Havelock voters back Trump, express relief election is done

Paige Robinson is just glad it’s over.

Robinson was among about 25 people standing in line around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to cast ballots at the Havelock precinct on Election Day.

“It’s been a long process,” Robinson said of casting her first ever vote for president.

By late Tuesday, the lines lengthened, and voters reported waiting for about an hour to cast their ballots at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when the polls closed, about 200 people were still in line and were able to vote, said Melanie Wray, director of elections for Craven County.

“Everyone was pleasant, and an hour wait is really not a lot considering how long the ballot was,” said Wray, adding that about 100 provisional ballots were cast in Havelock, adding to the length of the process.

About 52 percent of registered voters in the Havelock precinct voted in the election, according to county elections numbers.

For voter Paul Dwyer, waiting in line to vote is just simply part of the process.

“I don’t mind standing in line. I will stand in line all day,” he said. “It’s our constitutional right. I encourage everybody to stand in line. I think it would be better if the line was even longer.”

“I would rather be in line and vote than not be in line and not vote,” voter Lisa Aulenbach said.

The results of the presidential race weren’t available until early Wednesday morning, with Republican Donald Trump beating Democrat Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States.

The margin was narrow, but in Havelock, voters overwhelmingly supported Trump. The precinct had 3,330 votes for Trump, or 61.9 percent, compared to Clinton’s 1,789, or 33.3 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson received 203 votes.

Aulenbach said Tuesday at the polls that she was in the Hillary Clinton camp but was happy the election was coming to an end.

“I am so happy it’s over. I am so sick of those ads on TV and Trump does not get my vote,” said Aulenbach. “I think he’s vulgar. I really do, so the alternative gets my vote. That’s from lots of watching, watching him. I can’t stand the man.”

Dwyer said a lot was at stake in the election.

“There is so much that could change for the better or worse. I have children so I am voting for my children’s future,” he said. “I’m a hardcore Republican. I’m voting for Donald Trump. Neither presidential candidate is perfect. That’s something we have got to keep in mind. No politician is perfect. I just respect Donald Trump because he has testicular fortitude and I think that’s what we need right now as a nation.”

Voter Denautica Knight was also glad to see an end to the campaign and almost constant political commercials.

“I’m just really happy to see it come to an end,” said Knight. “It takes a lot of pressure off of you, everybody talking about this and that. I am just ready to see it come to an end.”

Knight, also a first-time voter, said fortunately he hadn’t lost any friends in what was one of the most contentious elections in the history of the race for president.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion,” said Knight. “You can’t not have a friend because he believes in this or that.”

Randal Fracasse, of Havelock, didn’t mince words about his opinion either.

“I don’t want to put a crook in the White House. We all know it’s Hillary, 30 years of experience and rising,” said Fracasse. “I’ll be happy when Trump wins and gets this country moving forward again.”

John Wesley Sneed III, of Havelock, said he voted for Donald Trump “to make America great again.”

“I am ready to see who our next president is going to be and I really hope it is going to be Donald Trump,” said Sneed. “I just felt like, you know, every vote counts. It’s time that we had a new president. Every vote counts and I’m going to make mine count.”

Gail Williams, of Havelock, was also a Trump supporter.

“I came out to just get it done, hoping for world peace, just voting for the best person to run it, Donald Trump,” said Williams.

Robinson said she wouldn’t reveal for whom she voted.

“I guess you could say that it’s the lesser of two evils,” she said. “Nobody’s perfect, but I kind of have an idea of who I would rather have in the White House.”

Either way, she was glad for the opportunity to have a voice in the voting booth.

“Our vote counts and we should get to elect who we want as our president, so I just wanted to be able to have my say,” she said. “I am glad to see that other people are out here expressing their right to vote. It makes me happy. Express your right. Don’t ever think that it doesn’t count, because it definitely does.”