Part teacher, total parent, Lolly Johnson took her toddler to Monterey Hills Elementary School Tuesday morning and explained everything going on around them.
As Johnson prepared to cast her ballot, she instructed Hendrix, 2.5 years old, that American citizens get to decide who will be their leader, their "big boss,'' for the next four years. That Election Day was a very special day in the United States and that it's our duty as Americans to elect the people who will make good decisions for us.
An hour later, Johnson quizzed her son, "So why do we vote?''
And in one exuberant word he proclaimed, "Stickers!''
Polling places around South Pasadena hummed along with consistent foot traffic Tuesday, as residents voted for their choice for president, as well as a host of state ballot measures and myriad local and regional seats.
Mike Murphy said there was no line inside South Pasadena Christian Church, which offered a parking lot off crowded Lyndon Street. The resident of six years said he had a mail-in ballot but prefers to go in person and blot the ballot. Of course, since he had the mail-in, he had to fill it out by hand anyway.
But the important thing was exercising his right. A long-time "union guy,'' Murphy said he voted against Proposition 32, which he called "anti-union.'' The measure prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.
For Mt. Washington resident Katherine Harrington, who stopped into Charlie's Coffee House Tuesday afternoon, it was the presidential race that fired her up this year. Harrington
"I have a lot of problems with Romney and Ryan,'' she said of President Barack Obama's Republican challenger and vice presidental candidate.
"I think Romney doesn't show a lot of integrity, and Ryan seems to be extremist and makes me feel uncomfortable,'' said Harrington, who affixed an "I Voted'' sticker beneath a pin on her lapel.
She added, "[Ryan] wants to tell me what to do with my vagina, and that's not how I want politics to work.'
Just under five voting hours remain in the general election. Polls will close at 8 p.m.