Fear a Common Thread Among Peoria Voters

Nov 8, 2016

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

One of the forces driving Peoria voters, with varying political views, is concern about the future of the country.

At Westminster Presbyterian Church, Roxanne Hoffman and her husband John voted together, like they do every year. But this time, Hoffman says, she cast her ballot for Trump, out of fear.

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

“I’m afraid for my children. My husband and I are old enough where we’re not going to be affected by it, but my heart cries for my children and my grandchildren,” Hoffman said. “We have five children, and sixteen grandchildren and a great grandchild.”

Hoffman says she doesn’t particularly like Trump, but she prefers his stance on immigration and wants him to select Supreme Court judges.

About three miles northeast of Westminster, a steady line of voters snaked around the gymnasium at the East Bluff Community Center. It’s in one of Peoria’s most racially and ethnically diverse zip codes. The coordinating judge says race appears to be on the minds of people many voters who showed up this morning.   

“Yeah, we’re voting for Hillary,” Grant said.

Brittany Grant brought along her four-year-old, Jamaura, to cast her ballot for the first female candidate for president. She and other voters in the East Bluff say they feel Trump would be harmful to improving race relations across the county.

That’s something that may be most felt among immigrants.

“Desafortunadamente, no puedo votar, pero todo de mi familia si está dando su voto.”

[Translation: “Unfortunately, I can’t vote, but all of my family members who can are voting.”]

That’s an East Bluff resident -- who we’re calling Nicolas -- who can’t vote because undocumented. Nicolas has lived in Peoria for 13 years. He says this election boils down to one candidate shutting the door on immigrants and the other, opening the door to citizenship.  

“Pues sí, se cerrarían muchas puertas. Ahora si, nos cerrarían muchas puertas, lo ques los que preocupa cada todos los hispanos, además a todos los indocumentados.

[Translation: “Yes, (Trump) would close many doors. And that worries most Hispanics and all of those who are undocumented.]

Which is why, he says, his family and friends who can vote are voting in the interest of a better future, not just for Latinos, but for everyone.