Like the rest of the country, voters in Spokane County were split on the race for the White House. And many of the issues raised in the national debate were echoed here, too.
"I really had a tough choice between Bush and Kerry," said Norman L. Smith outside his polling place in Post Falls, wearing his World War II veteran cap. Smith said that while he thinks Bush has done "a good job," he also believes the war "has gotten out of hand. It's a real mess." He voted for John Kerry. "Maybe we need new blood in there."
Jill Alvarado voted for Bush in Post Falls. "He has the same moral values as I do," she says. "He believes in Jesus Christ and taking care of business in Iraq, and not letting the war get the best of us."
In south Spokane County, at the Valleyford Fire Station, Paul McPherson also cast his ballot for Kerry. "I just don't like Bush's attitude -- the way he takes our money and throws it away. Afghanistan was fine; Iraq was not."
At the Mead Fire Station on Farwell Road, Lorie Appling also cited moral issues as her reason for supporting the president. "I vote straight Republican. It's all about the moral issues for me. It comes down to pro-life and gay marriage. Why would we sacrifice the things that made our country great? I'm not anti-gay, but there are people that want to align us with Europe. Do you know that in Amsterdam a child can consent to have sex at age 12? I don't want my child molested at school and have it legal because they're 12. There are differences in the parties. Democrats talk about rights. Republicans talk about responsibilities."
Vanessa Roberts, who voted at Bemiss Elementary in northeast Spokane, said she went for Kerry, "because he's a smart guy, and I think he would make a very good president. I just keep thinking how great it would be to have a smart guy in there again."
But plenty of voters weren't exactly enthusiastic about the choices. "Kerry is just the better one of two evils," said Desiree Cassano, an apprentice tattoo artist.
"Bush," countered Greg Doyle, who voted in the Indian Trail neighborhood. "He was the lesser of two evils."
This race was still in dispute late Tuesday evening, awaiting the outcome of voting in several states, including Ohio.