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UMW students cast their ballots

University of Mary Washington students are making sure their voices are heard. Although some voted absentee in their home polling places, many voted or planned to vote later today in Fredericksburg.

Members of the Young Democrats club have been providing rides for students  from campus to their polling place throughout the day, no matter the students’ political affiliation.

UMW student Candace Hicks said job availability is her primary concern going into this election, and she thinks Republican Mitt Romney is the candidate most likely to achieve this. Hicks said she thinks that the next president’s first move should be “making more jobs available so I can have one when I graduate.”

Another student, Margaret Boyle, said she is most concerned with fiscal matters. She also opposes Obamacare and plans to vote for Romney later today.

Student Nathan Bemis, who voted absentee for President Barack Obama, said social issues were his primary concern, since he believes “either candidate will run the economy into the ground.”

Chris Dingus, who changed his residency to vote in Fredericksburg, said social issues and the tax code were his main concerns when he decided to vote for Obama.

“I think he’s the right choice to be president,”  Dingus said. “He’s started the ball rolling, like turned around the economy and just his social standpoints are more what I believe in compared to the other candidate.”

Calli Burkett also voted for Obama, naming social issues — particularly gay marriage — as most important to her.

“I believe that he’s done a great job in the past four years, and while he hasn’t fixed everything, he needs more time to do that because it takes more than just four years to recover such a bad economy,” Burkett said. “And he’s moving forward with this country, and I think Mitt Romney would move us backwards.”

Anneka Early said she plans to vote for Romney, citing the economy and taxes as her main concerns.

Nicole Bethune said she, too, is most concerned with the economy. She plans to vote for Obama.

“I feel like he has made progress over the past four years despite a lot of the criticism he’s received,” Bethune said.

– Bridget Balch

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