Syracuse, N.Y.- It was pouring rain outside the Erwin First United Methodist Church in Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood, but voters of every age still braved the rain and cast their vote at the polling station. Near the polling station’s entrance, some voters on their way out stopped by a bake sale
hosted by a church group, while a few voters shared what motivated them to vote today.
Andy Hassinger, a retiree who has lived in Syracuse for over 30 years, said he’s an avid voter.
“I vote all the time I can vote,” he said. He identifies as an Independent, but shared that violent events across the country motivated him to cast a ballot today in an effort to make a change with his vote.
“I think first we need to turn our attention to the violence that’s happening right now and the way it’s been unleashed by the current administration,” Hassinger said.
Recent events and controversial rhetoric have moved him.
“We should be coming together and uniting and trying to solve the problems, because ultimately there really is no difference between one person and another,” said Hassinger. “We may look different, but we have the same goals, same loves, and same objectives that each other do. And I think that we need to be united, rather than split apart and kept apart.”
A desire for “change” also brought Ray Blackwell to the polls, despite the inclement weather.
“We need some change in Syracuse, we need some change in the county, we need change in the state level,” said Blackwell.
“I think it’s important to let your voice be heard,” he added, and said he has also encouraged his friends to vote.
Allie Mannheimer, a producer at Channel 9 News in Syracuse, showed up to cast her ballot before heading into work to start her 15-hour shift. She stopped in after walking her dog early in the morning, and said weather should not stop anyone heading out to vote.
“Doesn’t matter what the weather is, still gotta go to vote,” said Mannheimer. She felt it was her “civic duty” to vote today.
“People should, hopefully if they’re paying attention to what’s going on in the news, want to vote, want to make a change,” said Mannheimer.