Nora G. Hertel
A polling place at the UW Welcome Center
Deborah Kief seemed relieved after casting her ballot at the Madison Senior Center in downtown Madison Tuesday.
"I'm tired of it. It's been just too, too, too long," says Kief, 60, of the seemingly endless election season that effectively began in Wisconsin with the recall elections for nine state senators during the summer of 2011.
Then in June, five months ago to the day, Wisconsin voted in a divisive gubernatorial recall election, which drew more votes than the original election in 2010 between Gov. Scott Walker and contender Tom Barrett. More recently, Wisconsin has drawn national attention as a "battleground state" in the presidential race and hosted a hotly contested U.S. Senate race between former Governor Tommy Thompson and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin.
"It just never seems to stop," says Kief. Despite the frustrations, "It's important that we all go out and vote in all the elections," she adds.
Alex Vlachakis, a 20-year-old university student, is also fed up.
"I'm sick of the political campaigns and the ads," says Vlachakis after voting at the UW Welcome Center on Park Street. He says he is "ready for the ads to stop, the hype to settle down. They are everywhere and there's a lot of bashing of candidates, which is obnoxious."
Nikita Lee, 19, also voted at the Welcome Center. She says she wasn't affected by the ads too much because she doesn't watch television. But she saw tensions rise on social media.
"It's very heated, especially on Facebook," says Lee. "A lot of people make disrespectful remarks."
Lee says she was called a "conformist" after sharing her preference for president. But Lee says she tried to make up her own mind after considering economic and social factors. Now, she says, "I think it's time for all the negative [political] things to be over."