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Controversial issues could mean higher voter turnout
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GAINESVILLE — Eighteen-year-old Cody Martin voted early this year. Martin said the issues in this election, especially the war in Iraq and taxes, are too important not to vote.

Martin has a cousin who serves in the U.S. Marine Corps and is now in Iraq for the second time since the war began.

"That’s uncalled for," said Martin as he stood outside New Vision Tattooing in Gainesville, waiting to get a black bull tattooed on his arm Friday.

Apparently, Martin is not the only one eager to make his voice heard in Tuesday’s presidential primary.

Local elections officials are reporting higher voter participation than in previous elections and predicting a greater turnout on Super Tuesday.

David Yawn, 25, was waiting to give Martin his tattoo Friday and ready to give it to the system.

"We’re getting taxed to hell and back," Yawn said. "We don’t need billion dollar toilet seats on Air Force One."

Yawn said he will be at the polls on Tuesday. He plans to vote in support of Mike Huckabee in this year’s election. Yawn likes Huckabee’s stance on taxes and the war in Iraq.

But Yawn is also concerned about health care. He does not think it should be socialized, but privatized.

"There’s too many government regulations on it," Yawn said.

There are others who think that health care is one of the biggest problems the country currently faces.

"A country as great as ours should take care of health insurance," said 56-year-old A.J. Fanorknee as he sat with friends in Luna’s Lounge in downtown Gainesville. "We have an insurance program that’s broken."

Yet the men sitting beside him think immigration is a far bigger problem.

"It’s a horrendous problem," said 71-year-old Tim Fetzer of Gainesville. "We need to control our borders."

Fetzer and his friend, 67-year-old Ron Clary got quite fired up when talking about the large amount of immigrants in the United States.

"(Immigrants) are not worried about being illegal at all," Clary said. "(Being deported) is only a temporary inconvenience."

Clary said the biggest problem with immigration, however, is that none of the candidates are talking about a solution.

"They talk more about abortion than immigration," he said.

Fetzer said he voted on Tuesday, but Clary has not made up his mind yet. He said he likes Huckabee, but is afraid Huckabee does not stand a chance. Most likely, Clary said, he will cast his vote for Mitt Romney.

"It’s a battle of attrition..." Clary said. "(Romney) is the best of our choices."

In a way, Fetzer, who said he voted for John McCain, agreed with his friend.

"It’s not what I like about (McCain)," Fetzer said. "It’s what I didn’t like about anybody else."

Despite the excitement of some, there are still those who say they have no intentions of voting, ever.

"I refuse the right," said Eric Carpenter, 30, of Lawrenceville. "I don’t think it matters; whoever we put in office is going to become corrupt within three seconds anyway."

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