2019 Elections

Onondaga County Voters Struggle With Negative Advertisements

By Payton May, BDJ 464.02

Published on November 5, 2019

Onondaga County voters are confused on candidates' specific platforms because of the amount of negative advertisements and lack of policy conversations. Video produced by (c) 2019 Payton May.

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The people of Onondaga County come out to vote on Election Day for many different reasons.

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“We wanted to make sure our votes count at our age. We’re both in our 80’s.”

“Voting is a privilege.”

“That’s right. He’s a veteran and he’s always voted.”

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“It’s a right given to Americans and I believe it’s one of the most sacred things we can do as a society.”

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“It’s important because nothing changes unless people make the steps to make it happen.”

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But for voters in this election season, it’s been difficult to figure out what the candidates actually stand for.

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“I just think there needs to be a dividing line. Here’s what I represent, here are all the bulleted facts, here’s what I’ll do for the county.”

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Today on the ballot we have a County Executive Race between Ryan McMahon and Tony Malavenda, which has been a very anticipated race because of the amount of negative advertisements.

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“It is hard to determine any time of truth or lies.”

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The battle over negative ads has increased two weeks before Election Day, with McMahon’s lawyers getting involved.  On the other side, ads against Malavenda have falsely accused him of illegally taking tax breaks in three mail ads sent to County residents.

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“You don’t know who to believe. One is negative against the other. But we made our own decision on what we thought was best.”

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Some voters wish there were public forums to clear up what is false, so that a voter’s choice isn’t influenced by advertisements. With Democracy in Action I’m Payton May

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) –  Rain poured on Onondaga County voters who decided to brave the weather and fulfill their civic duty. Voters across the county had very different reasons for voting. Voter Patricia Farrington thought that change doesn’t come quickly or easily, but voting is the most beneficial way to make sure you are represented.

“It’s important because nothing changes unless people take the steps to make it happen,” Farrington said.

Umbrellas in hand, voters made their way to the polls. An issue that seemed to be more important than the weather though, was the confusion on how particular candidates stood on certain topics. Many voters think this problem can be attributed to the amount of negative advertisements circulating on television commercials, radio ads and even in mailboxes.

Voter Emmanuel Snipes said he himself had issues determining what he should believe and what he should ignore.

“It’s hard to determine any type of truth or lies,” Snipes said.

Negative advertisements have become a major issue in the current election for county executive between incumbent Ryan McMahon and challenger Tony Malavenda.

With all the negative attention certain candidates have faced, voters feel like they haven’t been as educated on actual policy issues.

“I just think there needs to be a dividing line,” Farrington said. “Here’s what I represent, here are all the bulleted facts, here’s what I’ll do for the county.”

Despite the advertisements, voters have made an effort to take part in their constitutional right this Election Day.