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Wisconsin voters weigh in on the issues they care about heading into the November election

Voters head into the Washington High School gymnasium to cast their ballots.
Teran Powell
Voters head into the Washington High School gymnasium to cast their ballots.

Wisconsin’s partisan primaries are over, and voters have decided who they want to advance in November’s general election.

Republicans chose Tim Michels to face off against Democrat Gov. Tony Evers in the gubernatorial race.

Other contests included primaries for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, and Milwaukee County Sheriff.

So, what issues are on the mind of voters with the November election on the horizon?

In the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, voters were slowly arriving to Washington High School around 9 am to cast their ballots in the primaries.

WUWM's Teran Powell spoke to a few of them as they exited the building about what issues they most cared about this election season.

Their answers ranged from changes they want to see in their communities — like addressing the increase in violence because too many children are being killed — to qualities they want in candidates like integrity and fairness.

Cedric Williams had jobs on his mind. "Because it’s not enough of them," he said. "And since the pandemic was here, all the jobs left, and we need people that’s gonna bring back employment. Especially for the inner city, like me." Williams said he votes Democrat.

Brenna Durkin also votes Democrat. She said reproductive rights is one of the issues she cares about, especially with overturning of Roe v. Wade. She's also thinking about education.

"Especially with the driving around here there’s just a lot of speeding, a lot of people driving without licenses, a lot of people without license plates," Durkin said.

Durkin shared that's she heard from her community that Driver's Ed in schools is lacking. "They were talking about how no one has the opportunity to learn Driver’s Ed in their school anymore. So, I feel like there’s a whole generation of drivers here that don’t know the rules of the road and how to be responsible drivers. So having that back in the schools is important to me."

Durkin added affordable housing to her list too.

Jan, a voter who only wanted to give her first name, said she's looking for equality, integrity and fairness—she thinks that's missing. "I don’t go with a lot of the hot button tickets because a lot of that is just a lot of rhetoric thrown around. I know that there’s no one candidate that I’m going to agree with on everything. So, I’m not looking for that. Because I’m the only one I agree with on everything and sometimes I disagree with myself." Jan said she is an Independent, but lately has been voting Democratic.

At around 11 am in Brookfield, there were more voters filing in to cast their ballots at Brookfield East High School in comparison to the polling location Powell visited earlier in Milwaukee.

Karen and Todd, couple who only shared their first names, are concerned about inflation. "We’re heading in the wrong direction, and we need to change," Todd said

Todd said he typically votes Republican. Karen said she isn't a Democrat or a Republican, but goes for the best option when she votes.

Nancy Di Giacinto has several issues on her mind for upcoming elections. "Voter privilege. Women’s rights to choose. Hate crimes. Getting the right people in makes a big difference. Those are the main ones I would say. And truthfulness and honesty. Even though we may not like what we hear, it’s important." Di Giacinto said she leans Democratic.

Dave Christianson was enthusiastic over what he said was a diversity of candidates on the ballot. " I think that’s great to see. Men, women, different ethnicities, you know backgrounds. It just looks to me like there’s just a lot of people with a lot of ideas." Christianson said he doesn’t lean a certain way on party lines.

The voters added that they go to the polls in every election. Saying it’s a right and a privilege to vote and people should take advantage of that.

The general election is Nov. 8.

Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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