In the run up to the American presidential election we asked a panel of voters to share their views and predictions. Here they give their reaction to the final result.
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MEET THE PANEL
Name: Chase Erwin
Lives: Austin, Texas
Works: Unemployed college student
Voted: Formerly undecided, voted Kerry
In 10 words or less:
"Idealistic, opinionated, careful to weigh options before making decisions"
My vote was for Kerry. I made my decision based on economic and civil rights factors.
I believed that Bush's handling of the war was flawed and that Kerry had a better plan for the handling of the war on terror.
However, a small majority saw differently. Granted, not as small a number as in 2000, but a majority nonetheless.
Kerry did not win the popular vote or the electoral vote.
There was no reason to provoke a month long vote war as in Gore's case in 2000, so he did the honourable thing and conceded.
My mother reminded me of Jimmy Carter, who has said in the past that it's not right to change presidents in the middle of a war.
In some small way, I agree. Disrupting a plan of war might have had cataclysmic effects on our nation and troops. We can only hope that Bush can use the extra term the nation has now given him to wrap up the war, and bring our troops home.
As a gay person, I am still very worried that Bush's "one man, one woman" idea of marriage is a threat to my civil rights.
I am not a criminal, and I object to having marriage - or any other basic right for that matter - taken away from me as if I was a convicted murderer.
If Mr Bush is truly "a uniter, not a divider" he will need to find a way to both win his war on terror, and prevent alienating an entire group of people in his own country from living the lives they want.
Send us your comments on Chase's views using the form below.
I believe that a ban on gay marriage would be unconstitutional. We all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Monique Gonzales, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Chase, please understand that those of us who oppose same sex marriage are not discriminating against you. We just want to protect our religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman under the eyes of God. Government should never have been involved in this religious process. I believe you deserve all the rights every one else has under the law. But if the courts rule that same sex marriage is legal, then they are discriminating against people whose faith does not recognise the union of same sex couples by issuing a license for marriage. Will the Government then require churches to perform marriages that are against their faith? The separation of church and state must be upheld.
Joe Lane, Vermont, USA
I believe what Bush says about marriage being between one man and one woman is right.
Michael Frasier, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
I agree with Chase. I am gay myself and do not support Bush at all. Bush will take our rights away, if we don't believe like he does in religion. He has separated this country and I would love to get out if I could and move to Scotland. Bush needs to take God out of his speeches.
Lisa, Austin, TX, USA
There have been absolutely no studies done on how gay marriage affects heterosexual marriage in any way. It's been all fear and speculation. As a US citizen, Chase should be allowed the same rights as every other US citizen. Obviously, laws against gay marriage will someday all be considered discriminatory. That's the reason why they need to make it an amendment to the constitution.
Carl, Oxford, MI, USA
Sadly I am trapped here in the "Bible Belt" and I couldn't agree more with Chase. Bush thinks that a slight majority entitles him to force through his perceived mandate to apply right wing "Christian values". I think it may be time to get out of here.
Steven, Atlanta, GA, USA
The attempted constitutional amendment to remove gay rights was a cynical ploy by the Bush administration to please evangelicals and fundamental Christians. It worked. Millions of evangelicals and religious fundamentalists repaid Bush in kind on election day. So much for the constitutional guarantee that the state should remain secular and not be influenced by religion.
Ian W, UK
I also voted for Kerry. Bush and Cheney have done so many things against our country using false reasoning to justify their actions... I am shocked that we invited them to be in office again. Why are the "moral" Christians so afraid of gays that they would prefer to send their children to die in a war that is justified as "bringing freedom to others". I say if you want to protect the sanctity of marriage using laws please take it one step further and make divorce illegal, and perhaps adultery a fineable offence.
Brian Jones, Dallas, Texas, USA
I agree with Chase's statements regarding alienating a good portion of our society. My biggest fears for our country have been that the religious right will stomp all over us causing their beliefs to become policy. That comes too close to combining church and state. It comes too close to countries that already dictate women's lives in society. Our country was founded on religious freedom. No one religion should have dominion over all.
Kathi, Kate, Gainesville USA
Chase's comments sound like so many of my friends. I'm proud of my state (Massachusetts), and its courts. I'm proud of my local representatives, who voted in favour of civil rights for GLBT people. I fear that with the president's re-election, an increase in the Republican majority in both the House and the Senate and the prospect of new conservative appointees to the Supreme Court, these rights will be taken away from the state I'm so proud to live in.
Cathy, Somerville, MA, USA
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