Bush casts his vote

United States President George Bush voted on Tuesday, confident of securing a new four-year term, but expressed concern that the US presidential election result be decided quickly.

“My hope, of course, is this election ends tonight,” said Bush, who had to wait 36 days to know the winner in the 2000 election when the Democrats’ Al Gore won the popular vote but the Republican secured more votes on the Electoral College, which decides the presidency.

“I think it’s very important for it to end tonight. The world watches our great democracy function, and be nothing better for our system for the election to be conclusively over tonight.”

With polls showing Bush and current Democratic challenger John Kerry in a neck-and-neck race, Bush was to make a campaign stop in Ohio as he returned from voting in Texas to the White House.

“This election is in the hands of the people. And I feel very comfortable about that,” he said after voting with his wife, Laura, and twin daughters at a fire station in the Texas hamlet of Crawford.

“I think it’s going to be me so I can go on and lead this country, bring people together, set an agenda, which will be to make sure America is secure,” Bush told reporters.

“It’s been a fantastic experience travelling our country, talking about what I believe and where I’m going to lead this country for four more years.

“And, you know, there’s something refreshing about giving it your all and then saying, ‘The people will make the right decision.’ And I believe I’m going to win.”

Bush said the election will be decided on the “big issues of war and peace and the economy”.

“The issue is, who do you trust? Who do you trust to secure this country? Who do you trust to lead with firmness and steadfast resolution to protect the American people? Who do you trust to adhere to the values, the values that most people agree with? Who do you trust to keep this economy growing?

“I’ve got a clear view about how to lead ...
We’ll see what the people say. Now’s the time for the people to express their will. I am confident in the judgement of the people.”

Bush also sent his regards to Kerry.

“I wish him all the best. He and I are in the exact same position. We have given it our all. I’m sure he is happy, like I am, the campaign has come to a conclusion.”—Sapa-AFP

More US election reports:

  • Michael Moore fires George Bush

  • Polling booths open

  • Let the people decide

  • Media pessimism about Bush, Kerry

  • Last desperate days of US campaign

  • Republicans battle to the last

  • Bush wins boost from terror tape

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