Voices at the primary polls: Lexington voters thinking ahead to November election

Herald-Leader reporters set out on Primary Day 2024 in Lexington to get perspectives of Fayette County voters on why they chose to cast their ballots today.

Despite local government, judicial and legislative party candidates on the ballot, many voters had one common thing on their mind: the General Election in November and the presidential race.

Here’s a sampling of what they heard around Fayette County:

T.A. Lester, traditionally votes Republican:

T.A. Lester said he votes every time he has an opportunity.

“I wish we had honest politicians and politicians that really cared about America, and not their agenda,” Lester said.

Tina Evitts, 63, Democrat:

Tina Evitts, a voter at the Central Baptist Church location, said she has voted since she was 18 years old.

“It’s important for everybody to vote,” Evitts said. “If you’re of an age to vote, you should vote. Your vote is a word that says ‘I’m voting’ and ‘I’m for this or I’m for that.’”

Janie Welker, 68, Democrat:

Janie Welker, a voter from the Skycrest neighborhood, said she voted Tuesday at the Lexington Public Library Marksbury Branch to support the Democratic candidates on the ballot.

“I’m really concerned about the state of democracy because Donald Trump has vowed to destroy it if he gets in office,” Welker said.

Welker said Biden’s age did not affect her decision to vote for him.

“It doesn’t make sense to me to split the vote, to vote for an alternative candidate who’s never going to win.”

John Lazzari, 58, Republican:

John Lazzari, from the Bay Meadow area, said that he utilizes voting as a way to have a say in issues that affect the community. Lazzari was at the Marksbury Family Public Library on Primary Election Day.

Lazzari said he has not missed voting in an election since he turned 18.

“I think a lot of things that are voted on or are done at a level should be voted on by the people,” Lazzari said. “If it’s something that affects everyone, then I think the people should have a right to vote on what they think.”

Takeysha Fields, 46, traditionally votes Democrat:

Takeysha Fields was out voting early at the Lexington Public Library Northside Branch with a lesson from her father in mind.

“I felt compelled to vote because my father taught me at a young age that once you turn 18, you should vote,” Fields said. “I am 46 years old and I have been voting for every election, primary or presidential, every single year.”

Politically, Fields is most concerned about the United States’ international involvement, she said.

“I think my biggest focus is just helping others overseas and have some type of support,” she said. “I know we need support here for the United States, but I also feel that what’s going on now with Gaza and the Palestinians is just really disturbing to me.”

Though she traditionally votes Democratic, Fields would have liked seeing more options on her primary ballot.

“I wish it was still all-in-one ballot, because maybe I wanted to change my mind on a particular vote,” she said. “Just because I’m Democrat, it doesn’t mean I want to vote all Democratic Party.”

Heading into November’s election, Fields said she is still undecided about how she will cast her vote.

“I don’t hear anything good coming out of each side, so I might be more uncommitted for the presidential part,” she said.

Thomas Rattigan, Democrat:

Democracy and women’s rights were at the top of Thomas Rattigan’s mind when he walked into the polls Tuesday. He said those issues lead him to look toward a vote for Joe Biden in November, despite growing concerns over the incumbent president’s age.

“Sure, it’s a concern, but I think his experience (and) his age gives him an advantage, actually, and he works well with others,” Rattigan said.