Westcott Residents Champion Voting’s Vital Role in Community and Democracy Westcott Residents Advocate for Voting's Vital Role in Community

Sisters Catie and Julianne Shelton say they do everything together, and that includes voting.
They recently moved to the Westcott neighbourhood, and they are determined to exercise their rights to vote at any chance they get, in their new community.

our voices and you know, our tax dollars, go to support a lot of things. And if we’re not determining, you know, who’s in charge of that, and, you know, taking the best care with that the best we can do is try and put people in charge that will do things that we find important.

Election day is also important to longtime residents like Don Hughes.
I think it should be a holiday.

He’s been living and voting in the Westcott community for the past 37 years.

I vote on every election day because it’s the foundation of our democracy.

Hughes says he thinks voter turnout has increased thanks to COVID-19.
He says since the onset of the pandemic, absentee ballots have become less onerous, and early voting has become more popular.
However, Hughes still thinks more people need to take voting seriously.

If you don’t vote, you’re you’re throwing away your ability to influence the future. And that’s what this is all about people running for office and they get in office, and then they control budgets they control if it’s local stuff.

While voters’ election choices may have varied today, one thing they all were in favour of was the easy, hassle-free voting process. And of course, the on-site doughnuts.

For NCC news. I’m Whitney Williams.

SYRACUSE, N.Y.– Wescott residents stressed the importance of voting in this year’s Onondaga County elections.

“Our voices and our tax dollars go to support a lot of things,” said Julianne Shelton, a new Westcott resident “The best we can do is try to put people in charge that will do important things (for the community).”

Julianne and her sister, Catie Shelton, recently moved to Westcott. They said they want to participate more in the election process, to effect change in their new community.

Election Day is also important to long-time residents like Don Hughes. Hughes has been living and voting in the Westcott community for the past 37 years.

In fact, he said Election Day should be a holiday so that people don’t have an excuse as to why they didn’t vote.

“If you don’t vote, you’re throwing away your ability to influence the future, and that’s what this is all about,” said Hughes.

The importance of voting on a local level is directly related to voting on a national level, according to Hughes.

“The people in power are making decisions on your behalf, and that extends all the way up to Congress and the President. So, it’s important to have some influence on how the country is run and who’s making those decisions.”

Hughes said that while voter turnout in the country is still poor, the numbers have increased due to COVID-19. He said early voting is now more popular and the use of absentee ballots less onerous.

The country’s system of democracy is under attack, according to Hughes.

“A lot of states are trying to restrict voter rights, requiring that you have ID, and if the formalities aren’t in order, you can’t vote. It’s just terrible,” said Hughes.

Hughes said he has voted in every election, since moving to Westcott and he plans to continue exercising his right to effect change.

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