Education system needs fixing

A last shot at persuasion Photos by Jimena Montemayor

A teacher says he sees The problems everyday

Joshua Eisenstein, 37, shifted his red umbrella slightly to keep the mid-afternoon sun off his face and peered around the corner at the long line of men and women trailing towards the West Kendall Regional Library polling place in Miami.

He wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand and took a deep breath. Eisenstein had been waiting in line for little over an hour and was still far from the front. He said he had never seen such long lines  for voting.

“These lines are ridiculous,” Eisenstein said.

He had voted in every election since 1996,  he said, but the 2012 election was special for him.  “I’m here to make sure somebody comes in and fixes education,” he said.  To him, he said, “that’s what matters most.”

A plethora of hotbed topics — the environment, the economy and education, among them — combined with the closeness of the race seemed to have brought larger crowds out to polling places.

“I’m probably the least preferential, most undecided voter out here,” Eisenstein said.  “But ultimately, our education system needs fixing. I’m a teacher, so I see the problems everyday. Even though I don’t particularly like either candidate, I voted for Obama four years ago, and he hasn’t accomplished anything. So maybe it’s time for a change.”

Melissa Saavedra, 18, was waiting in line just a few spots behind Eisenstein. She was wearing flip-flops and using a notebook to help shade her eyes from the harsh sun.  Saavedra was voting for the first time.

“I’m really, like, excited, ya know? To like, finally get the chance to vote,” she said, “especially with how close it is.  I know I can make a difference.”

Saavedra said she had been mostly undecided going into the election. “At first I didn’t know who to vote for,” she said, “But my biggest concern is the environment, and Obama wants to invest in clean energy, so I’m making sure he gets my vote.”

More like this: Election - Miami | South Florida

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