The Range | Oct. 30, 2020
More than 1 million Kansans are expected to cast ballots in this year's election. And many of them already have: Advance voting has been brisk, and the state sent out a record number of mail-in ballots.
With the election only a few days away, we wanted to hear from voters about what issues were most important to them when they went to the polls. This week on The Range, we head to Newman University and Wichita State's Koch Arena to hear what voters have to say.
Daniela Guadalupe Renteria Sandoval
"The main issue that I have right now is I see the nation being really polarized in a way, and that just breaks my heart.
Voting, for me, is a voice, and it was a right given to me, and my parents being immigrants I want to use my voice to help them out in a way and my fellow family. ... I just want to vote for something that makes the nation not as polarized anymore ... but I don’t know if it’s gonna change. But we’ll see what happens."
"I would like to see [Washington] present a more coherent and concentrated effort in dealing with COVID-19, instead of leaving it as a hodgepodge among the states. We’re coming into winter time, and most people are worried there's going to be significant spike in the number of cases. ... The government has a role to play in that, in providing leadership, setting good examples for social distancing, not demonizing masks. Masks are a way that we show that we care about each other. Take the minor effort to show that we're willing to do something to ensure that the people around us don’t get sick.
"We need to stop sniping at each other so much. The partisanship doesn’t serve anybody well. We need a balance of ideas going forward to find the best solution, so if you get stuck into a rabbit hole of 'only my ideas are the ones worth listening to or pursuing,' that doesn’t get the best results. We’re a big nation, we’ve got a lot of good ideas, and we need to learn to listen to all the voices."
"I am very outspoken in my belief that the Constitution, more specifically the Bill of Rights, should be interpreted as it is on paper. It’s not something abstract where you gotta really think about it. The Founding Fathers put what they wanted on that piece of paper and that’s how it should be interpreted.
"I vote Republican, so there’s really no specific issue right now. I guess the riots going on on the East Coast and West Coast. There’s really none of that going on in Wichita. ... I’m just more worried about keeping what's on the Constitution crystal clear and not some abstract piece of art.
"Honestly … if this boom mic was a magic wand, I would wish away the lack of education in Washington. Transparency, I guess. I kinda wish there were more transparency between what politicians do and where they get their money from. Because they’re in there making millions, and they try and act like they represent us when they don’t. Sounds kind of like an aristocracy to me."
"Something that people have held very important to them is this idea of the marginalized not being represented well enough. There's a lot of the big industries that are looking past the marginalized and not thinking about them, and I would tell them we need to be creating better systems for them to be able to get jobs, and not have to wait forever to get their visas to be living here, and separating families and we're just not taking into account them and the immigration policies as well.
"We’re not wanting to build a wall. We’re wanting to actually be together, and love each other, ultimately. That’s not what a country’s about. It’s not about keeping people out, it’s about being together."
"As I was voting, I was thinking that it's a very short amount of time left that I have to deal with all of the political ads in the radio, on whatever, in social media, everything. Everything’s political ads. And I’m just excited to have it over with. And at the same time I just really hope the people that are elected to office really serve the people.
"The biggest issue to me is life. A respect for life. Especially abortion, but in all stages, life in all stages. End of life issues are really important and how we treat the poor is really important. Those are all life issues.
"The people in Washington, D.C., need to listen to the people more. They’re so focused on their own, they’ve written down an agenda and they’re sticking to it. And they're not talking to each other or listening to each other, but more importantly they’re not listening to the people. Most of the people agree we need to do something about the immigration laws. Whatever you’re going to do, leaving them the same is not OK.
"We want to see the people in Washington talk to each other civilly and realize that maybe both groups want what’s best for the country, and if they can talk to each other and listen to each other maybe the compromise will be better than either of the two extreme sides."
"I think for me, a big thing is I haven’t agreed with the direction that we’re going in as a country. I think that the current administration, Trump has not fulfilled a lot of his goals and he’s kind of let us down. I didn’t vote for him in 2016 just because I didn’t agree with him, but I wanted to give him a chance. I wanted to see if he would live up to the hype and live up to the office. Unfortunately I don’t feel like he did.
"I would say for me it’s a lot to do with immigration. I don’t agree with the hard stance that the administration has. I think that we need to give a lot of grace and we need to understand that folks are coming here wanting a better life. I don’t believe in putting people in camps and separating kids from adults. I don’t think it’s a good look for us, I don't think it fulfills what we’re supposed to be doing.
"I want us to help folks that don't necessarily have the means to get themselves out of a hole. I’m in debt, I have a lot of loans just for school, I want to see help for folks like me who are trying to live a better life, trying to build things for their future and for their kids and for their families. I think that there’s a lot of work to be done, and it’s obviously not going to get done fast, but I think that we just need to care more about folks and understand that we do have the means to help. There isn’t a reason for folks to not be able to afford food, not be be able to have a home, not be able to have a life that they want. How to specifically do that, I don’t know. That’s why I went to go vote today."
Carissa and Sedriauna Fennell
Carissa: "I see such a divide in our country right now, and divide to me means hate. And I’m just sick of that right now. It’s time for us all right now to start getting together and make this country better."
Sedriauna: "I just went in with a mindset that I just wanted to vote for somebody who has sympathy and cares for us, and not a lot of hate in their heart."
Carissa: "I’m ready for a change. And what’s there now is not what we need right now. We need someone that’s going to support us. Someone that’s gonna care about us, not just up there saying what he think we want to hear, we need someone that’s gonna get in and get the job done."
"You gotta know who you're voting for and which side you’re voting for. And just go in there and vote. That’s all it is.
"I just want the economy to increase, and everybody to have jobs to do. That’s what I want.
"Think of who you vote for, and what and how you vote for it, and what impact the country. It’s not anything personal, you like or you don’t like, because you vote for the person. You’re voting for what you believe in. ... It’s all about the country."
"I was just considering, who’s gonna be there to defend the change that my generation wants to see happen in the world? I’m not going into detail, but my generation wants to see change, so in my mind, who do I think is gonna create the most change in our world?
"Specifically for me, I am a woman pursuing education in a field that’s dominated by men, and the differences between men and women need to stop in the playing field. And then, I also grew up in a family where I’m autistic and my brother is autistic and it needs to get destigmatized.
"All I can say is get out and vote. Every voice matters."