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But a day before beginning the march begins, some protesters recognized Tuesday as election day in the U.S, and cast their vote in some of the many local races and higher profile races being decided in several states.

Tom Hagan, a 61-year-old salesman from Queens and a Vietnam War veteran, flashed a big smile as he stood in the Zuccotti Park with a sign that read: “Election Day Sale. Buy One Politician. Get One Free.”

Hagan, a registered Democrat, said he votes in every election, including Tuesday’s. He also said he had come to the Occupy protest “because our democracy is for sale; we don’t have a representative democracy anymore.”

Shawn Cronick voted in Philadelphia’s mayoral race before heading to the Occupy Philadelphia encampment.

“It’s easy to be cynical and wonder if it can change a political climate dominated by money,” he said. “That’s not an excuse to check out of the process; it just means we have to do more than vote. We have to stand up for ourselves and against corporate interests.”

Not all demonstrators felt their votes would mean anything. In Louisville, Pamela Newman stayed away from the voting booth, even as her daughter and fellow Occupy Louisville demonstrator, Pam Newman, voted.

The younger Newman said voting is a way to live the values they are trying to stand up for.

“We want to make serious changes,” Pam Newman said. “We want people to be engaged. It’s a good example for us to be involved.”

Her mother, though, was skeptical.

“I didn’t see anything to vote for,” Pamela Newman said. “There’s no candidate who said anything I wanted to vote for.”


Associated Press writers Brett Barrouquere in Louisville, Ky., and JoAnn Loviglio in Philadelphia contributed to this report.