The Americans agree before the midterms: “Vote, vote, vote”

The Americans agree before the midterms: “Vote, vote, vote”


With less than 12 hours to go before polls open for the US midterm elections, Americans remain deeply polarized on issues from immigration to abortion — although many shared concerns about their country’s democracy.

With control of the United States Congress at stake, citizens expressed concerns about the future, whether they were Republicans doubting the integrity of the vote or Democrats concerned about ballot resistance.

Here’s what some American voters had to say about Tuesday’s election in cities across the country.

– State of US Democracy –

Across the country, voters urged their fellow citizens to cast their ballots in midterm elections, which historically have had low turnout.

“I would stress, choose, choose, choose,” 24-year-old college student Luke Osuagwu told AFP in Atlanta, Georgia.

Marisha Camp, a New York photographer who spoke to AFP ahead of a rally with President Joe Biden at Bowie State University in Maryland, agreed.

“The turnout worries me,” she told the AFP news agency. “I think people should be more scared.”

Many so-called election deniers — Republicans who embrace defeated President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen and that voter fraud is rampant — are on the ballot in races across the country.

Analysts have also warned of the risk of election-related violence.

Social activist Guy Djoken, also at the Biden rally, told AFP what resonates with him “is this democracy we’re going to lose”.

“It’s really sad,” he said, describing his emigration from Cameroon to the United States.

“I come from a place where I know what the lack of democracy will do… If we lose that, we’re left with nothing.”

In Arizona, Michelle Meglio, 56, said she cast her ballot last week and was “very concerned about the integrity of the election.”

“It’s a very important issue. I think we have a lot of irregular irregularities,” she said.

But Shana Ellis, a 51-year-old Arizona State University employee, said she had “complete faith” in the process and condemned gunmen seen patrolling drop boxes in Arizona.

“I think it’s an intimidation tactic and everyone should have the right to vote,” she told AFP.

Phoenix, Arizona law student Benjamin Smart was willing to go against his own beliefs to protect democracy.

“I am for life. But I think denying elections is just too important to go wrong. That’s why I wouldn’t vote for her,” said the 23-year-old, referring to the Republicans.

Smart said he “don’t think there’s a huge chance of actual violence, but the fact that we’re getting closer and people are threatening is quite worrying.

“I don’t want us to get to a point where I really have to worry.”

– Cancellation –

Reproductive rights are a big issue for many voters after the US Supreme Court overturned abortion rights earlier this year and states began imposing restrictions or banning the procedure altogether.

Some saw it as an opportunity to act: “I think now is a good opportunity for Georgia to put some restrictions on abortion as well,” said Atlanta University student Meron Kiros.

Others were afraid. “Our physical autonomy is under siege…especially here in Georgia,” said another student, Amy Winch.

In Arizona, 19-year-old college student Fallon Webb said she feared Republican Kari Lake could triumph there.

“She’s trying to enforce and pursue the zero-tolerance direction on abortion,” Webb told AFP. “That’s something that kind of appeals to me as a woman … So that’s kind of in jeopardy.”

– immigration –

Democrats have “smashed the immigration system,” says 71-year-old Francisco Cabral in McAllen, Texas, lamenting a “silent invasion” of undocumented migrants across the border with Mexico.

“We have a huge border crisis here in Arizona,” agreed Michelle Meglio in Phoenix.

But housewife Romelia Hinojosa, who also lives in McAllen, said migrants are welcome “as long as they do things right and obey the laws of the country”.

– Trump card –

Any Republican “red wave” could open the door to a comeback bid from former President Donald Trump, whose shadow looms large over the campaign but has not yet announced that he will run for office in 2024.

“Trump sure is running again. That’s not a question mark,” said Marisha Camp, the photographer at the Biden rally at Bowie State University.

“I want Donald Trump to run again. I think the Democrats will do whatever it takes to keep him from running,” said Matthew Isaac, a 38-year-old administrative assistant in Phoenix, Arizona.

“The Democrats have become the elite party … They represent the people in the big towers and the ivory towers, the people you’ll never see, who really don’t care about the people at the bottom,” he said.

Debbie Brown, speaking to AFP at a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, gave her unequivocal support.

“He was great, he made America great and the economy was great and we just need him back,” she said.

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