MARTINEZ (KPIX 5) – The Elections Office in Contra Costa County stayed busy Tuesday with a steady stream of voters arriving to cast their ballots.

An elections official said despite the heavy issues weighing on people’s minds, most showed up smiling and excited to vote.

But what were the issues driving the choices they made?

Standing outside the downtown Martinez polling place, KPIX 5 found Juan and Leticia Valiente filling out registration papers to vote, for the first time in their lives.

“That was my feeling before…why should I vote?” said Juan. “But, I don’t know, I think it’s going to count and me and my wife decided, yeah, yeah, let’s go do it. For the first time, we’re going to do it.”

Juan and Leticia Valiente submit paperwork as they vote for the first time on November 3, 2020. (CBS)

Juan and Leticia Valiente submit paperwork as they vote for the first time on November 3, 2020. (CBS)

Juan was not even sure why, it just felt like something he needed to do.

In the parking lot, Ashley James created her own polling place, filling out her ballot in the front seat of her car.

As an African-American, she feels her community is just generally fed up with how the last few months have gone.

“With the presidential debate and the chaos and the riots and just this whole virus, everyone feels vulnerable,” James said. “So, they feel this is their chance to voice their opinion and make a change.”

For John Grubka, it boiled down to dollars and cents, and the economic outlook.

“The stock market primarily, we’re all concerned about the way the stock market is going,” he said. “So choices were made based on the market, where it’s at. It’s been good and we’d like it to stay good.”

Nick Bogdanoff doesn’t like most politicians, so he tends to vote his conscience on moral issues, rather than individual candidates.

“I’m going to support somebody or reject somebody mostly based off whether I think they’re going to do something that’s ethically correct or not,” he said.

Meanwhile, Christy Everett cast her vote to achieve more diversity in government.

“And that we don’t just have an older male population making decisions for both females and minorities,” Everett said, “that our voice is heard because we are represented.”

Everyone had a different reason for the way they cast their vote. Or, like Juan and Leticia, simply because it felt like the right thing to do.

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