Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Why vote in the presidential primary? Voters explain

A red and white sign with an arrow pointing towards doors that says "Polling Place"
Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media
Dover High School was one of two polling locations in the city. Many have closed because of COVID-19

Delaware is one of the last states to hold its presidential primary this year. The election was pushed back twice because of COVID-19.


Delaware’s votes won’t impact who gets each party’s nomination.  President Trump and Joe Biden have already garnered the number of delegates needed.


So why vote?  Delawareans turning out at Dover High School offered a variety of reasons.  Belinda Reyes, a Forensic Scientist at the Dover AFB was among them.


“I think it’s important to make my voice heard, even if it’s, like, later, rather than not at all. So I think every vote counts. People should make an effort, you know, have their voice be heard.”


Cecelia Augustine, a hotel manager at the Dover Downs, wanted to show her support for Joe Biden.


“He’s for the people, He’s a man of integrity, he has empathy. And this is what we are looking for in a president, someone that’ll stand for us and make us know the American dream is still available and we can receive it through a person who cares.”


Karen Reilly-Morton, an aquatics specialist, voted for President Trump.


“Never thought he was going to be able to do it. Did not really think he’d do that great of a job, but I’ve been very, very pleased with the results. The economy’s gotten there even with this COVID thing.”


Consumer spending in Delaware has dropped 9.9 percent since January, and an even larger 20 percent drop in small business revenue. Many experts believe it’s too early to tell how well the economy will recover in the coming months.


Monday’s presidential primary is the first statewide election to use Delaware’s new voting machines.


The state bought the new machines last spring, and have since tested them in smaller school elections.


Manuel Torres, a custodial technician in Dover compares the new machines to the ones the state used previously.

“Before you had to punch these little buttons. This was all computerized, I loved it. You got to print your ballot, make sure that who you voted for was on the printing and then vote. It was fantastic, I loved it.”


But many voters won’t even enter a polling place this year.


As of July 2nd, more than fifteen times the amount of people had requested absentee ballots this year as voted that way in the 2016 primary. The increase was driven by the state loosening the requirements to vote absentee because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


And many voters are expected to vote-by-mail in the September primary and November general election as well.  All voters will receive a vote-by-mail application sixty days before each election.


This story has been corrected to clarify the increase in absentee voting between 2016 and 2020.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
Related Content