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In Line At An Orlando Polling Station, Voters Report Relief, Anxiety


OK. Michigan is one state where it is worth keeping an eye on today. Another one of those states is, as always, the state of Florida. The polls are open there. Renata Sago is a reporter for our member station WMFE, and she's on the line from Orlando. Renata, good morning.

RENATA SAGO, BYLINE: Good morning.

GREENE: So you're playing an important role here. Can you indeed confirm that we have reached Election Day, there are actually people doing this thing called voting (laughter)?

SAGO: I have a direct confirmation from the field. I'm actually here at one of the larger polling stations in Orlando. It includes three precincts, and there's a steady flow of people. This is a Republican-heavy area. I'm seeing a lot of Trump signs in the parking lot. But I got to let you know, it's a lot of swing voters. And they're a bit hesitant as they walk into the building.

GREENE: Hesitant - what do you mean by that?

SAGO: Well, it's been such a contentious race that, you know, a lot of people are unsure. Everyone I'm speaking with, they're saying they're picking the lesser of two evils. And for them, that's a completely different candidate. I'm speaking to some Republicans who are hesitant and they're going in, they're casting ballots for Hillary Clinton. They're just unsure and vice versa, Democrats who are stepping in and they're checking off that ballot for Trump.

GREENE: So who have you met?

SAGO: Well, I have met a few people. It's a real mix. Again, this is a Republican-heavy area, but you've got a lot of Democrats. It's truly reflective of how Florida looks. A lot of Puerto Ricans. This is actually at a Puerto Rican church, a large one in east Orlando; also a lot of African-Americans, some of the white voters, a lot of transients folks. I did talk to one voter named Helen Field-Hannucach (ph). She was on her way into the polls before work, and she brought her two kids, a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old. She said she's feeling a mix of relief to be casting her ballot but also some anxiety because it's been such a contentious race. Here she is now.

HELEN FIELD-HANNUCACH: Each candidate was bashing the other instead of really getting down to what their policies were going to be. It was more about this person's bad versus this person's bad. So it came to a point that we didn't let our kids watch TV because it was just being mean.

SAGO: Yeah. So she is stepping into the poll, and she's actually casting a ballot for Hillary Clinton. And she's not super excited about it, but she's just saying she's going to see what's going to happen.


SAGO: And that's what everyone else is saying.

GREENE: And maybe bringing her kids and saying you couldn't watch - I wouldn't let you watch television, but at least carry out this act of democracy and come voting with me.

SAGO: Definitely, definitely.

GREENE: All right. That is - Renata Sago is with member station WMFE. Renata, thanks so much.

SAGO: Thanks for having me.

GREENE: She's part of a great team, NPR's political team and reporters at member stations across the country helping us cover this Election Day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.