Eastern Suburbs

DeWitt Residents Commit to a Lifetime of Voting

By Samantha Perkins, NEW 305.3

Published on November 6, 2018
Three white dividers with an American flag and the word "vote" printed on them sit on a table, where an elderly woman fills out her ballot.

Voters at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church fill out their ballots. (c) 2018 Samantha Perkins

High winds and periodic downpours did not deter DeWitt voters from fulfilling their civic duty in the midterm elections early this afternoon. Citizens young, old and in-between donned raincoats, brandished umbrellas and filtered in and out of Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church and The Jewish Community Center of Syracuse to vote.

Michael Thomas, 51, left his polling place proud of his lifelong streak of voting in every election since he turned 18, in 1985. “When I voted for the first time it felt really good, it was a proud moment for me,” Thomas said.

Thomas wanted to keep that feeling going ever since and believes every citizen should feel similarly. “We should see voting as a privilege, not a pain in the neck. People died for our freedoms and this is one of them.”

Sarah E., 22, who requested her last name not be published for privacy reasons, also sees voting as a privilege. Sarah E. has voted for Democrats in every election since she was 18 and plans to vote in every future election throughout her lifetime. She said that voting is something every citizen should take part in so they feel they have been heard.

A high school civics class shaped her views on voting, Sarah E. said.

“My civics teacher said something that resonated with me, and it was ‘Politics are not a spectator sport,'” she said.

Sarah said she felt even more compelled to make her voice heard this election with President Donald Trump in office.

“You can’t complain if you don’t vote. You have a say in what will happen, especially in the current political climate.”