What’s bringing voters out for this midterm election?

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 8:10 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 11:49 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - People across our region are letting their voices be heard on this Election Day. Our Melissa Cooney asked Vermont voters what offices and issues brought them out to the polls this year, and she got a wide variety of answers.

Some said the Senate race to replace Sen. Patrick Leahy was a priority. Others said they were passionate about voting for or against the reproductive liberty amendment, Article 22, which would enshrine the right to an abortion in the Vermont Constitution.

“Democracy, abortion,” said Marina Pearson of Ferrisburgh.

The midterm election season reached its grand finale on Tuesday.

“It’s always very hard because the ones I wasn’t so sure of, I had to vote without saying OK, that’s 100% what I want, but that’s what happens with voting anyway,” said Marilyn Richardson of Burlington.

But some voters are more certain about Vermont’s congressional seats up for grabs.

With Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy retiring, that leaves U.S. Rep. Peter Welch vying to move up the ranks.

Republican Gerald Malloy is trying to flip the seat and possibly control of the U.S. Senate.

On the House side, Democrat Becca Balint is the favorite while Liam Madden, who won the Republican nomination, is looking for the upset.

“It’s less contested than other states but it’s important to vote,” said Nora Ganley-Roper of Ferrisburgh.

Many Vermonters I spoke with said they’re focused more on issues than candidates in this midterm election. A hot button topic-- the reproductive liberty amendment that would enshrine the right to an abortion in the Vermont Constitution.

“That was one I have a lot of strong feelings about like a lot of people have strong feelings about,” said John Byrnes of Burlington.

“Roe. In fact, I have a sign on my balcony that says ‘Roe, Roe, Roe the vote,’” said Kathleen Bachus of Burlington.

Others are looking at the election on a national scale.

“I’m concerned the control of the House and Senate may change,” said Ralph Shepard of Ferrisburgh.

“I’m worried about where our country is going, that we’ll lose our democracy,” said Sherry Yandow of Williston.

“I feel fortunate to be in Vermont that we’re in a pretty good place as opposed to some others who are close, so it’ll be something to watch,” said Judy Wolf of Ferrisburgh.

Many voters I also spoke with told me they’re also passionate about local issues, like the Burlington High School bond and the proposed school merger among nine towns in Addison County.

Some voters said they liked reviewing their ballots in their homes so they could spend time researching issues and candidates ahead of time and over the past month or so.

Polls close at 7 p.m.