Voters across Minnesota turned out to cast their ballots Tuesday with a mix of enthusiasm, anxiety and fatigue after months of campaigns, debates and withering attack ads.
Turnout was brisk for a midterm election, but the mood was muted, with many voters lamenting the country’s deepening political divide.
Retired Blaine business owner Max Miller, 70, said he voted for almost all Republican candidates. Miller said he supports better border security and policies that promote economic growth, but said the most pressing issue is electing people who can communicate and work across party lines.
“They need to be able to work with the opposing party without being rude or restrictive,” Miller said moments after he and his wife cast their ballots at the National Sports Center.
Fatima Diallo, 31, of St. Paul, voted a straight DFL ticket, disgusted by the policies of the Trump administration.
“I am an immigrant child, I am a black woman — plus I’m a woman also — and I am a Muslim,” said Diallo, who works in banking. “He doesn’t care about people like me.”
Many voters, bristling at the partisanship, said they voted for individuals, not parties.
Chuck Chaika, 65, of Burnsville, backed Democratic incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar in one of the U.S. Senate races and Republican Karin Housley in the other.
Lino Lakes voter Doug Drabek said he is liberal-leaning and he supported the waves of female candidates this election.
“Men screwed up this country. Let’s give women a chance, “ Drabek said.
Woodbury voter Yamile Gonzales, a general manager for a lawn service company, said she’s worried about hateful rhetoric surrounding politics.
“I really hope we can come together and talk like civilized people no matter what the results are,” the 30-year-old Gonzales said.
Maple Grove retiree Bob Kennedy, 66, sent his own message as a voter.
“I’ve been traditionally Republican, but I can’t stand the negative ads,” he said. “So I voted third party as a protest.”