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Democracy in Action is an Election Day project of the student journalists of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.Students on assignment represent all the journalism programs at the Newhouse school, including graduates and undergraduates in Broadcast and Digital Journalism; Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism, Multimedia, Photography and Design and students in Military programs.

Skaneateles voters hope issues, not candidates, are focus

Rachel George
Democracy in Action
Ali Rogness, Tom Fernandez and their three-year-old son, Jack, after casting their vote in the 2016 election.

Residents walked in and out the Skaneateles Fire Department casting their vote for the 2016 presidential election, with feelings of optimism and concern.

Tom Fernandez, 34, and Ali Rogness, residents of Skaneateles, brought their three-year-old son Jack to the polling site to show him how voting could affect his life and how he grows up in the future.

“He needs to be here and see this,” Fernandez said. “I’m optimistic that one day my son will be president, but I’m not sure of this country. We have a lot of work to do.”

Fernandez believes muckraking is at an all-time high, due to the investigation of emails and past secrets of both candidates, rather than the issues.

“This election has definitely separated everyone, across party lines and different philosophies,” he said. “We need to align ourselves and work in the best interest of all, not just for a certain party or issue.”

Retired lawyer Paula Conan, 65, agrees this country still needs some work but fears voters won’t be able to make an informed decision based on her belief that the majority of the media coverage has been placed on Donald Trump’s negative actions and words, rather than the issues at stake. Conan dropped in to vote after her morning workout at the local YMCA.

“Trump’s a genius, in terms of manipulating the media and getting the spotlight, but he’s displaced the attention in the room in so many ways,” Conan said. “I don’t understand how someone of his background and with the lack of information could replace Barack Obama, who I love.”

Kelly Little moved back to Skaneateles over a year ago from New Jersey to take care of her sick father. She said she was shocked that Trump had even made it this far in the election.

“I never thought he would get this far especially with all of the revelations that have come out about him,” Little said. “It’s disgusting.”

More voters made their way into the poll, smiling and greeting others as they walked by.

Democracy in Action in an Election Day project of the student journalists of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.