SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Election day in Onondaga County brings new leadership in its 19 wards as well as two new propositions for New York State.
This year marks the ten-year renewal of allocation of debt limitation funds for sewer lines in New York State cities. An issue that may seem mindless to vote on but supports city-old systems, according to Former Syracuse City Auditor Minch Lewis.
“If you don’t invest in infrastructure now, ultimately you pay a much greater price down the road. You fix it before it breaks. You’re much better off than after you’ve had a crisis,” Lewis said.
The other proposition on the ballot allows smaller city school districts to have the budgets of larger city school districts. This proposal would affect 37 school districts in the state and allow the school districts more to better adjust to the growth many have experienced, according to Lewis.
However, many of the voters that go to the polls today will not vote on either issue. This rate of abstinence is the result of the vote being on the back of the ballot.
New York State Public Interest Research Group’s Blair Horner reported that 14% of voters left the fourth proposition blank on the ballot in 2021. This amounts to about 1 in 7 voters.
At the Nottingham High School polling center today, voter Aaron Schooler says he flipped his paper over and didn’t see anything.
Another voter, Krista Hannacker, did vote on the propositions, but noticed other voters that were confused.
“It probably would’ve been nice if there was a notice to take a look at the back. I saw some people wondering,” Hannacker said.
Minch Lewis believes missed votes are an issue of democracy.
“Democracy in the basic sense is people voting on something and their votes actually determines the outcome. So the more people that vote for it, theoretically, the better the decision,” he said.
Voters should research the decisions they make on the ballot, knowing both who and potentially what they will vote on.