Polling places were packed across the city on Election Day. Many people voted. But many didn’t. Some had issues with paperwork. Some had issues with the candidates. Some had issues with the idea of government.

Some just had issues.

Kahn Kamel, 62, a security guard in the Bronx, wanted to vote but passed his citizenship exam only last week – too late to register. “Everywhere in the world people want to come to America, because of democracy,” he said.

Alejandro Gonzalez, 37, an undocumented immigrant who follows politics closely, said he hopes the next president will reform U.S. immigration laws.

‘Shouldn’t Be Hiding’

“I hope they can give us residency, so we could work legally. We shouldn’t be hiding for such low pay. People are abusive to us,” he said.

Namrata Sharma, a student who is not a citizen, wished she could have voted for Obama. “He seems like the person we need right now,” she said. “We need to improve how the international community looks at us right now, and he does that much better.”

However, many people who were eligible didn’t vote, either. Maria Diaz of Kingsbridge Heights, a life-long Democrat, said she could not bring herself to vote for Obama. And McCain is worse, she said.

For Xujun Eberlein, an author of several books on Chinese culture and history who emigrated from China in 1988 and is now a U.S. citizen, neither government nor race kept her from the polls. She said she’s simply indifferent to politics.

Aida Bevans, 47, said she doesn’t vote for religious reasons. “I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” she said. “We don’t vote for human governments.”