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Readers weigh in on election day: 'I voted because ...'

November 6, 2012 |  2:43 pm

For Teresita Pilina, casting her first ever ballot was a meticulous process.

She slowly read through every name and proposition, taking about 15 minutes to finalize her ballot.

When she was finished, she triumphantly declared to the poll workers in an Echo Park garage:  "It was my first time! After 25 years as a citizen, this was my first time voting."

Pilina said there was no specific issue that drew her to the polls on Tuesday. From the economy to gas prices to schools to graffiti -- she said she felt like she could no longer stay on the sidelines of the political process.

"I just knew it was time for me to vote," she said, glancing down at the "I voted" sticker placed on her shirt just moments before. "I'm sorry I never did this before."

The Times asked readers to tell us why they voted. Here's a sampling of their answers:

Election Day in L.A.: 'I voted because...'

Storified by @lanow's curation of social media · Tue, Nov 06 2012 14:13:55

http://instagr.am/p/RszAp_ySwZ/ @lanow I voted because I want education to see its fair share of funds. I voted to make a difference. #LAVotesMeg
@LANow I voted because I believe in equal rights for all! #obamaEstefania Gonçalves
@LANow I voted because people died for me to be able to vote today.Rolly
@LANow I care about all Americans, not just the wealthy ones.Joseph Batten
@LANow I voted because my three daughters future depend on it.Leslie
“@LANow: Voters, finish this sentence: "I voted because...." reproductive rights r under attack & I want US 2 move 4ward not backward 50 yrsWendy C. Ortiz
@LANow APLA staff members voted because everyone's voice deserves to be heard. #electionday #LAVote #election2012 http://pic.twitter.com/jRMJjavPAIDS Project L.A.
#novoice #bettertomorrow #forthenextgeneration #soshecanvoteoneday @lanow http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=530957474&mt=8 http://pic.twitter.com/q2UfyorOUrsula
@latimes @LANow #LAVote ...to honor my Uncle Loren Madrid who was KIA in WWII...he was 19 yrs old & he never had a chance to vote...Carol Peraza
@LANow I voted because my voice matters!! I voted because as a woman this election directly impacts me!!Alicia Luther
@latimes @lanow #LAvote I voted bec CA props are important to USA's future. CA leads nation in progressive action. http://pic.twitter.com/ZwJbqOLNDouglas Caballero
@LANow I voted to reelect a president who works for the middle class, treats gays as equal citizens and protects my right to choose. #GoVoteBich Ngoc Cao
@LANow I voted because I want to help end the death penalty in California!Matthew
@LANow I voted because I have #madlove for this country and to have a choice plus a voice. #freedomchristy goodsell
Because my voice matters RT @LANow Voters, finish this sentence: "I voted because...." Tweet your answers @LANow!JS Martin II
@LANow Because I care!California Footwear

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27% of voters in L.A. County cast ballots by noon; lower than '08

-- Wesley Lowery in Echo Park