Hometown Voices in Durham: Economy, abortion rights, environment driving voters to polls

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Thursday, November 3, 2022
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Bull City voters are historically solidly blue and the ABC11 Hometown Voices tour found they appear poised to vote heavily Democratic again in the midterm election.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Bull City voters are historically solidly blue and the ABC11 Hometown Voices tour found they appear poised to vote heavily Democratic again in the midterm election.

Aleta Williams is one voter who has a simple plan for her ballot.

"Go straight Democrat throughout the ticket," said Williams. "We save our democracy, we heal our country, and then we can tackle every single thing else."

Concerns about the economy, abortion rights, and the environment are also driving voters to the polls, as we discovered in conversations from downtown Durham to the southern section of the city.

"My rent just got raised by 17% after one year and if they do that again next year, it prices us out of our living situation," said Durham resident Jamie Botta. "With interest rates for loans the way they are and inflated housing prices, my dream is to buy another home, but we're just having to sit it out for now and rent."

Botta is also concerned about the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I see that as a health-care issue and an access to health care to ensure women's safety," said Botta.

Melinda O'Hara is a Durham voter who shares that view.

"I am concerned with women's rights, or I should say anyone with a uterus's rights to make choices about their own bodies," said O'Hara. "That's pretty critical to my decision-making."

O'Hara has two children in elementary school and she is also concerned about the future of the planet.

"The environment is a big one for us," said O'Hara. "Climate change is concerning, so we're taking any steps that we can to make sure we're taking care of our environment."

Daniel and Selene De La Rosa are focused on inflation and the rising price of groceries and gas.

"Things are too expensive," said Daniel De La Rosa. "We need to do something."

One-stop, in-person early voting runs until Nov. 5. Election Day is Nov. 8.