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Access to abortion, among other issues, drives UNC students to the polls

A voting sign at First Baptist Church polling location in Chapel Hill on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

At the Sonja Haynes Stone Center polling location, many UNC students cast their vote in Tuesday's 2022 Midterm elections. Most said they voted in support of candidates who support abortion rights.

Maggie High, a junior at UNC, said reproductive rights are on the ballot right now and thinks a pregnant person's right to choose whether to have an abortion is important.

“I think it’s really important to get people to vote so we can have access to safe abortions and just have representation where it matters,” Amelia Currie, a graduate student at UNC, said.

In addition to the abortion issues, students said they came to the polls to exercise their civic duty. 

“I’m a strong believer that everyone has a say and should have a say in what goes on in the government, and I think that I want to make sure my voice is heard too,” Aveena Khanderia, a first-year UNC student, said. 

Hadley Hayes, another first-year UNC student, said that if she sat back and did not vote, it would not allow for positive future change.

“I think a lot of the times people feel like they don't have a voice in politics and the politicians are the ones who are making decisions that affect our entire world, and the way that we live our lives,” Hayes said. “So, if you feel like there is an issue that is existing in your life that you wish you want to fix, we can't do anything by ourselves. The only people who can actually do stuff are our representatives."

Emma Hall, a sophomore transfer student at UNC, said voting is a right and a privilege that people should exercise.

For some students, the 2022 Midterm elections brought new experiences.

“I’m really excited to be able to vote,” Damon Grim, a sophomore UNC student, said. “I voted in the last election, but I’m from Oregon, so we don’t vote in person there. We only vote by mail. So, I’m really excited to be able to do this in person.”

Several students said the main race they focused on when voting was the U.S. Senate seat, a race between Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley and Republican candidate Ted Budd. 

“I think that abortion should stay legal and I think voting in the Senate election will help solidify that,” Miles Devine, a UNC first-year, said. 

Grim thinks the Senate is important — it will determine the balance of power, he said.

While abortion was a main motivation for students to vote, other issues such as economics, climate change, education and LGBTQ+ rights also drove students to the polls. 

“I care a lot about taxes and the economy, and direction with foreign policy, especially,” Grim said. “That’s not as crazy important in the Senate as it is in the presidency, but I do think right now, it's important to have a balance of power with that.”


@DTHCityState | 

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