by Adeola Adebiyi (SYRACUSE) — Elemwood Elementary School, a polling station at the South side, has seen very low numbers when it comes to voters. As of 4 p.m., only 170 people had voted. Election inspector George Marleau says it’s because it’s an “in-between year” without a presidential election.
“For some reason, people don’t seem to care about the elections that affect them the most.” he said.
Despite the low numbers, the citizens that came out to vote were very enthusiastic and passionate about the election.
“I’m concerned that the right person gets elected as judge and the constitution get utilized,” Tracey Barkins, a nurse, said. “I have teenagers and I want to do my part and make sure the system is in the right place.”
Barkins voted for Ramona Lavalas, who is running for City Court Judge against Democrat, Mary Anne Doherty. Lavalas ran in 2011 for city court judge but lost to incumbent judges Karen Uplinger and Rory McMahon.
“She was in church a few days ago and the minister said ‘Forget about the parties and put the right person in’. I usually vote Democrat but today, I went Republican.”
Ronnie Leigh, a local Syracuse musician concerned with community development, echoed the same sentiment about community and making sure he does his part to leave a legacy behind for others.
“It’s my responsibility to come out and take a part of what is going on in the community,” he said. “A lot of folks when through a lot of changes so that I can come out and do what I’m doing today and what I just did here.”
Bernice Bradway, a retired educator, is actually surprised at the low turn out.
“I’m from the 16th district and we need new blood,” she said. “We are underrepresented. I don’t see any major improvements or county funds coming our way so I voted to help my district.”
As the day winds slowly to a close, Marleau hopes the numbers pick up.
“It’s always like this in these kind of years but I always hope more people will come out,” he said. “Voting is one’s civic duty and it’s a shame for people not to exercise it.”