2019 Elections

Election Day Keeps Liverpool Family Traditions Alive

By Ian Toner, BDJ 664.02

Published on November 5, 2019

Liverpool families taught younger generations about voting on Election Day. Video produced by (c) 2019 Ian Toner.

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Clara Hawley: “You should vote all the time.”

Reporter: Clara Hawley has joined her dad Tom at the polls on past Election Days. Tom’s mother brought him to the polls before he could vote, so he says it’s only natural for him to bring Clara, too.

Tom Hawley: “I hope she’d learn that it’s a very important thing to do and it doesn’t take that long to vote. It only takes a couple minutes out of your day.”

Reporter: This is the second year in a row Bob Rubino and his wife Sue have brought their grandchildren to the polls.

Pei MacBlane: “It’s a cool experience because when you’re older, then you’ll know how to vote, yourself.”

Reporter: Rubino wants voting with his grandchildren to become a family tradition.

Bob Rubino: “This is a participatory democracy, so I want to be a part of all that.”

Reporter: “Liverpool voters have also found the new voter check in iPads, known as Poll Pads, easy to use. In years past, election staffers had to flip through stacks of paper scattered around polling places to find voters’ information. Now, voters can scan their driver’s license or share the first few letters of their last name on any iPad to start the check in process.”

Roberta Smith: “I was kind of shocked today because I never remember my district. I always have a problem with it. And I walked in and I saw the tablet, and I’m like, ‘This is, like, awesome.'”

Bob Rubino: “Oh, that was really good. I liked it except it was new and I guess I had to get accustomed to it. But it’s real easy and there’s no big deal with it.”

Reporter: “It was so simple and a lot easier than last year. No reason not to vote. Go do it.”

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News) — While schools in Liverpool stayed closed for administrative conferences, parents and grandparents taught their children and grandchildren lessons in democracy.

Syracuse firefighter Tom Hawley brought his 6-year-old daughter Clara to the Holiday Inn on Electronics Parkway to watch him vote.

“My mom always took me,” Tom Hawley said. “It’s only natural to bring my daughter and show her the process of voting. I hope she’d learn that it’s a very important thing to do. It doesn’t take that long to vote and it only takes a couple of minutes out of your day. It’s just the right thing to do.”

“You should vote all the time,” Clara Hawley said.

Sixth grader Pei MacBlane came to the polls for the second year in a row with his grandparents Bob and Sue Rubino.

“I think it’s amazing,” MacBlane said. “It’s a cool experience because then when you’re older, you’ll know how to vote.”

“It’s an ongoing tradition,” retired teacher Bob Rubino said. “We try to get to as many elections as we possibly can, either state, federal or local.”

Ever since her parents first brought her inside a voting booth in the 1970s, real estate broker Roberta Smith has made a commitment to bring multiple generations of her family to the polls with her.

“Last year, I brought my grandchildren with me to this polling place and showed them how to vote,” Smith said. “It’s a family tradition that I make sure my family knows and understands.”

“You can’t change things unless you vote,” she said. “It’s important to vote, even in small elections.”