Forty interviews with 40 voters: Here’s what Bostonians said on election day

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Eli Curwin

Maura Healey supporters gather outside of a polling place at Cathedral High School. Election Day drew out thousands of Bostonians across the city to vote.

Eli Curwin, news staff

Nov. 8 was Election Day, and with several important matters on the ballot, Massachusetts residents made their way to the polls with issues including abortion, democracy and the economy at the tops of their minds. The News traveled to seven different polling sites, spanning 30 miles across Boston from 6:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. to gauge what drew Bostonians to the polls. Everyone who spoke with The News said they voted, though some voters said that they did not vote at the polling place where they were interviewed. Here’s what the 40 residents had to say.

(Eli Curwin)

Cathedral High School,1336 Washington St.; Ward 3 Precinct 7,16, Ward 8, Precinct 1,2


Matt Hacker, Boston, 35, lawyer

“[Maura Healey] represents my values more than the Republican Party, so if I’m being honest, I think she’s done a good job and I like her. But it’s not necessarily the specific candidate as opposed to a party issue.”

Sarah Dmitrovsky, Boston, 29, logistics manager

“It’s an important election, there are a lot of important issues at stake, so I need to have my vote represented.”

Kim Davis, Boston, 35, hospital analyst

“It’s my duty to vote and to make sure that every vote counts.”

Lindsay Allen, Boston 

“I came to vote today because I think it’s one of, if not, the most important ways for our voice to be heard and make change or keep things going the way things are.”

Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Boston, professor of political science at Harvard University

“I think local politics is super important, and state politics similarly. National politics get a lot of attention, so I think it’s more important, if anything, to vote in our local and state elections. I think races like state auditor and secretary of state and governor have a lot of power.”

(Eli Curwin)

Joseph P. Manning School, 130 Louder’s Lane; Ward 19, Precinct 2


Bridget Fantini, Jamaica Hills

“I have voted since I was 18 years old, and I feel like it’s my civic duty.”

Talia Glass, Jamaica Hills, product manager

“Being from a purple state like Michigan, and living in a blue state, it’s important to me that Democrats are elected. But if I am being completely honest, here in Massachusetts, there’s not a ton [of specific issues that drove me to vote], except for that I love Maura Healey and I am really excited for her to be elected. The proposals, I think, are really important … but nationally, I think there is a lot more at stake.”

Richard Moyer, Jamaica Plain, retiree

“We just always try to vote regardless of what the election is and what the issues [are] and who’s running, so it’s just something to look forward to doing.”

Peg Moloney, Moss Hill

“I’m worried about the direction this country is going in. I mean, [Donald] Trump … I can’t believe that he was president and that he is going to run again. What happened on Jan. 6, it’s very concerning. I remember when [Barack] Obama got elected. It was just, ‘This is wonderful, we are a great country.’ I am worried. I fear for my children and my grandchildren.”

Moira Raftery (Eli Curwin)

 

Moira Raftery, Jamaica Hill

“It’s my duty [to vote], and always, growing up, my mother said, ‘It took a lot for women to get the right to vote, so get out there and vote.’ And so I tell my granddaughters, ‘Get out there and vote today. It was a lot of work for women to get the vote, so keep it up.’”

René Rives (Eli Curwin)

 

 

René Rives, Boston

“I voted reluctantly because, one, it’s Massachusetts, and it’s pretty clear how the chips are going to fall. However, I think it’s largely symbolic for me and wanting to be part of the chorus that is saying no to the rise of fascism and the attack against democracy.”

(Eli Curwin)

St. Nectarios Greek Church, 39 Belgrade Ave.; Ward 20, Precinct 2


Lynne Cohen, Roslindale

“I think that [voting] is my responsibility and everyone’s responsibility. I wanted my dog to be able to vote because I know that she’s a Democrat. But I just think that people can’t complain about the state of the world if they are not participating in the democracy, because there is the danger of the democracy completely dissolving.” 

Meg Bailey and Ethan Schwelling (Eli Curwin)

Meg Bailey, Roslindale, 35, producer

“At any election, especially these smaller elections, that’s where change really happens, so that’s why it’s important to us and we feel like we can actually have a say in those changes.”

Ethan Schwelling, Roslindale, 36, software engineer

“Democracy is on the line … everything is on the line. I mean not necessarily always in Massachusetts, but it’s our right, it’s our duty, you gotta do it.” 

Alex Bloom, Roslindale, 75, retired history professor

“I always vote and this election is … the most important midterm election that I can remember, and I’m not young, and I’m an American historian.”

Luke Hill, Roslindale, 62, community organizer

“I vote because I always vote. I think it’s important not because it’s a big important civic duty, but it’s a small important civic duty. It’s like taking out the trash every day. It’s part of what connects us, part of being a citizen in a democracy.”

(Eli Curwin)

Phineas Bates Elementary School, 426 Beech St., Boston, MA; Ward 18, Precinct 10, 11


Chantel Grant, Roslindale, executive assistant, organizer of the Phineas Bates School bake sale

“I mean, we live here. I think it’s important to vote. I think it’s important that we band together and make sure that what we want to happen is happening, and we do the things that are needed to make change and implement change.”

Ann Smith, Roslindale

“I just wanted to see changes. There’s a lot of different people that say they are going to do stuff and when they get in, they don’t do stuff.”

Katherine Irizarry (Eli Curwin)

Katherine Irizarry, Boston, 32, guidance counselor

“I wanted to make a difference in our community. It’s important to try to be the change you want to see.”

Giancarlo Duncan, Boston, 31

“[Voting] is just something to do. It’s important, I guess.”

Dom Wilkins, Hyde Park, 36, physical education teacher

“Why did I vote? Because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Also, Republicans are, like, crazy.”

Jay Drier, Roslindale, 31

“I voted because it’s part of my civic duty and because I am generally concerned about the state of the country right now and want to do my part. But, [I’m] not super super concerned about how things are going down in Boston.”

(Eli Curwin)

Boys & Girls Club, 15 Talbot Ave, Boston, MA; Ward 14, Precinct 9


Carl Thompson, Stoughton, executive director of Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club

“People forget local politics impacts where you live more than national politics, so it’s really important to be able to speak on those issues.”

Louise Bostic-Jenkins, Dorchester, retiree

“Voting is very important because these laws that they try to implement that I don’t agree with, so if I feel that if I vote, my vote counts.”

Donna Jules (Eli Curwin)

Donna Jules, Dorchester

“Everybody should come out and vote because there is so much going on in this world, and everybody has a voice, and if you want to make a difference, you should come out and make that difference.”

Courtney Schermerhorn, Waltham, assistant director of Corporate Engagement at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

“I think it’s important for all of us to use the voice that we have. As a female, as a woman, we haven’t always had the right to vote, and so I think that in itself is what got me to start voting, then just the political climate of the world today. I think everybody, it’s their moral duty to get out and vote.” 

(Eli Curwin)

Shelburne Community Center, 2730 Washington St., Boston MA; Ward 11, Prescient 2


Clifton Johnson, Boston, patient placement specialist

“I voted because I am concerned about the state of affairs in Massachusetts, primarily the state of the economy, crime, and I feel that the politicians currently in office are not doing enough.”

Sean Murry, Boston

“Just … participating in democracy in a positive way. All politics to me are local, I don’t care about the presidential [election] so much as my local district, and prescient, and parcel numbers. All politics are local and stay engaged.”

Owen Corbin (Eli Curwin)

Owen Corbin, Roslindale, 55

“I mean it’s important to voice your opinion, but whether [elected officials] exercise your opinion is not, but that’s not for me to determine. That’s the politicians that play the game with us. At least I know I made my decision and whether they exercise my point of view or not … that’s up to the politicians to be honest.”

Theresa Bradt (Eli Curwin)

Theresa Bradt, Roxbury, nurse

“I vote every election. I think that’s important, it’s a gift that we have living in a democracy, the United States of America. It’s a privilege to be able to do so, and I like to take advantage of that. I’m grateful to have the right.” 

Tracy Arthur, Roxbury, 41

 “I only vote because I feel it’s the right thing to do. I hate politics, I hate everything about it, but I do want to see changes in the city. So I talk to my sister, she tells me who to vote for and I come down here and do it.”

Mohamed Yussuf (Eli Curwin)

Mohamed Yussuf, Roxbury, 52

We are American. Everybody in America, we have to vote. You see, what is going on is in your hands.”

(Eli Curwin)

City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA; Ward 3, Precinct 6, 10


Chris Kramer, Brighton, 31

“I’ve worked on political campaigns many times in the past. I see the importance of voting and having representatives that … advocate for issues that I care about. My mom always reminds me to vote, too.”

Katie Colford, South End

“I recently moved to Massachusetts and I was excited to vote in my first Massachusetts election.”

Jonas Jealgiles, Roslindale, bus driver

“This is my first election … [voting] is important to democracy over here. It’s very important we are fighting for democracy, so we the people, we have to make sure that democracy is going on.”

Ora Damon, Boston, Retiree

“I’m supposed to [vote] … and you don’t have the right to complain if you don’t vote.” 

Michiel van Zyl, Boston, 28

“I wasn’t born in this country, so it took me a while to get citizenship, and now that I have it I want to exercise all the rights that I get with that.”

Jessicah Pierre (Eli Curwin)

Jessicah Pierre, Boston, 31, chief of Communications for City of Boston

“I voted today because I always vote, and I know in Massachusetts, the landscape is a little bit different than nationally, where … it’s kind of easy to vote down ballot for Democrats. But one thing that a lot of people underestimate is the ballot questions and the impact that ballot questions have on our state.”

Talene Pomfret, Boston, 31, Vice President of Sports at Ketchum

“If everyone’s going to complain, then they need to do something about it, so I think that makes it very important, and if we live in a free country that we all want to live in, then we’ve gotta do things to keep it that way.”

Maeve Donnelly, Boston, 30

“We’ve been following everything that’s happening in the news and you know, it’s just important for us to do our part and vote … and in Massachusetts, it’s so easy. There’s no lines, they even let us bring our dog in.”