberville said. “I’m legally blind, so I can’t serve jury duty because I cannot see the evidence. I do this because it’s nice to have a role and help your community.”

Tuberville lives about five minutes up the road from the firehouse. She gets the voting machines from the State Election Committee and helps set them up properly and the assigned location. However, she isn’t to fond of election. Tuberville first voted in 1992 in the Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush election. Back in 1992, people were expected to vote.

“I enjoy helping people if they are having trouble with the machine. I truly believe voting is one of our most important civic duties,” Tuberville said.  “People are complacent now, they are frustrated with the process. They are staying at home and not voting, which I think is wrong.”

Two more volunteers are Travis Patterson and Jonnie Sue Hollowel. Patterson is aretired cattle, corn, cotton, and soybean farmer who volunteered because the election committee called and asked him to.

“I wish it was over,” Patterson said. “I don’t even know what to think, certainly I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I’ve been in Tula since 1964.”

Just like Patterson, Hollowel is a retired employee who used to be a nurse in the community. She too was called and asked to volunteer this morning.

“I don’t know which is the best, but I prayed for the best outcome for this country.”

The very first voter of the morning was Lisa Hillhouse, middle-aged female from Oxford. Together, she and her husband got up early to vote before heading to work. Lisa is a clinical therapist, and her husband Chris is a Facility Technician for AT&T. Lisa Hillhouse says even through the crazy election year, she still voted Republican.

“Ultimately the deciding factor was military support and the abortion factor,” Hillhouse says.

Thomas Pierce is from Oxford and works for the city of Oxford Electrical Department. He too stopped by the voting station before heading to work in the city. His lack of enthusiasm for the election is evident when asked to describe the election.

“I will be glad when it’s over, I am tired of hearing about it,” Pierce said. “It’s a fool or a fool either way you go.”

The criticism of the candidates does not stop there. Martha Driver, a middle-aged African American worker describes the election as “a mess.” Both she and her husband live in Oxford and she too trusted in the Lord.

“It doesn’t matter who they put in, but I hope to see a woman in there because there have been a lot of men,” Driver said.

Driver’s reasoning is while she doesn’t trust Hillary, she thinks Trump would get us in more trouble because he doesn’t know how to talk to people.

Peter Heim is originally from Maryland, but moved south for family and work. Currently he works landscaping, but is looking to join the police force. A young Caucasian man in his mid-30s, this is the first time voting in the election.

“We are pretty doomed either way because four more years of Clinton means were done and Trump has no filter,” Heim said.

Although, he still believes this election is really important.

“I voted Trump because I don’t like Obama, and him supporting Clinton now when eight years ago he was bashing her is crazy,” Heim said.

The fact that Obama is now campaigning for someone he was so critical now of eight years ago drew Heim out to vote in favor of Trump.

A physician originally from Clarksdale, Will Dabbs came in early to vote like many others before heading off to work at the clinic. Dabbs takes time to explain how his grandfather used to describe politics.

“Back in the day, there was Mom, Dad, apple pie, and the American flag. Politics was simply ‘did you like the Democratic or Republican version of that story better?’,” Dabbs said.

“That is not the case anymore. There is no common ground or anything to negotiate anymore.”