George Garrett, 42, of Annapolis similarly credits federal programs with helping him acquire treatment for a heart ailment, as well as training for a new career after losing his job with the U.S. Postal Service. That persuaded him to vote Tuesday for Obama.

"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be able to do the job I have now," said Garrett, who runs a program at a senior assisted-living home.

He gave Romney some consideration but decided against him after reviewing his record as Massachusetts governor and his stance against federal funding for PBS. "Sesame Street taught me my ABCs and 1-2-3s," Garrett said.

Ray Palmer, 31, of Northeast Baltimore's Cedonia neighborhood, said he believes Obama, unlike Romney, "is for the people."

Palmer said he hoped that in a second term, the president could further stabilize the economy and cut the deficit.

"Someone needs to get the job done. I hope he's the guy to do it," said Palmer, a distribution manager for a home heath care business. "I'm not saying I don't think Obama hasn't gotten the job done. But he does work as a team with Congress."

Like others, Palmer was voting for Obama for a second time, gladly, even if his choice didn't carry the same monumental weight as the first time around.

"Last time," he said, "it was more exciting because it was historic."

Baltimore Sun reporters Erin Cox, Justin Fenton, Erica L. Green, Alison Knezevich, Andrea F. Siegel and Timothy B. Wheeler contributed to this article.

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