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What South Dakota Voters Are Saying

A ballot sits on a table
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Thousands of people voted across South Dakota on Tuesday for president, U.S. House and various ballot initiatives. Here’s what they said about why they cast their votes:

- “I think we need change,” said Brian Sather, 63, a Sioux Falls dentist who voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

- “There’s nobody to vote for. I’d have voted for Mickey Mouse,” said Russell Olson, 48, a Sioux Falls brewery owner who voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

- “It’s hard to lose a job, especially a job you loved,” said Feras Derany, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Syria and Sioux Falls resident who has been laid off. He said he voted for Romney because he thinks fewer jobs would be shipped overseas with Romney as president.

- “It’s good to get them in the habit of voting,” said Brendan Johnson, the U.S. attorney for South Dakota, who brought his 6-year-old and 9-year-old sons to the polling site he voted at and said his wife planned to take the boys with her when she voted later in the day.

- “He’s smart. Obama wasn’t handed anything great, but the country can’t keep going like this,” said Jan Fisher, 54, who works with the disabled in Sioux Falls and voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

- “I like what the president is doing. I don’t like Romney’s ideas on taxes,” said Chris Dorhout, 24, a book seller in Sioux Falls who voted for President Barack Obama.

- “Everything is gridlocked, and we need to break the gridlock,” said Gary Hohn, 61, a retired sales manager from Sioux Falls who voted for Matt Varilek, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem.

- “I’m a Republican at heart, and I like the policies they hold,” said Kathy Tucker, 62, a teacher from Sioux Falls.

- “It don’t matter who wins, it’s not going to get any better,” said Dan Olsen, 31, who works at Walmart in Sioux Falls. Olsen declined to say who he voted for but said he felt it was his duty to cast his ballot. “What are you going to complain about if you don’t vote?”

- “You don’t take the general out of the Army just because he hasn’t accomplished everything,” said Darrell Duplex, 57, a Sioux Falls truck driver and veteran of Desert Storm who said Obama needs four more years to get the job done.

- “The repeal of Obama-care is important,” said Tim Rabb, 53, a Sioux Falls chiropractor who voted for Romney for president.

- “I do believe teachers’ pay should be based on how good a teacher they are, rather than how many years they’ve been there,” said Christy Burrows, a 35-year-old hospital worker from Tea, explaining why she supports a ballot proposal for teacher merit pay.

- “I think if you’re elected to that office, it’s a requirement for you to attend those meetings, to listen to the debate,” said Ryan Keller, a 32, an unemployed banker from Tea, explaining that he voted against U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem because she skipped some congressional committee meetings.

- “When people are dishonest with men, it turns me off,” said David Ballman, 51, an engineer from Tea who voted against the proposed sales tax increase because it was promoted mostly as a funding source for schools, with little mention in the campaign that half of the extra money would go to Medicaid.

- “It’s a small price to pay for improving those programs,” said Chad Hank, 39, an insurance manager from Tea who supported the sales tax increase for education and Medicaid.

- “I just think it might be good to get some fresh faces, some new ideas,” said Jessica Heins, 36, a Tea nurse who voted for Romney for president.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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