"Nervous" and "anxious" were some of the words voters used Tuesday morning after casting their ballots at Lake Forest City Hall, one of the city's polling sites.
On Election Day in Lake Forest, voters cited track records, trust and taxes among their reasons for casting their ballots. By early morning, the City Hall polling place had a line of voters wrapping around the building. Much like the nation, a random sampling of local voters showed a divided electorate.
Lake Forest resident and accountant Wesley Hatem, 33, said he spent the campaign season gleaning information about President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney from a variety of sources.
"I like to watch every single possible thing I can get my hands on," he said.
Hatem—a registered Republican—said he was not fond of either presidential candidate. He said he ended up casting a vote for Obama because, Hatem said, the president was more straightforward about his positions than his Republican opponent.
"You have to be transparent," Hattem said. "Romney presented ridiculous responses to legitimate questions. He should've focused more on substance."
Lake Forest resident Michele Hanno said voting left her feeling "great, but still a little nervous." The Romney supporter said she felt the Republican candidate would stand up for "family values" and "morals."
"I need a change from the last four years," Hanno added.
Hanno brought along her 3-year-old son Jamie to the polls. The toddler wore a T-shirt listing the names of all the presidents through 2001, and was the proud recipient of Hanno's "I Voted" sticker.
Lake Forest resident Lisa Hall said she was "anxious for the results" of the presidential race after casting a ballot for Obama.
"I don't think he's been given a fair shot," Hall said. "I think it takes a long time to make change in this country ... he's up against so many things. He's had a hard time."
Voter Bill Stanavich said it's Romney turn to try and fix the country's problems.
"(Obama) just didn't have the right people around him," the longtime Lake Forest resident said.
Stanavich, who is originally from Massachusetts, said the Republican candidate's track record in that state shows he can be an effective leader.
"Most of my family (in Massachusetts) is going to vote for him," he said. "They thought he did a good job for the state (as governor), and they think he will do the same as president."
Andrea Aragon, 27, said her vote went to Obama because he has "really helped us get back on track" post-recession.
"I just don't believe in Mitt Romney," she added.
Aragon said she spent about two weeks going through each of the California propositions to decide how she would vote.
"You really have to read through and figure out if you want to pay more taxes," she said. "There are things I want to vote for ... but I want to keep as much money as I can in my household too."
Tough budgetary times must play a factor with voters, even with regards to laudable legislative proposals, she said.
"Sometimes (the money) just isn't there," she said.
Still, Aragon voted in favor of Proposition 30, which would increase taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years to fund schools.
When City Hall doors were opened to voters at 7 a.m., the line had already begun to wrap around the building, city staffers said.
Lake Forest voting sites were expected to be busy Tuesday, based on analysis of historical turnout, according to the county Registrar of Voters. The Registrar encouraged voters who could to cast their ballot between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to avoid peak times.