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Voters already thinking 2020

As people turned out across Pittsburgh Tuesday to cast votes for county and local races, many already had their minds on the 2020 presidential election. Reporters from the Point Park News Service visited polling stations and political rallies to hear what’s on their minds.

On an Election Day when many Pittsburgh voters seemed to be thinking about the 2020 presidential race, Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden visited Pittsburgh. Biden speaks here at a rally for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who was re-elected Tuesday. Photo by Katie Williams.

By Zoey Angelucci

Barbara Johnstone, 67, a retired professor, said the upcoming election is one of the most important. She stated that she is concerned about issues involving income disparity and other citizens being disaffected enough to vote for President Trump.

Similarly, Adelle Morelli, 51, said she just wants “normalcy” within politics and the country again. Like Johnstone, she voted Tuesday at Epiphany Catholic Church in Uptown.

Voter turnout may have been especially small Tuesday, but each voter had their own reasons for coming out.

Community organizer Glenn Grayson, 33, said that he voted simply because it was election day. He said that he votes every election day and believes the community should be “more involved” with local elections.

Grayson said that he is focused on local issues, because local politics “affect people more” than larger politics. He encouraged citizens to dive deeper into localities rather than dwell on large-scale elections.

By Virginia Garner

Many voters at Epiphany Catholic Church in Uptown said they are eager to vote for anyone but Trump and that the House of Representatives’ impeachment hearings are making them feel emboldened.

“The impeachment hearings are affecting my enthusiasm to vote positively, and I want it to happen, but I don’t want to get my hopes up,” said Briana Simko, 30, a healthcare worker living downtown.

By Tiffany Gilotte

When he was asked if he is excited for the coming presidential elections, Dave Cassidy of the North Side said he can’t wait.

“I’m very excited about next year’s presidential election,” Cassidy said. “I’m very anti-Trump and believe that he needs to be thrown out of office.”

Despite many voters talking about Trump, Erin Wise, who voted on the North Side, said that her main focus wasn’t the coming presidential election.  The biggest race that brought her out to vote today was actually the Superior Court race so she could vote for Amanda Green-Hawkins.

In a very close election, Green-Hawkins finished third out of four candidates for two open seats on the Superior Court.

Virginia Gray, 70, a nurse living downtown, said, “I am extremely enthusiastic about next year’s presidential race. I hope they get Trump out of office and stop making us the laughing stock of the world.”

Several voters mentioned immigration issues at the top of their minds.

“I’ve never wanted to protest about anything, but the immigration issue makes me want to,” Gray said. “The fact that Trump is having children being taken away from their parents makes me so angry.”

By Diana Navarrete

At the West Deer Municipal Building, mothers with their young children, retired folk and others wearing casual, comfortable clothing or work clothes took time out of their day to vote and submit their ballot.

“Today is very slow,” said poll worker Rich Bartroski, 67. “It will probably be all day. It will be busier next May and it will probably be ridiculous in November again. Everybody comes out for the President.”

Many individuals stated that their motive to come out to vote on Election Day was because of a sense of “obligation” or the ability to do so.

“I think it’s very important to vote in every presidential (election) but really even for these off-year elections, it’s really important,” said retiree David Oleniacz, 60, who voted.

“It’s something that everyone needs to do,” said retiree Marie Guslvue, 72.

Even though Trump was not on the ballot, the president was on her mind.

“I’m doing it because I want to make sure that we make changes at the White House,” she said. “The lying, the corruption, the deceit. Nothing is being done in Washington. We’ve got to get the government moving again. It’s not just about the economy and the rich. It is about all of us.”

Marlee Callender, a stay-at-home-mom with her 5-year-old son, said that even though people might be thinking about the presidential race next year, the local races have the most impact.

“The local elections are what control our roads, our taxpayer money, our schools,” she said. “So, this is where we have the most say in what happens in our communities.”

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