18 THE QUEENS COURIER • NOVEMBER 8, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Midterm madness gripped polling sites across Queens
When the clock struck six on Tuesday
morning, Queens residents fi nally got to do
what’s been talked about for months: vote
in the all-important midterm elections.
Across the borough, poll workers reported
higher than normal turnout, an obvious
sign of the particularly high interest in this
election taking place in Donald Trump’s
second year as president.
Th e Courier staff went to polling places
as the voters fi led in, and recorded both
enthusiasm and angst among Queens residents
as made their voices heard on the
ballot. Here’s a sample of what they heard.
Learning their civic duty
Dozens of civically engaged citizens
fi led in and out of Bayside High School
Tuesday morning to cast their ballots for
governor, attorney general, state senators
and a host of other candidates. Some
came with their spouses, siblings and children,
while others came solo.
A mother was overheard telling her
young child and future voter, “We have
to go vote; it’s our civic duty.”
Bayside resident Michelle Fields spoke
to the importance of voting in these politically
divisive times. Th e voter said that
the past two years under the current
administration has torn the country apart
and it is the responsibility of voters to
help reunite the country.
“I want to hold my representatives
accountable. I want my representatives
to represent me and the concerns of my
community and I want to participate
in my right to vote because it’s important
that my voice and my concerns are
heard,” said Fields. “Today more than
ever in this country it’s very important
that we have representatives that are for
the people — for all people.”
— Jenna Bagcal
Big early turnout in
Th e poll site at St. Margaret School in
Middle Village saw what the coordinator
deemed was a much higher turnout than
normal for a small location on Election
One voter, who identifi ed himself as
Jermain, said local issues were not the
main draw for him to get out and vote. It
was the desire to for representatives who
will bring the country together.
“I’m voting for people I think will try
to bring the people of the country closer
together,” he said. “Locally we’ve been
blessed with pretty decent representatives.”
According to the poll site coordinator,
although the voting precinct is heavy
on the Democratic side, turnout for the
September primary saw more Republicans.
Joe Cimino was not turned out to support
the initiatives of President Donald Trump,
particularly on the matter of immigration.
“I would like people who are more on
Trump’s side on the immigrant issue and
keeping things moving along with his
plan,” Cimino said.
— Mark Hallum
Anger at Trump, and
calls for civility
Voters made their way into P.S. 90
Horace Mann — located at 86-50 109th
St. in Richmond Hill — which had a
higher voter turnout as opposed to the
previous election, according to Poll
Coordinator Jeff rey P.
Angela M. said every vote counts, and
people should come out if they want to
change things for the better in the country.
Meanwhile, just fi ve blocks down at P.S.
56, Richard Iritano, a French, Chinese
and Spanish language interpreter, said
they had seen a steady stream of voters
since the polls opened.
“For the primary, there was less people,
which is a shame because that counts, but
today people are coming in every 10 minutes
and this is just the morning crowd,”
First time voter Tony G. came out to
the polls because he’s “disgusted with the
Mary Ellen was proud to wear her sticker
aft er casting her ballot.
“I always vote. It is an honor and privilege
to vote,” she said. “Th e values that
I feel are being lost given the whole tone
of our country are civil respect, the welcoming
of strangers, and care of the most
poorest and vulnerable among us … it’s
— Carlotta Mohamed
Cautious optimism in Astoria
Despite the rain, the basement of P.S.
85 in Astoria was packed with voters
with a line stretching over the stairs and
out of the front door on Election Day
Many said they had shown up to vote
blue down the ballot in hopes of giving
Democrats control of the Senate, and
Photo: Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech/THE COURIER
weakening the power of President Donald
“I don’t like to be polarized in that way
but in order to make progress we have to
counter balance at this point,” said John
Williams, a 27-year-old musician who
moved to Astoria a year ago. Williams,
like many other voters, found it unfortunate
that they felt compelled to vote along
partisan lines. Th ey would much prefer to
vote on candidates.
— Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
Packed with voters in southeast
Voters were shoulder to shoulder at
P.S. 34 as they tried to cast their ballot in
Queens Village on Election Day.
Despite heavy rainfall, the gymnasium
at the elementary school located at 104-
12 Springfi eld Blvd. was crowded on Nov.
6. By 10:30 a.m., as many as 1,346 citizens
had already voted — and hundreds more
were waiting on long lines.
At the poll sites, there were seniors
with canes and walkers fl owing into the
school, a nun from the local convent,
middle-aged women with hijabs, and
some West Indian parents with their children
in tow. Th ere were also Spanish and
Haitian Creole interpreters at the site
ready to help voters who struggled with
understanding the ballot.
President Donald Trump was on the
minds of many voters this year.
“I came out to vote because I want to
have a good president,” said Eldonna
Th omas of Queens Village.
Kettly Roche from Queens Village was
more explicit about her goal for voting.
“To control Trump,” said Roche. “Th at
is my reasoning.”
— Naeisha Rose
A voter takes a selfi e as others wait in line at P.S. 85 in Astoria
Photo: Carlotta Mohamed/THE COURIER
Voters feed their ballots into a scanner in Richmond Hill