October 28, 2021

Cortland County heads to the polls

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Sherry Monroe, of Homer, left, casts her ballot today at the Homer Senior Center as poll worker Cathy Lawrence, of Homer, looks on.

CORTLAND — Go vote. You still have time — polls remain open until 9 p.m.

Sure, Hillary vs. Donald is the bout at the top of the ticket, but a host of down-ticket races give you plenty to choose from: state and federal senators, Congress, district attorney, even municipal races in Cortlandville, Dryden and Truxton. And there’s a proposition in Cincinnatus.

How simple is voting? Just ask Kevin J. Becker of Cortlandville, who snapped a selfie with an “I voted” sticker on his nose in the parking lot of the Cortlandville Town Hall just after he voted at about 6:10 a.m. He’s one of more than 30,000 registered voters in Cortland County.

“It was pretty good in there,” Becker said past the sticker. The lines varied by district — some had none at all — but waits were rarely more than a couple of minutes.

The issues vary from voter to voter. And even among voters who agree on what the issues are, and what the best solution may be, there remains a gap on how much a priority any issue is.

Still, here’s what some voters this morning said was important to them:

• Kevin Becker, Pleasantview Drive, Cortlandville: “I was thinking about the DA; Mr. Perfetti, I like him,” said Becker, a Democrat. But the big race was president.

“Hillary is a lying thing, but I don’t like Trump, either,” Becker said. In the end, “I did vote for Donald — the mouthy guy.”

• Gregory Bevins, McLean Road, Cortlandville: What’s become of this country, Bevins asked himself in the voting booth? “It’s like picking your poison. It’s hard to separate the crap from the real issues,” Bevins said.

He’s a Republican but had no objections to an Obama presidency. But this time? He didn’t like either candidate. He metaphorically held his nose as he filled in the circle — for Trump. “I do feel like we’re participating in a longer dynasty of evils with Hillary Clinton.”

• Mark Vidulich, Cedar Street, Cortland: “Nationally, corruption in government is the most important thing to me.

Vidulich, who is not affiliated with a political party, said he was concerned about “racially biased legislation. I think it’s time for a change.” Vidulich, who voted this morning at the Tompkins Cortland Community College extension center on Main Street in Cortland, said many of his friends and co-workers agree with his position.

• Teresa Hoy, Song Lake Road, Preble: “I was thinking about the future of my grandchildren,” said Hoy about her voting decisions, after casting her ballot at the Preble Fire Department at 1911, Preble Road. “I thought about moral issues and American values. I tried to vote for public servants from top to bottom (on the ballot).”

• Burak Kazaz, Song Lake Road, Tully: As an economics professor at Syracuse University, the economy was the main issue on Kazaz’s mind when he went to the polls at the Preble Fire Department.

“The implications of what the candidates are discussing are critical,” he said in regard to the presidential candidates’ economic plans, although he did no wish to say who he voted for.

• Leo Riley, Stanford Drive, Homer: “It was an ugly campaign on both sides,” Riley said about the presidential campaign, after voting at Homer’s Town Hall on North Main Street.

He said when it came time to vote for the president, the candidate’s temperament came into play, as well as who he thought could best unite the country. But he did not wish to say which candidate he voted for.

When it came to feeling comfortable about everyone he voted for, he said, “I have to be at this point in time. I’m walking out.”

Managing Editor Kevin Conlon, reporter Nick Graziano and Associate Editor Todd R. McAdam contributed to this report.