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Immigration Policies On the Mind of Downtown Pittsburgh Voters

By Alysse Baer, Point Park News Service

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Smithfield Street. Photo by Alysse Baer.

While the surrounding sky was gray and gloomy, the polling station at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Smithfield Street remained bright and lively when polls opened at 8 a.m.

Voters formed a long and orderly line in front of the out of sight polling station, noted Bill Boyle, 67.

“There was a longer line than usual, lots of people,” said Boyle, an active voter, a longtime resident of Downtown Pittsburgh and Point Park University alum.

Boyle is a registered Democrat and expressed a distaste for President Donald Trump’s approach to trade and immigration as a reason he’s voting today.

“Many people believe Democrats want to have the border completely open, that’s not true. Realistically, we want some control,” Boyle said.

Many voters were brought to the polls because of President Trump’s approach on immigration, like Marcia Parsons, 78. Her parents immigrated to the U.S.

“These people are coming here to better their lives… and he’s putting their children in cages!” she said.

She says she watches the news every day on MSNBC and likes to keep up with the current issues. She hopes to keep Gov. Tom Wolf in office and that fellow Democrats vote today.

Melanie Fagan, 25, is also hoping for an impressive voter turnout. The young woman was sporting a shirt that said “Vote!” inside the shape of Pennsylvania.

“A friend and I started selling these out of the trunk of my car and on Etsy. We plan to do it again during next year’s election as well,” Fagan said.

Fagan expressed her current distaste for the current political climate. She recently registered as an Independent because she is not happy with the Democratic or Republican parties.

Many were brought to the polls this November for a variety of different reasons: healthcare, social security, immigration or the Downtown Pittsburgh economy.

This story is posted as part of our Midterm 2018 Election Coverage.

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