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According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), the province’s opioid prescription rates are among the highest in the country.
Now, the regulatory body is taking action with a set of proposed new guidelines for the safe prescription of fentanyl and other opioids.
READ MORE: Alberta college wants doctor feedback on stricter opioid rules draft
October fentanyl seizure in Calgary the 4th-largest in Alberta’s history: ALERT
Alberta considers supervised sites for opioid use amid war on fentanyl
The new rules would mean more steps for doctors when they are assessing a patient’s risk of addiction, including possible drug screening and prescribing limitations.
“Physicians have been, over time, too liberal for a number of reasons, good reasons in large part – and it’s time we do something to correct that,” Dr. Trevor Theman, the CPSA’s registrar, said.
The college wants the current daily maximum dose dropped to less than half of what it currently is, unless a doctor can justify otherwise.
“Even patients who are on starting doses of most oral opioids – or transdermal opioids such as fentanyl – are already pretty close to the watchful dose, so there’s not a lot of room,” Dr. Brian Knight, an Edmonton-based anesthesiologist, said.
Knight also said the new rules would add extra work for already busy family doctors and could possibly discourage them from taking on chronic pain patients.
The current practice of prescribing requires triplicate prescriptions for anything stronger than codeine. That means the prescription has three copies. One is sent to the pharmacy, one is kept at the doctor’s office and the third is sent to the college and entered into a database. There is no requirement for doctors to check a patient’s history.
“Our members should be prescribing the lowest dose possible,” Theman said. “If they have patients on really high doses, they should be working to reduce those doses and be looking at other kinds of treatment.”
READ MORE: Patients prescribed opioids after surgery not likely to become addicted: study
Patients themselves are speaking out about the possibility of losing access to opioids.
“It’s got such a bad name right now,” Sam Galm said of the pain medication fentanyl.
Galm recently weaned herself off a fentanyl patch voluntarily because she was afraid new prescribing rules would block her access to it.
She is using it to treat her chronic pain.
“I’m in agony. It’s a never-ending pain.”
Galm has tried chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy to cope. Opioids were her last resort but since quitting fentanyl, she can barely leave the house.
But according to the Edmonton Police Service, prescription drugs are a problem.
“From 2012 forward, the amount of files that I see that involve prescription abuse have increased considerably and … (people) are travelling around or being stopped with literally Ziploc baggies full of assorted pills, selling them on the street,” Det. Guy Pilon said.
Pilon said many of those drugs are acquired through the health care system whether it’s through a prescription, acquired from someone who doesn’t need the pills anymore or through theft.
READ MORE: ‘We are in the middle of a crisis’: fentanyl focus of two-day Calgary conference
But Knight acknowledges most patients on large doses of opioids are highly functional and responsible. He worries about how it might affect the doctor-patient relationship.
“Any time you’re asking a patient to pee into a bottle, it becomes a punitive aspect to it,” he said. “It’s going to result in a lot of little old ladies for example, with compression fractures, getting urine drug screens. But occasionally, you do catch somebody that you didn’t think was using it.”
READ MORE: Who pops the most painkillers? How Canada’s opioid use compares with the rest of the world
The CPSA says patients will not be abandoned.
“Those patients need to be treated, not abandoned. They need to be treated as responsibly and carefully as possible. For some, that might mean weaning them off. For others, that might mean addiction treatment,” Theman said.
Members of the public, along with health professionals, are being invited to give feedback about the new guidelines on the CPSA website until Dec. 12.
For Galm, the decision to stop using opioids was the right thing to do but for others it will not be that easy. Galm recalls a friend who was forced to reduce his medication and, in the end, took his own life.
“I’m worried that there’s going be more people that take that route, because when you can’t do anything because of pain – what’s the point?”
With files from Su-Ling Goh
NEW YORK — A woman was crushed to death by a subway train Monday in New York City after another woman pushed her onto the tracks at the bustling station beneath Times Square, police said.
Authorities said the women were on the platform shortly after 1 p.m. and had been seen having some kind of discussion or argument. Then one woman pushed the other, a 46-year-old, in front of a southbound No. 1 train. She died at the scene.
Police said witnesses flagged down two police officers standing on the platform and the suspect, identified as Melanie Liverpool, 30, of Queens, was apprehended within minutes. She was later arrested on a murder charge. It wasn’t clear if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
WATCH: 1 dead, 2 injured in NYC subway shooting
Authorities have described the suspect as emotionally disturbed.
Police were looking at video surveillance to determine what led to the attack, Manhattan Chief of Detectives William Aubry said.
Subway deaths from pushes are not common, but there have been a few in the past few years. In 2014, Kevin Darden, 34, was charged with killing a 61-year-old immigrant from Hong Kong, Wai Kuen Kwok, by shoving him into the path of a subway train in the Bronx. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.
READ MORE: Man pushed to his death on NYC subway track as wife watches in horror
In 2012, Erika Menendez, a mentally ill woman who had a history of attacking strangers, shoved an immigrant from India off a subway platform in Queens. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. The victim, Sunando Sen, was 46.
Also in 2012, a homeless man, Naeem Davis, was arrested and charged with shoving Ki-Suck Han, a Korean immigrant, into the path of a subway train at a station near Times Square.
A fatal subway push in 1999 led to a state law, known as Kendra’s Law, that allows supervision of certain patients outside of institutions to make sure they’re taking medications and don’t present a public safety threat. It came after the death of Kendra Webdale, who was pushed to her death by a former mental patient.
The most expensive home for sale in Canada is a condo in Coal Harbour.
The $58,888,000 penthouse at Three Harbour Green on Thurlow Street is right at the waterfront and has 360-degree views of the city, ocean and mountains.
It’s just over 8,000 square feet with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, plus two rooftop terraces and a balcony totalling 4,840 square feet. It also has a private seven-car garage.
Built in 2012, the property was last sold in 2014 for $16.6 million, meaning the latest listing price shows an increase of 254 per cent.
READ MORE: Vancouver home sales plummet nearly 39% in October
Documents show the condo is currently owned by a numbered company called 0996109 B.C. Ltd.
But with the uncertainty in Vancouver’s real estate market at the moment, what are the chances a buyer will step up to the plate with almost $60 million in hand?
The condo is the only property listed at over $50 million in the country, and is one of only seven listed at over $30 million. Plus, there have only been five homes sold for over $20 million in Metro Vancouver in the last two years.
There’s also the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax that will add another $8.8 million to the price tag, if an overseas buyer takes the bite.
READ MORE: Foreign buyers 1.3 per cent of Vancouver sales
But for someone with that kind of money, realtor Tom Gradecak says they’d likely be able to negotiate.
“If someone is looking to spend $50 million on a house, they will probably find a way to buy the home and likely negotiate part or all of the tax with the seller,” Gradecak said.
On the other hand, UBC economist and real estate expert Thomas Davidoff questions the financial aptitude of someone willing to spend that kind of money on taxes.
“Naturally, the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax makes this a more difficult sale, because the number of Canadians willing and able to purchase this property must be small, and no one got rich paying over $9 million dollars in taxes to buy luxuries,” Davidoff said.
READ MORE: Goodbye Vancouver: Foreign buyers now flooding Seattle and Toronto real estate markets
Even if a local buyer could put together a 20 per cent down payment on the condo – $11.7 million – they would still need to find about $118,000 bi-weekly for mortgage payments. That’s $2.8 million a year in payments.
Check out the photos of the pricey pad below:
PHILADELPHIA — In the place where America’s democracy took root, with tens of thousands shivering in the cold, Barack and Michelle Obama. passed the torch Monday to Hillary Clinton in an emotional but anxious plea to elect her president.
Though the book won’t close on his presidency until Inauguration Day, Obama’s frenzied, last-minute push for Clinton was a farewell tour of the nation. As he crisscrossed Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, he waxed nostalgic, told old stories and teared up as he thanked the nation for betting, improbably, on “a skinny guy with a funny name.”
He said he’d been asked recently whether the hope that defined his campaign had somehow survived eight trying years.
“The answer’s yes,” Obama said outside Independence Mall, not far from the Liberty Bell. He said he was still a believer, “and that’s because of you.”
“In the letters you’ve written me, in the tears you’ve shed for a lost loved one, I’ve seen again and again your goodness and your strength and your heart,” Obama said.
Then the Obamas and the Clintons embraced onstage: The last Democratic president and the current one; the first black president and the woman who, on Tuesday, may break yet another historic barrier.
READ MORE: Hillary Clinton closes with all-star cast as Donald Trump finishes with family
It was left to Michelle Obama, whose visceral speeches this campaign hit a nerve with many Americans, to cast both families as part of a singular American story: One of inclusive opportunity that she hoped would contrast powerfully with the vision of Republican Donald Trump.
WATCH: First lady Michelle Obama asks America to make history once again
She said she marveled at a country where “a girl like me from the South Side of Chicago, whose great-great-grandfather was a slave, can go to some of the finest universities on earth. Where the biracial son of a single mother from Hawaii and the son of a single mother from Hope, Arkansas, can both make it to the White House.”
“Thank you for welcoming us into your communities, for giving us a chance whether you agreed with our politics or not,” Mrs. Obama said, in her own send-off to the nation. She said ensuring Clinton wins the election was “perhaps the last and most important thing that I can do for my country as first lady.”
READ MORE: Where US presidential candidates stand on eve of election day
It wasn’t always this way. In 2008, when Obama defeated Clinton in a grinding primary, there was naked bitterness between the two Democrats that only began to soften when Obama named her secretary of state.
Nearly a decade later, the Obamas need Clinton as much as she needs them, to prevent their legacy from being eviscerated by a victorious Trump. After all, the president told supporters earlier in Ann Arbor, Michigan, all his accomplishments “go out the window if we don’t win tomorrow.”
WATCH: Clinton says America’s best days ahead; clear choice who to vote for
Clinton, too, was meditative about the bruising battles that have led her to this moment.
“I regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became,” Clinton said. In a less-than-subtle display of political symbolism, she spoke from behind the presidential seal affixed to the podium from which Obama introduced her.
READ MORE: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: The most memorable, cringe-worthy moments from the 2016 campaign
The Obamas are keenly aware that whether or not Clinton wins Tuesday, their era is coming to an end, a reality punctuated by both Obamas’ insistence that neither will ever run for office again.
So in a parting gift to Clinton, Obama offered her his campaign mantra — “Fired up, ready to go” — and told rally-goers in New Hampshire how it had been coined by a supporter he’d never met who showed up at an obscure event eight years ago in South Carolina.
“It just goes to show you how one voice can change a room,” Obama said — and then a city, a state and a nation. “And if it can change a nation, it can change the world.”
Changes are coming to BC parks camping reservation system.
Beginning in 2017, the mid-March opening day for reservations will be scrapped and the three month rolling reservation window will be extended.
It now means reservations for the 2017 season can be made four months in advance of an individual campground’s first reservable date.
The changes come after complaints surfaced last year over the reselling of reservations, overbooking, and long weekends being unfairly secured.
READ MORE: Government says camping spot crisis due to lack of supply
“Every year, we make adjustments. Every year, people find innovative ways to get around that. We hope with the adjustments this year, we will have dealt with any of those new complaints,” said Environment Minister Mary Polak.
Much of the blame has also been directed at tour companies accused of block booking and then reselling the sites to foreign visitors for profit.
READ MORE: Hot demand spurs camping reservation black market in B.C.
To prevent reselling, permit holders will no longer be allowed to change the names on their reservations and at least one of the permit holders must be present during the stay. The province says in 2016, BC Parks is aware of 46 incidents of attempts to resell Discover Camping reservations.
In addition, the province will be implementing a pilot project in certain provincial campgrounds, shortening the 14 day maximum stay policy to seven days in five high-occupancy campgrounds during peak season. Those areas include Martha Creek, Mount Fernie, Porteau Cove, Loveland Bay, and Ellison.
The province is hoping a maximum seven night policy will free up more than 1,000 campsite vacancies.
Demand for BC campsite online reservations has grown more than 91 per cent in the last five years. The changes will take effect January 2017.
PHILADELPHIA — Closing out a wildly unpredictable White House race, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump blitzed through battleground states Monday in a final bid to energize supporters. Clinton, backed by an emotional appeal from Barack Obama, urged voters to embrace a “hopeful, inclusive, bighearted America,” while Trump vowed to “beat the corrupt system.”
The candidates rallied voters late into the night, a frenzied end to a bitter election year that has laid bare the nation’s deep economic and cultural divides. Clinton and Trump were both nostalgic at times, looking back fondly at a campaign that has put each on the brink of the presidency.
Clinton campaigned with confidence, buoyed by FBI Director James Comey‘s announcement Sunday that he would not recommend criminal charges against her following a new email review. The FBI inquiry had sapped a surging Clinton momentum at a crucial moment in the race, though she still heads into Election Day with multiple paths to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the nation’s first female president.
WATCH: Trump, Pence brings out their families day before election
Clinton closed her campaign alongside the last two Democrats to occupy the Oval Office, Obama and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as well as first lady Michelle Obama. In a nod to the deep divisions that await the next president, Clinton said she’d come to “regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” She cast the choice facing voters Tuesday as a “test of our time.”
READ MORE: Where US presidential candidates stand on eve of election day
“We know enough about my opponent, we know who he is,” Clinton said, addressing tens of thousands of people sprawled across Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. “The real question for us is what kind of country we want to be.”
Obama’s address amounted to a valedictory for a president whose popularity has grown in his final year in office.
“America, I’m betting on you one more time,” Obama said. “I am betting that tomorrow you will reject fear and choose hope.”
Trump, who sped through five rallies Monday, recalled the rivals he’d vanquished and how far he’s come since launching his improbable candidacy. As he surveyed the crowd in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he declared, “It’s been a long journey.”
READ MORE: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: The most memorable, cringe-worthy moments from the 2016 campaign
Still, Trump was aggressive to the end, slamming Clinton as the “face of failure.” Having made the new FBI review a centerpiece of his closing case to voters, he argued that the Democrat was being protected by a “totally rigged system.”
“You have one magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system and deliver justice,” Trump said. “Do not let this opportunity slip away.”
The comments were a reminder that Comey’s news, delivered in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday, was a doubled-edged sword for Clinton. While it vindicated her claims that the emails would not yield new evidence, it ensured that a controversy that has dogged her campaign from the start would follow her through Election Day.
Across the country, nearly 24 million early ballots were cast under the shadow of Comey’s initial announcement of a new email review. That number represents about half of the nearly 45 million people who had cast votes by Monday, according to Associated Press data.
WATCH: Donald Trump goes after blue States in final push
The inquiry involved material found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman and estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide. Comey said Sunday the FBI reviewed communications “to or from Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state.”
Clinton tried to fly above the controversy Monday, making no mention of the FBI during her rallies. She was closing out her campaigning with a midnight rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.
READ MORE: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump make last push as tight race for White House hits final day
Clinton is banking in part on high turnout — particularly among Obama’s young, diverse coalition of voters — to carry her over the finish line Tuesday. Roughly half the states with advance voting have reported record turnout, including Florida and Nevada, which have booming Hispanic populations, a possible good sign for Clinton.
In Florida alone, Hispanic participation is up by more than 453,000 votes, nearly doubling the 2012 level. Black turnout is up compared to 2012, but that share of the total vote is lower due to bigger jumps among Latinos and whites, according to University of Florida professor Daniel Smith
In Nevada, where more than three-fourths of expected ballots have been cast, Democrats also lead, 42 percent to 36 percent.
WATCH: Can Hillary Clinton claim the battleground States?
Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie downplayed the impact of increased Hispanic participation, telling reporters on a conference call, “We feel that we’re going to get a good share of those votes.” However, he sidestepped two questions about the level of Hispanic vote Trump needs to win the presidency.
Without victories in Florida and Nevada, Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes would be exceedingly narrow. He already must win nearly all of the roughly dozen battleground states.
Trump had planned to keep up his breakneck travel schedule deep into Election Day, but aides revised plans, keeping the businessman in New York.
Midway through his final day of travel Monday, Trump praised his supporters for having created a “movement.” But he warned it would all slip away if he loses Tuesday.
“Go vote,” he urged. “Or honestly, we’ve all wasted our time.”
WINNIPEG —; With the Winnipeg Blue Bombers failing to get any help over the final weekend of the regular season, they’ll open the playoffs on the road. The Bombers will travel to Vancouver to tangle with the B.C. Lions in Sunday’s West Division Semifinal and there’s a new feeling of excitement around the team as they begin the quest for the Grey Cup.
“You definitely don’t take these opportunities for granted,” said veteran receiver Weston Dressler.
Dressler is in his ninth season in the CFL. He won one Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and knows these chances don’t come along every day.
“Playing as long as I have, been in the playoffs quite a bit but I’ve also missed a couple times. And it’s not fun to be at home.” Dressler said.
RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers Kevin Fogg to miss Western Semi-Final: CJOB
“It’s what you always play for,” said quarterback Matt Nichols. “You don’t know how many times you get an opportunity like this, so you know that this exact team isn’t going to be together next year, so just as a team we’re excited to go on this journey together.”
The Bombers are listed as five point underdogs for the division semifinal but defeated the Lions in both their regular season meetings.
“This team has the talent and has the want to, to go in and win and we feel like we can play with anyone,” Nichols said. “Your goals is to get into the playoffs because you never know what can happen in the playoffs. We feel very confident in our abilities to go in and win this football game.”
When the Bombers face the Lions on Sunday it’ll be the first playoff game for the franchise since the 2011 Grey Cup game which was also coincidentally against the Lions. For many on the team this will be their first taste of the playoffs, but there’s still plenty of post-season experience around the dressing room.
“I played in the Western semifinal against Saskatchewan,” said Nichols. “I think it was -20 degrees or something and I think we won that game like 18-5, so I do have a playoff start.”
RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers look forward to Western Semi-Final against BC Lions
“I think the biggest thing for me as a younger player when I experienced my first time in the playoffs, you notice just how much the intensity level of the game has risen,” said Dressler. “You feel like you’re giving everything you got throughout a season, once you get to the playoffs you find a way to dig a little deeper.”
Playing on the road is obviously not ideal but keep in mind this is a Bombers team that went 7-2 on the road in the regular season.
“We don’t look at it as a road game or a home game,” said defensive back Chris Randle. “We go out there and try to prepare for each game the same and go out there and give maximum effort. It’s something about how we execute in road games that’s been working well for us.”
The Bombers won’t practice again until Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm central time on Sunday.
WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Interview
The Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni declared a State of Emergency on Friday. Today, members are just trying to stay one step ahead of the rain.
“We’ve got Sproat River, Stamp River, Ash River – all feeding into the Somas. It’s those headwaters that we’re most concerned about,” said emergency preparedness coordinator Hugh Braker.
Portions of Highway 4, connecting to Tofino and Ucluelet, is expected to flood, resulting in either one-lane alternating traffic and possibly a total closure.
So far, six families from four homes have already been evacuated. Many others located along the river bank are on alert.
“If the river rises as predicted, I anticipate we will be evacuating homes again late Tuesday,” said Braker.
But the weather system is starting to shift north. Courtenay and Comox are expected to be the hardest hit. Only 35 millimetres of rain is in the forecast, but up to another 125 millimetres of runoff from the nearby mountains could compound the situation.
Further north at Elk Falls near Campbell River, the levels are already high. The BC Hydro dam upstream is planning to increase the flow. Between that, the potential for storm surge, strong winds and high tides over the next couple of days, it makes it an area to watch.
But the storm is expected to shift south again, picking up in Port Alberni overnight. Fifty to 100 millimetres of rain could fall.
WATCH: A First Nation near Port Alberni has declared a state of emergency. As Kylie Stanton reports, the community has been busy sandbagging, preparing for potential flooding.
It’s not the first time the region has dealt with massive flooding. In 2014, the event was referred to as “The Flood of the Century.” It prompted the City to move forward with the Dry Creek Improvement Project, meant to protect Port Alberni’s commercial district from flooding.
“It’s handled the amount of rain we’ve had over the last two or three weeks quite well. We’ve had no issues in this area where we would’ve had issues in the past,” Port Alberni’s manager of operations Wilf Taekema said.
But that’s of no help to the First Nation, left filling sandbags and doing everything they can to protect their homes.
Braker said, “It’s not looking very good at all. We’re rather pessimistic right now.”
While speaking in the province of B.C. on Monday, Prime Minister Trudeau promised the federal government would do more to ease a mental health crisis in B.C. and across Canada.
The issue of mental illness has sparked up after the death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer, who was allegedly stabbed in her Abbotsford high school last week by Gabriel Klein.
READ MORE: Did the Abbotsford stabbing suspect fall through the cracks of our mental health system?
Trudeau acknowledged it is time for Canada to step up and address the issue that affects so many Canadians.
“There is no Canadian who doesn’t have a friend or family member affected by mental health,” Trudeau said. “We know the challenge it poses to our communities, our families, to our economy. It is long past time Canada stepped up, in terms of mental health, in terms of fighting addiction, in terms of working to heal the ills that aren’t always visible to the naked eye.”
While mental illness may not be an issue many Canadians can see with their own eyes, its prevalence is undeniable.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says one in five Canadians will experience a mental health or addiction problem in their lifetime. Furthermore, people with a mental health disorder are twice as likely to have a substance abuse problem than those without.
Yet funding by provinces and territories is on average only seven per cent of all health-related spending, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In B.C., that amounted to $945 million in 2013/2014 for mental illness and addictions, as noted by a 2016 report from the auditor general.
“It is something that I have had many long conversations with our Minister of Health Jane Philpott on, and one in which we are of one mind. Canada needs to work with provinces to do more on mental health, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he continued.
“Health ministers are in discussions on the future of health accords in Canada and how we’re going to make sure that we’re responding to the needs of Canadians, but quite frankly, it is time that the federal government be a supportive and active partner respecting the province’s jurisdiction in delivery of health care. But the federal government can and must do more, and I look forward to doing more.”
The issue of mental health isn’t foreign to Trudeau. His mother, Margaret, ex-wife of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has spoken publicly about her battle with bipolar disorder.
“I wouldn’t be my mother’s son if I wasn’t a strong advocate for mental-health and de-stigmatization of mental health,” he said back in April.
WATCH BELOW: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers Global News reporter Aaron McArthur’s question about how the federal government plans to help B.C.’s growing mental health care crisis.
Read Trudeau’s full statement on mental health below:
“There is no Canadian who doesn’t have a friend or family member affected by mental health. We know the challenge it poses to our communities, our families, to our economy. It is long past time Canada stepped up, in terms of mental health, in terms of fighting addiction, in terms of working to heal the ills that aren’t always visible to the naked eye. It is something that I have had many long conversations with our Minister of Health Jane Philpott on, and one in which in we are of one mind. Canada needs to work with provinces to do more on mental health, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Health ministers are in discussions on the future of health accords in Canada and how we’re going to make sure that we’re responding to the needs of Canadians, but quite frankly, it is time that the federal government be a supportive and active partner respecting the province’s jurisdiction in delivery of health care. But the federal government can and must do more, and I look forward to doing more.”
When voter Betsy Winsett cast an early ballot for Hillary Clinton, she did so with as much exhaustion as exhilaration. “I am so ready for this to be over,” Winsett, a semi-retired business owner in Del Mar, California, said.
And though John Barnes, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, retiree, would disagree vehemently with her politics, he seconds the sentiment. Regardless of what happens Tuesday, Barnes, who voted early for Donald Trump, said that he’ll stay mad at a neighbour who’s a Clinton supporter for just one day.
“Then, we all have to move on,” he said.
The campaign for the White House – seemingly interminable and bitterly divisive – has at last reached the eve of decision-making. But across the country, Winsett, Barnes and millions of other Americans continue to arrive at early polling sites, determined to play their part, despite misgivings about the outcome.
In Wakarusa, Kansas, machine operator Edwin Sedam said his experience as a Marine in Afghanistan was central to his decision Monday to vote for Trump.
“I’ve seen good men killed…, maimed. I’ve seen young kids come home completely screwed up,” and some candidates, he said without naming them, have allowed service personnel to “die needlessly… That’s greatly influenced how I’m going to vote because it hits home for me.”
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, though, Russell Allen, a 22-year veteran of the Navy, said he voted for Clinton because he believes she would be better at keeping the country safe and working with U.S. allies.
“I feel like she has the background, she has the experience, she has the ability to reach across to our allies in Europe and around the world to keep our country safe, and I don’t believe that the other candidate has that ability, nor do I trust him to create those kinds of unions,” Allen said.
READ MORE: Early advanced voting numbers strong for Hillary Clinton in NC, Donald Trump in Iowa
By Monday, at least 43.2 million people had cast early ballots by mail or at polling stations, according to Associated Press data, with records in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
The heavy turnout was evident Monday in a number of places, including Bismarck, North Dakota, where waits of an hour or more at the county’s only early polling precinct convinced some voters to give up and make plans to return Tuesday.
“I thought I could come today and save time,” said Natalie Krein, 42, a retail manager who was willing to wait. “I’m really surprised by the turnout.”
Many early voters explained choices based not just on support for one candidate, but rejection of the other.
“I was anti-Trump because I can’t support someone who has promoted hate,” said Roz Booker, 56, a Clinton backer in Tallahassee, Florida who joined members of her church Sunday at a “Souls to the Polls” event to promote turnout.
Danessa Decosta, 20, of Albuquerque, said she voted for Trump “just because I don’t agree with Hillary’s (position on) abortion and her lies.”
WATCH: How would a Clinton or Trump presidency affect the economy?
The split in public opinion, and the animosity the campaign has fueled, won’t be easily resolved, said Michelle Broadnax, 48, a teacher and entrepreneur in Sacramento.
“The division is real. And so I’m really curious to see what and how America’s going to get past this,” said Broadnax who voted early for Clinton last week. “How do we come back together again, and how do we heal after so much?”