Here's What Voters In 8 States Are Most Concerned About

“Why are you going to the polls?”

Ron His Horse Is Thunder, Fort Yates, North Dakota

“It is not only important for all Americans, but especially important for Native Americans, because there once was a time in this country when we weren’t even considered citizens. It wasn’t until 1924 that Congress enacted a law that said Indians were considered citizens. Even though we served in World War 1, we weren’t considered citizens. It wasn’t until the 1950s when Indians started to vote, not in great numbers — primarily the reason we started to vote in the ’50s was that Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 108 in 1952, and that resolution said that tribes could be terminated. So from ’52 to about ’58, Congress proceeded to terminate tribes.

“So, why is it really important for Indians to vote? Because if we don’t vote that the laws that Congress enacts for the country and aim primarily at Indians, we won’t have a voice in it at all. They won’t have to answer to us at all. We need to be a voice. In the last, I’d say, 15 years as Indians started to vote more and more and more, so that we became the determining voice in those very close elections. Here in North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp, in the last election it was such a close race that it was the Indian vote that made a difference of her going.” —Ron His Horse Is Thunder, rancher and former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, North Dakota

Renda Downey of Dalton, Georgia

“We need a check on the out-of-control Republicans and also our state legislatures. We need someone who will protect voting rights instead of suppress the vote.” — Renda Downey at a campaign stop for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. An independent, Downey is hoping for a progressive shift in the midterms.

George Gatus, Mission Viejo, California

“I’ve always been politically disgusted, but after the Kavanaugh vote and everything that’s been happening with the hate crimes going on, I thought, I better be vocal. I’m pretty much a centrist; some things I lean to the left, like health care, but I consider myself a centrist. I’m on fire right now.” —George Gatus. Health care and the treatment of the elderly brought Gatus to volunteer for Democrat Katie Porter’s congressional campaign.

Left: Bonnie McDaniel, Las Vegas. Right: Carissa Smith, Cincinnati

“The most important things for November’s elections are putting Republicans in so that we cannot have tax increases, getting our kids decent teachers and decent schools, and getting rid of those damn Democrats.” —Bonnie McDaniel, Las Vegas, Nevada

“I believe that the ballot and our democracy should reflect everyone: That to me is rights to health care, that to me is diversity inclusion, that to me is the right to love whoever you want to love.” —Carissa Smith, Cincinnati

Bruce Gaffney, Oceanside, California

“I expect to see a lot of good things come out of him.” —Bruce Gaffney of Democratic congressional candidate Mike Levin. Gaffney has been involved in Veterans Affairs since his retirement from his military service.

Loretta Sprague, Kim Hatley, and Luann Simpson Thomas in Conroe, Texas

“I support Kavanaugh, strong border security, Second Amendment rights, pro-life values, a strong economy — just everything liberals do not.” —Loretta Sprague

“What’s most important to me is keeping our freedoms for Americans while offering illegal immigrants the chance to come legally and enjoy their American dream without keeping Americans from achieving theirs.” —Kim Hatley

“I am conservative, Ted Cruz is conservative, and I am pro-conservative and all that includes. I support Cruz in his decision to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. I also want morals and values, and Cruz has that. Lastly, First and Second Amendment rights.” — Luann Simpson Thomas

Susan Morgan, Ambler, Pennsylvania

“Well, I guess among all those, one of the major ones is working on gun violence prevention. We have a lot of loopholes that are still not closed. I’m registered as a Democrat, but I vote for a person, not the party. I tend to lean more towards Democrats, because their views align with mine.”

Elvis Tucker, Georgia

“We want to be able to keep Medicare around for the older people and the elders and make sure they’re taken care of in the future.” —Elvis Tucker, at a campaign stop for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Marques Eagle, Fort Yates, North Dakota

“Any sort of voting I think is important to my interests. I don’t really care who wins as long as they help people here get along with their lives.” —Marques Eagle, a first-time voter.

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