Bird polling station sees few voters on local election day
Margaret Lin | Staff Photographer
Only about 40 voters cast ballots at E.S. Bird Library for the local elections Tuesday.
Voters saw a diverse range of Democratic, Republican, Green Party and independent candidates running for Onondaga County legislatures, city mayor, city court judge, president of common council and other positions.
Jenifer Breyer, an inspector at the poll, said although the polls opened at 6 a.m., only about nine voters came to cast their votes between 7:30-11:30 a.m. The polls closed at 9 p.m. Breyer said she believes elections don’t attract much attention “unless there’s something exciting going on.”
Breyer said she expected the low voter turnout but volunteered as an inspector because she recently retired and had friends that volunteered during elections. “I’ve recently cared a lot about elections, so I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.
Norm Kiem, who has been volunteering at polling sites for 25 years, said that he didn’t expect more than 25 voters total.
He said he was very disappointed that students are not very interested in local elections since he believes students will be the most affected by them.
Fifty-four percent of Syracuse’s 71,014 voters are Democrats. Fifteen percent, or 11,256 voters, are Republicans and 22 percent, or 16,278, are unaffiliated with a political party.
Kevin Bott, the Green Party mayoral candidate, said he wanted to create collaborative leadership, decrease poverty, improve education, make the justice system equitable and provide birth options for women.
Conservative Party candidate Ian Hunter’s goals included privatizing the pickup of garbage and yard waste, persuading Time Warner to offer a-la-carte cable TV and either fixing up or knocking down vacant buildings.
Incumbent and Democratic candidate Stephanie Miner presented a platform of bringing more universities into the Say Yes to Education program, renovating city schools, revitalizing downtown neighborhoods and adding more surveillance cameras to combat crime in the city.
Syracuse resident Richard Kusnierczyk said voting is very important to him and that he votes during every election. “I’m anti-Republican,” Kusnierczyk said. “I can’t stand the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan,” he said.
Kusnierczyk said he voted for the Green Party mayoral candidate Kevin Bott.
Brad Stalter, the resident director of Watson Hall, said he votes at Bird every year. He focuses on the land act and management of state forests, he said, adding that he hopes his vote will help friends of his who are being affected by disputes over land.
Stalter voted Miner for mayor.
Dilsia Olivero, a freshman at Syracuse University and political science major, said she voted because she thinks it’s important to take advantage of the right to vote.
She said she planned to vote for Miner for mayor at the Toomey Abbott Tower polling station.
Olivero said she was not particularly concerned with any specific issues but was excited to vote for the first time.
Published on November 6, 2013 at 1:00 am
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