Syracuse, N.Y. (DiA) – Election day is officially over in the state of New York meaning citizens from all over Onondaga County have taken to the polls and casted their votes. Just under 10,000 ballots were cast in the early voting period of the election process with another 83,000 coming today bringing the sum total to around 93,000 total ballots. This number is substantially lower than last years total of about 237,000. However, this can be attributed to the fact that last year was a Presidential election year which always inflates the numbers.
Polling sites opened early this morning and while voter activity was initially slow, as the day went on lines got longer and longer. The peak voter activity took place from 4 pm to 8 pm. Many citizens were eager to exercise their right to vote and effect change in the community. One voter Cjala Surratt says “I was taught that if you don’t want things to change, and you want to complain, you have to also show up for the solution and this is a part of the solution.”
Surratt goes on to discuss the specific issues she wants to see fixed. “We have some major issues with the generational poverty here, and we’re at a pivotal time. With the conversation on I-81 and what’s going to happen with that population”. Surratt says. “I want to make sure the person we put in leadership is thinking about those communities that generally have been disenfranchised and making sure they have a voice as well.”
Many people echoed the message that voting is a privilege and an imperative aspect of democracy that should not be taken for granted. This was exemplified by the circumstances of a man named Emad Rahim. “I came as a refugee to America” Rahim says. “So in my country back in Cambodia, during the communist revolution of Khmer Rouge, voting was something that was not allowed, something that we were not given a right to.”
While Rahim was clearly very grateful for the opportunity to vote and have a say in his community, he did mention one concern. “In the back of the ballot it’s a summary, so it doesn’t provide detail, and it doesn’t give you additional resources where you can actually reference from”, Rahim says. “It makes it difficult so if you don’t know it, you’re basically just making an assumption.”
Rahim suggested that the back of ballots contain more context and educational information to give people a better idea of what they are voting for.
Polls closed at nine p.m. tonight though results likely will not be final for at least a day.