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Read more VPM News coverage of the historic 2023 elections in Virginia.

Dispatch: What brought three Henrico voters to the polls

A person laughs as they talk with a pollworker
Erica Johnson
For VPM News
A voter signs in for their ballot at Virginia Commonwealth University's Student Commons on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

And here's how they voted.

At Deep Run High School, Second Baptist Church and Glen Allen High School, issues surrounding reproductive rights were at the top of many voters' minds, especially when thinking to the future.

Three voters had this to say when VPM News asked: "What issues brought you out today to vote?"

Hamer Subramanyam

A person holding a sheet of paper walks past several people standing at voting booths in front of a mural of the US flag superimposed on a map of the country
Ryan M. Kelly
For VPM News
Voters cast their ballots at Robious Elementary School on Election Day on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

A variety of issues, primarily the women's rights. That’s one of the main things. The other is you know, just kids. Third is the environment.

I kind of had to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate’s stance and then choose what makes the most sense.

I’ve been voting for many, many, many years. I feel it’s an honor to come out and vote. Not everybody gets this. I definitely wanted to make sure that that power vested in me as an individual is kind of exercised for the right cause, for the right thing that I stand for.

Instead of complaining, we have the right to vote. We can make a change and what it says a drop in the ocean makes a difference, and that’s what brought me out. Even if it’s one vote, let me do it.

I am living in such a great country; such a beautiful country. I cannot tell you, so I need to use what they’ve given me, I want to use it.

Amy Adkins

A voter is seen at the polling booth.
Connor Scribner
VPM News
A voter fills out their ballot at the main branch of the Richmond Public Library on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Women’s reproductive rights and also people who think they’re educators trying to tell educators what to do. I voted Democrat.

I do not want thick mailers; I don’t want political ads on TV. It makes me sick to think what they’re saying about each other.

I’m really an Independent. I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. But women’s reproductive rights is huge. I have daughters, granddaughters and it’s a very, very important issue in this state and in this country. I just felt very strongly about that,

Also being a teacher for 41 years. When somebody tries to tell educators what to do, who are professionals in that areas, and they have absolutely no experience? And just being a parent is one thing, but being an educator is totally different. And I don’t like for politics to be involved in that.

Karen Pearson

ED 2023 Albert Hill2
Erica Johnson
For VPM News
Two voters get signed in at Albert Hill Middle School in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Primarily abortion, and also gun safety. I voted Democrat.

I think as a woman, I want to make sure that we do everything we can to protect the rights of other women, and reproductive rights.

I’m also a mother, and I want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can for gun safety in this country.

Knowing that I have a child at school that is doing things like the lock-in teach, where they’re having to practice drills for active shooters, you know, that’s terrifying as a mother and as a parent, and we need to do something to stop that in this country and the portable gun violence epidemic.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.