Voters weigh critical issues ahead of election

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Centuries ago, English coffeehouses were a place people gathered to talk about a number of topics – including politics. Wednesday, we found it was still happening.

“I’m 100-percent Christian, I want someone who shares those same values,” said Casey Adams.

He’s studying to be a physician’s assistant, and says he hasn’t decided some of the races in the election next week. But he also said partisan fighting needs to stop.

“It’s just a whole lot of back and forth fighting, ‘I’m stubborn, you’re stubborn.’ Nothing’s going to change,” he said. “I feel like we hide behind a screen all too often. We argue on the internet or through media, whatever it may be. But we don’t actually talk face-to face, person-to-person like this.”

Another voter at Reverie in downtown Wichita, Sarah Stephens, plans to vote and she said she’d likely go democrat. For her, it was a decision about peoples’ quality of life – and she’s worried about the future of immigration policy.

But she, too, wishes the fiery rhetoric would stop.

“I think that’s the key element that’s missing,” said Stephens.

She also plans to consider both the changes made to Obamacare and existing policies regarding medical care.

“Just the way it’s set up right now, nobody seems to really benefit from it,” she said.

The two cited negatives they don’t like, but also positive factors to watch including the economy and record unemployment rates.

Others headed to vote early on Wednesday kept those factors in mind, too.

“I want to make sure we don’t lose our constitutional rights,” said Tom Dyke. “And that our economy in Wichita is taken care of for senior citizens, make sure our medical care isn’t taken away.”

Dyke planned to vote Republican, but he also admits the track record of honesty from either side wasn’t what he’d expected.

“They’re both proving to us they shouldn’t vote for either one because they lie so much,” he said. “They’re telling us, republican, democrat, independent, they’re not trustworthy.”

Early voting in Kansas continued and large numbers of people are still turning up at the polls. 

Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner Tabitha Lehman said as of Tuesday, nearly 12,000 people had cast their ballots. That's more than double the number from four years ago, and triple the number of early voters eight years ago.

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