NBC News THINK asked people: Are you looking forward to the midterm elections? Do you plan to vote? Are you excited about the potential change the midterms could initiate? Do you have any clue who the candidates are in your district? Through an online survey and in-person handwritten messages, we received thousands of stories from around the country from men and women of different ages working in a variety of professions. Here is a sample.
For generations now, each side will go for the throat instead of working together. Voting is the least I can do.
male / IT / Des Moines, Iowa / Age 43
For the first time since I moved overseas, I’ve requested an absentee ballot. This election is way too important to sit on the sidelines.
female / Housewife / Fort Worth, Texas / Age 62
I’m 58. I first voted in 1980. Was 20 years old. 2nd time I voted was 2016 for Clinton. I went to my first ever political speech 8-26-18 for Beto in Fort Worth. My sister will vote for Cruz. We now don’t talk politics. I have convinced my husband and family they must vote. First time my family will all vote in midterms.
female / Homemaking / Fort Worth, Texas / Age 58
This is my first midterm to vote. I am 56. I also registered my 18-year-old daughter. My wife. My mother. And my stepfather. We are all voting Democrat. That’s five extra votes Dems didn’t have last midterm. I can’t wait to get rid of our Republican congressmen!
female / Novelist / Tahlequah, Okla. / Age 56
As someone who did not spend the time to really defend my thinking, I have spent the past two years really paying attention. I watch the news. I read the articles. I do my homework. I tell others to educate themselves before making decisions, and have made sure to practice what I preach. I try to listen. I try to hear all perspectives. That said, I find myself more angry than I’m proud of much of the time. Daily, I am disgusted by people picking politics over humanity. I am disgusted by the promotion of fear rather than love. And just when I think I cannot be shocked any more, a new report comes out. Yes, I’m ready to cast my vote in the midterms, and if you are not then you have not been paying attention.
female / Teacher / Worthington, Mass. / Age 41
Living in super red TN. Most of life voted Republican. The GOP is no longer for me. They have moved way too far to the right, allowing evangelicals call the shots. Looking forward to midterms to vote all Dem votes for the first time ever. To make a statement that something needs to change. Being in this state one feels that their vote for any other than a Republican candidate is useless. TN will probably still go all red, but I will feel better for letting my opposition to this administration and all associated with it be heard.
female / N/A / Knoxville, Tenn. / Age 60
I think the midterms are not going to go well for Democrats. I am a Democrat who is very frustrated with the arrogance of the party and their refusal to deal with voter turnout problems. There is too much reliance on social media. The Democrats have to mount an organized and determined voter turnout effort or they are going to lose and keep losing.
male / Defense / Sellersburg, Ind. / Age 57
I look to every election in which I’m eligible to vote with great enthusiasm. As a woman and the descendant of slaves I don’t take my right to vote lightly. I’m very aware of voter suppression efforts designed to silence people like me, but I will be counted. I have nothing to dread.
female / Education / Houston / Age 48
A lifelong Republican, I’m going to march into my voting booth and vote straight ticket Democrat. My party has taken such a strange and radical twist that I no longer recognize it much less support it.
female / State Government / Victoria, Minn. / Age