Elections 2014

Bird Library sees more voters than in 2010 midterm election

The polling center at E.S. Bird Library saw less than 100 voters cast their ballots during Tuesday’s midterm elections, a higher turnout rate than the 2010 midterm election.

The election garnered a turnout of around 96 voters by 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. With 1,509 voters registered to vote at Bird Library, the turnout rate was around 6 percent for the first half of the day, which was higher than the turnout for the last midterm elections, election inspector Margaret McKinley said.

Tuesday’s ballot included the Democratic ticket of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul, a Syracuse University alumna, and the Republican ticket of Rob Astorino and Chris Moss vying for governor and lieutenant governor. Also on the ballot were the two candidates running for the 24th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives, Republican challenger John Katko and Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse). Other races on the ballot included candidates for attorney general, sheriff and comptroller.

The turnout percentage was small, however, compared to the amount of voters who showed up to vote at Bird for the 2012 presidential election, McKinley said. The total voter turnout for Onondaga County was 77 percent for the 2012 election, according to the Onondaga County Board of Elections website. McKinley said turnout on Tuesday was low because many people have a lack of insight.

“It’s a lack of understanding of their local environment,” McKinley said. “And how actually going out there and voting is going to impact their immediate living circumstances and benefit them in the long run. It’s important to vote because sometimes our lives depend on it. Politicians are going to write laws that impact the core in a very significant way.”

Connor Renaud, a sophomore history and social studies education dual major, said he believes that people should vote not just in the presidential elections, but in the midterms as well.

“I would say the presidential election and midterm election are equally important. They both represent us, one on a larger scale and one on a smaller scale,” said Renaud. “I think that everyone should vote since they have the right to. We should exercise the power to vote because these people represent us everyday and we should have a say in that.”

Other students echoed Renaud’s belief.

“Everyone should vote in primaries and in midterms,” said Robert Gaugler, a student in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This is my first time voting and I felt the need to get out. I don’t think this country is going in the right direction at the moment so I figured it’s my constitutional right to have my say in that.”

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