WEST MILFORD After months of hand shaking, baby smooching, speech making and campaigning, the day to cast ballots finally arrived Nov. 2. Many voters, particularly at the West Milford municipal building, were greeted with long lines. Kevin J. Byrnes the West Milford township clerk of 26 years said, "Typically the presidential elections have a big turnout, but this seems to be the heaviest turnout ever in West Milford. The lines have been pretty long, one line has been out the door all day." Some key issues for voters were, homeland security, taxes, stem cell research, foreign policy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and job security. Barbara Tedesco of West Milford commented, "This is a very important election, seeing what other countries like Afghanistan and Iraq are going through makes voting more important here. Homeland security is of top notch importance." We need a President that can stand up to people whether the rest of the world likes us or not." Aiden Metcalf of West Milford also agreed that homeland security is of paramount importance. "I knew 40 people in that building. I'm voting for Bush." Kristen Tedesco a first time voter, who waited almost a half-hour to vote at the municipal building said "It is very important to vote, we need to work globally to solve problems on terror. Also, stem cell research needs to be encouraged so we can find cures for diseases like Alzheimers and make moral decisions and see what's good for society." Matthew Liddle who voted at the American Legion Post felt "This is one of the most important elections in history. It will determine our country's foreign policy. Right now the United States is at a critical turning point that hinges on the election." Kay Turner who returned twice before being able to vote is a senior citizen in West Milford. "At 10 a.m. the line was too long to wait. I went shopping and came back. Even though I am waiting on line it's worth it. It is important to have a voice in politics. Some key issues for me are health care, because of my age, taxes, and the war. I hate to see all the soldiers going over to war. I don't think they are appreciated enough." Job security was also an important issues for voters like Peter Davis. After exiting the poll at Hillcrest, Davis spoke about the direction the country is moving in. "The country needs be moving in the right direction. I'm in manufacturing and make $200 less than I did 15 years ago because my job has been outsourced overseas. That's a main issue for me. Voters felt strongly about exercising the right to vote. Twenty-year-old Meredith Cassel said it is "important for young people to vote." First time voter Jenna Kochakji said: "I told everyone at school to vote, I'm excited to exercise my right to vote." Arelene B. Gontarek said: "Although I didn't vote totally for my party I do believe in voting. It's terrible that everyone doesn't exercise their right to vote. It's such a close election." When asked whether or not it was worth waiting on long lines she replied, " Absolutely."