Michael Wenye Li / Sun Staff Photographer

November 4, 2016

Local Democratic Politicians Host Forum to ‘Get Out the Vote’

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With four days left before the 2016 presidential election, various Democratic candidates and officials urged Ithaca residents to get out the vote at the Democratic Unity Rally at Cornell on Thursday.

Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 was joined by congressional candidate John Plumb, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, New York state senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke, district attorney candidate Matt Van Houten, and Elie Kirshner ’17, who ran for the Tompkins County legislature last year, who spoke on behalf of senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

All the Democratic speakers emphasized Hillary Clinton’s aptness for presidency. Lifton explained that, unlike Trump, Clinton’s lifetime record of public service demonstrates how the candidate prioritizes serving the public over herself.

“[Clinton is] obviously the most qualified candidate to ever run for president,” said Meredith Abato ’20, who also added that Clinton is “a personal role model” for her.

The speakers reiterated the necessity of voting, not only for in presidential election, but also for the candidates who will represent them in local government and Congress.

“There are very few places in the United States of America where your vote can literally change the outcome of a federal race, but this is one of those places,” Plumb said. “This is a swing district.”

Burke highlighted the importance of local participation in the electoral process, especially in the Ithaca area.

“If we flip this seat here in the southern tier it also flips the whole New York State Senate,” she said.

She added that many will not be able to go to the polls for various reasons, endowing those who do vote with an increased responsibility.

“We are casting a ballot not just for ourselves, but for all the people behind us who might not be able to get there and that’s an awesome responsibility,” Burke said. “And that’s an awesome privilege that we have as American citizens.”

President of the Cornell Democrats Kevin Kowalewski ’17 agreed with Burke, urging everyone to vote for the candidates who will shape the future of the country and their district.

“Voting is easy, quick and it’s going to make all the difference in the next four years,” he said.