Editors's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the version that appeared in our weekly print edition.
Although some Hillary Clinton supporters eagerly cast votes in her favor, some lifelong Democrats found themselves underwhelmed or troubled by her ultimately unsuccessful candidacy this election cycle.
Leslie Heskett, a lifelong Athens resident, said Sunday he is "disillusioned" by this year's presidential election, even though he ultimately planned to vote for Clinton.
"I was a Bernie (Sanders) supporter clear up to the very end," Heskett, who has voted Democrat in every election he's been eligible to participate in, said.
Heskett said this summer's leak of Democratic National Committee emails, which suggested the DNC privately supported Clinton's campaign over Sanders' in the primary, is one of the reasons he feels uncomfortable voting for Clinton.
"When they tried to disenfranchise Bernie, that really upset me," he said.
Heskett said he considered voting for a third-party candidate like Green Party nominee Jill Stein, but he abandoned that idea.
"After hearing (Libertarian nominee Gary) Johnson and Stein this election, I don't think they're good options either," he said. "Even if they were viable options, I would still be uncomfortable voting for them."
Kirk Groeneveld, an Athens resident of more than 20 years, who has voted primarily for Democrats during his time in Athens, said there have been hard feelings on both sides of the aisle. While he was not particularly excited about Clinton as a nominee, he said he would probably cast a vote in her favor.
"I'm not terribly wedded to her, but Trump hasn't convinced me he's presidential at all," Groeneveld said. "If he gets elected, we're going to have a really rough four years."
Kelsey Lenahan, a preschool teacher at OU's Child Development Center and a third-year graduate student in OU's Critical Studies in Educational Foundations program, said she had been struggling with her choice of candidate prior to Election Day. Lenahan said she studied Clinton years ago for a book report and was originally a huge supporter in 2008. 2016, she said, was different.
"I'm disappointed because I've become more aware of the American political system, the influence of capitalism (and) the degradation of our biosphere," she said in an email Sunday. "To me, Hillary does not address these concerns."
For a while, she said, Lenahan was leaning toward voting for Stein. She said Stein shared some of her values and beliefs about addressing the disconnect between our society and the environment, but she had since moved on from that option. In the end, she chose to vote for Clinton.
Although the Democratic nominee fell short in the end, Lenahan felt Clinton was the best choice for her.
"The statistics and my personal observations about the real possibility of Trump as our president made me realize I had to let go of my dream of a new narrative for America and accept more of the same with Hillary," she said.