Not everyone that matters in Orange County can vote, of course. I ran into Chepe while scarfing down overpriced tacos at a taco truck outside China-Mex Super Buffet in SanTana. He came to this country illegally in 1987 as a scared 20-year-old from Michoacán, promptly knocked up some chick, and spent the following 20 years crafting a good life for himself despite his alien status as a construction worker. Is paying off his home–bought it in 1995, years before the subprime mortgage scandal–and his four kids “son puro pochos,” Chepe says with a laugh. Although he can't vote, Chepe's oldest children–22-year-old Andrés and 19-year-old Yuliana–registered long ago and voted earlier today.
Chepe didn't agree with all of their positions–he doesn't think gays should marry and is fiercely anti-abortion–but he did agree with his children's vote for Obama. “El negrito is going to be a friend to Mexicans,” Chepe says, hopefully. “There's just too many of us who are still undocumented. He's smart–he'll give us amnesty.” He says this as he orders a burrito to go for his lunch break later tonight when he cleans offices somewhere in Aliso Viejo.