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Seal Beach, Los Alamitos Hits the Polls

Big issues for locals? The economy, the death penalty and partisan bickering in government.

The economy and the death penalty were two issues on the minds of voters in the Seal Beach-Los Alamitos area today as voters lined up to cast their ballots.

On Election Day at the First United Methodist Church, voters said partisan stalemates and the fate of alleged Salon Meritage shooter Scott Dekraai were among their reasons for visiting the polls.

Much like the nation, a random sampling of local voters showed a divided electorate. Throughout Orange County, voter turnout has been lower than it was in 2008.

At about 1:30 p.m. there was no line at First United, and a slow trickle of voters wandered in over the course of an hour.

Seal Beach resident Dale Allyn, a Republican, said he disagreed with the president on his financial policies.

“The tax situation I consider (to be) not following the Constitution,” Allyn said.

He said he felt Romney would do more to improve America's economic situation.

“We need something to get the economy going,” Allyn said.

Seal Beach voter Dillon Everett agreed that the economy was key.

“Definitely the economy," he said.

Everett said he was undecided but voted for Obama.

Prop 37, mandating food labeling for genetically modified food was something he also felt was important.

"I voted yes," Everett said. "I think there’s no reason we shouldn’t know what’s going on (with our food.)"

But for Seal Beach residents one of the props would be more significant than others, he added.

“I think for this town, probably one of the biggest props … was the death penalty proposition because of the shooting we had here,” Everett said.

Scott Dekraai, the man charged with the mass shooting at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, faces the death penalty if convicted of all charges. However, if Proposition 34 passes, California would eliminate the death penalty.

Seal Beach resident Phil Como, a 19-year resident, also voted for Obama. He said he usually votes Republican even though he’s a Democrat, but this year he voted in favor of Obama and other Democrats.

“I really resented the way the Republicans made it so difficult (for legislation to pass) when they were in charge of the House (of Representatives),” Como said.

As for California’s propositions, he said, he felt they were “really confusing.”

“They were so convoluted that I really couldn't understand what they would impact, so I voted no on many of them,” Como said. 

--City News Service contributed to this report.

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