By Mitchell Drake, Point Park News Service
Small waves of hopeful voters floated into the South Side Market House this morning despite the heavy voter turnout predicted for this midterm election.
The long historic hall was mostly only populated with kitsch fall décor and the smiling faces of volunteer poll workers. The hall lacked signs, fliers or campaign advocates promoting their candidates. Most of the Market House’s foot traffic came from the volunteers moving boxes for the local food bank into the building and an early morning rush from an Assisted Living shuttle packed with elderly voters. Several voting machines sat in a quiet corner of the hall unceremoniously, free of any kind of congestion or line.
The South Side Market House directly contrasted with how media coverage predicted midterm election voter turnout. The Market House saw an eclectic mix of young and older voters, proving multiple campaigns that pressed young adults to vote were potent.
Many voters in line held a common interest in what guided their vote: hope.
William Dibattista, 38, is a welder from Pittsburgh who registered to be Democrat solely because he wants the world to change for the better, as he finds various and major faults with the Trump administration.
“There’s a dire need to change the infrastructure of this country,” Dibattista said.
David Piper, 29, is an accountant and registered Independent who aims to switch to Democrat. He hopes to see a shift away from the actions performed by the Trump administration.
“There’s an overall incompetence in the government this year,” Piper said.
Raemey Ferreira, 35, a self-employed lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, registered to be Republican so he could vote in the upcoming Republican primaries. Being able to vote in the primary election would allow Ferreira to vote on the next Republican presidential candidate, which he considers just as important as the final election itself.
Some voters found specific points of criticism toward the actions of the Trump administration that influenced their votes.
Spencer Pellak, 25, a pricing analyst from New Rochelle, New York, also registered Democrat to vote in the primary. Pellak voiced his disgust at the current immigration situation in America and praised the effectiveness of cooperation when dealing with socio-political issues.
“The world is missing perspective, and when you lose that you could lose sympathy,” Pellak said.
Joe York, 29, an actor who registered Democrat because of his desire to escape the values of the conservative environment he was raised in. Specifically, York despises the pro-charter school plans of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as his wife, a high school teacher, would risk losing her job.
Poll workers who manned the front tables said they were somewhat shocked at the sparse turnout at the Market House but believed that more voters would arrive later in the day to coincide with the massive turnout they expected.