The issues that matter most to voters on Election Day
ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:
It's Election Day in America, and millions are heading to the polls today.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Early voting numbers surpassed those from the last midterm in 2018. More than 45 million early votes were cast ahead of today. And after months of speculation about what will happen, this is the last chance for voters to have their say.
NADWORNY: NPR spoke to many casting their ballots across the country today to find out what's bringing them to the polls this midterm election. Life after Roe v. Wade is a top-of-mind issue for voters like Celeste Pendarvis in Atlanta, Ga.
CELESTE PENDARVIS: Definitely abortion rights and getting folks in office that will preserve that right.
SHAPIRO: The threat of recession and the reality of inflation are also motivating voters across the country, including Tom Donlin in Waltham, Mass.
TOM DONLIN: And the economy in general - you know, we're at the age we're dependent on our 401(k). And you certainly want the stock market to go back in the right direction. And I think that's all tied in with inflation and, you know, government policies to bring down prices on essentials and get the supply chain moving and keep it moving.
SHAPIRO: And guns continue to be a focus for voters, like Gladie Feliciano in Phoenix, Ariz.
GLADIE FELICIANO: We have a right to bear arms. I think that if somebody comes into our homes, that we should be able to protect ourselves in our own home. But outside of it, like, kids should be able to go to school safely, you know? And I think that there has to be something in place to be able to change.
NADWORNY: Also, student debt - Marvin Casasola in Waltham has over $100,000 in loans and says the Biden administration's current promise just isn't enough.
MARVIN CASASOLA: I'm one of those students that, you know - or was one of those students still in debt, hoping something can come out of that and that promise that he made when he was running for election. And now, only up to $20,000 cancellation - that's the interest on the capital for, like, a couple of years.
SHAPIRO: Jade Santiago in Tampa, Fla., says she's concerned about a number of social issues.
JADE SANTIAGO: Our current governor is attacking certain LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, education rights. And I went in there keeping that in mind because I'm an education major, and I fear for my future as an educator.
NADWORNY: Voices from across the country sharing the issues that were central to how they cast their ballots today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.