'It's Completely Polarized': Political Divide Hard To Ignore In Bucks County As Voters Come Out For Pennsylvania Primary
NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- Voters are turning out at polling places across Pennsylvania, choosing the candidates they want to see on the general election ballot in November. Bucks County is one of the counties voting for a U.S. Congress seat, and the county has taken center stage in the last two presidential elections, a once majority Democratic base that now had just a slight margin over a very vocal Republican minority.
Voters here live in the Council Rock School District, where many say the divide is hard to ignore.
VOTER GUIDE: Pennsylvania Primary Election 2022
A steady stream of voters came out to cast their ballots at Hollan Middle School on Tuesday in Northampton Township, including 19-year-old Sam Hassid, who voted in his first election.
"It was nice to use my right and change this country," Hassid said.
His mom Melanie also voted and wanted her voice to be heard on the issue of abortion.
"I'm here as a woman to support my choice, my body," Melanie Hassid said.
While some like Jim McGonagle, who has been working the polls for the last 10 years, look forward to election day.
"You see neighbors, you see people that you know, people from church, from the parish, or people from the neighborhood," McGonagle said, "so it's just a wonderful experience."
Others worry about the political rift facing Pennsylvania's fourth-biggest county.
Jim Frain says here that being Democrat or Republican now matters more than local issues.
"Now, it's completely polarized," Frain said. "If you're a Republican here, you better be a Trump guy. If you're a Democrat here, you better be a Biden guy. And that didn't use to be that way. Both parties here are being dictated too by the county party, by the state party and so you have to toe the line."
As of Tuesday morning, more than 43,000 mail-in ballots -- over 72% -- have been returned. Many hope this election, above all, will bridge a community often divided.
"The divide is there, the question is how big is it? I'm concerned. I pray over that that we find the right path for our country, we don't lose all the good that we have," McGonagle said.
Polls will stay open here until 8 p.m. or until the last person in line by 8 p.m. casts their ballot.
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