First voters trek to polls

Polling places across Newport-Mesa open at 7 a.m.; presidential candidates, Measure B, Proposition 92 await decision.

February 05, 2008|By Michael Miller

COSTA MESA — Arlene Cole settled into a chair at Whittier Law School at 5 a.m. today and prepared to spend most of the next 18 hours there.

The Costa Mesa resident was among those signing in voters on Super Tuesday after she and her fellow volunteers devoted Monday to setting up voting booths in a spare room at the school on Harbor Boulevard. She had never volunteered all day for an election before, and she hoped that her stamina would hold up.

“You can say it’s exciting, but after the excitement ends, you’re numb,” Cole said.

Whittier Law School is one of a number of schools and other venues doubling today as a polling place, with voting scheduled to last from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents in both cities will cast their ballots on the presidential primary and Proposition 92, which promises to provide steady funding for community colleges and lower student fees; Newport Beach residents will also vote on Measure B, the hotly disputed plan that would require the city to build its next City Hall on a parcel of land near the central library.


Many of the polls in Costa Mesa were sparsely populated early this morning, with a handful of residents stopping in to vote before work. Robert Toler, a meat company salesman, said on his way out of Whittier Law School that he cast his ballot for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

“I don’t want Hillary [Clinton] to be president,” he said. “I think Romney has the best chance of beating her.”

Edward Knapp, a retired Costa Mesa resident, also voted against Clinton — but for a different reason. He admired the New York senator, he said, but opted to vote for Democratic challenger Barack Obama because he thought he had a better chance in the general election.

“I would prefer her to be president, but I don’t think she’s electable,” Knapp said after voting in the Wilson Elementary School multipurpose room. “So I’m voting out of fear.”

However, Hillary Rose, a tour guide who voted in the Costa Mesa High School cafeteria, had no hesitation about picking her choice candidate.

“I think she’ll be a great president,” Rose said. “She’s a strong woman.”

MICHAEL MILLER may be reached at (714) 966-4617 or at

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles