By Kelsey Paulus, Point Park News Service
The constant sound of the radio scanner in No. 4 Engine House did not seem to stop democracy today. With three voting machines and five welcoming women running the polls, voters flowed in and out throughout Election Day in the mid-afternoon.
Fifty-four-year-old Tonya Payne, whose usual work duties are as a safety manager, was the judge of elections at the firehouse polling station. Her duties included making sure the polls ran smoothly, being educated on the ballot issues and being able to answer questions from voters if needed. A resident of Pittsburgh, she specifically feels strongly about the right to health care as a citizen.
“I believe in health care for all single-payers,” Payne said.
As a registered Democrat, Payne has never missed an election and believes that this specific one is going to be “a part of history.” She started her day at 5:45 a.m. and will continue until the polls close, assisting voters, many of whom are regulars at the station.
Teonna Jackson, a 31-year-old nurse, has similar thoughts on health care and also immigration. She believes that immigrants should have the right to citizenship while also having the ability to get health care and jobs. This was one of the reasons why she said she was motivated to vote today.
Frank Francis, 82-year-old Pittsburgh resident, said that he votes every election and holds a disdain for President Donald Trump, claiming that he does not like his attitude. This seemed to be the overall mindset of those interviewed at 3:30 p.m.