August 26, 2018

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Students encouraged to vote in Ithaca by Tompkins County Democrats

Print More

To the Editor:

New York is a fairly blue state, blue enough that in past presidential election years, we’ve often counseled Democratic students to vote in their home districts to make their votes count. This year is different. This year we have a chance to flip the House. We live in a congressional district that is represented by a Trump-supporting Republican who thinks that Ithaca, a thriving part of his constituency, is crawling with “extreme liberals.”

So we encourage students to register to vote based on your current Ithaca address and to make absolutely sure to vote on November 6.

There are many pluses to voting where you currently live.

1) Your time in Ithaca will be more authentic and interesting if you know your community. Voting locally connects you to what’s going on here right now.

2) Voting locally means voting on issues that affect you directly, from bike lanes and Pell Grants to solar power and social justice.

3) The median age in the city of Ithaca is 21.8, and we have a young mayor, but until students start voting locally in larger numbers, policies will largely be dictated by the older population.

Our candidate for Congress, Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95, is a cybersecurity expert who has taught both at Ithaca College and Cornell and once co-directed Cornell’s Institute for Internet Culture, Policy, and Law. Although she lives in Penn Yan now, she knows and loves Ithaca.

To register to vote in Ithaca, start at the county Board of Elections website,, and click “How Do I Register to Vote?” Follow instruction 1, 2, or 3. Even if your hometown is in New York State, you need to re-register each time you move. Do this before OCTOBER 12.

Once you register, the Board of Elections will mail you a postcard telling you where to vote. After that, it’s all about showing up.

Summertime polling indicates that only about a quarter of young adults plan to vote in 2018. Let’s prove those polls wrong and #FlipTheHouse.

Kathy Zahler ’76

Director of Communications, Tompkins County Democratic Committee