Cecil vot­ers voice heartache over choices

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - IS­SUE By JA­COB OWENS & JES­SICA IANNETTA

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— Tens of thou­sands turned out to vote on Elec­tion Day on top of the more than 10,000 who voted early this year, but many said Tues­day evening that they weren’t thrilled with ei­ther choice in the pres­i­den­tial race.

The race be­tween Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump and Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton has been marked by a ran­corous cam­paign cy­cle, and nei­ther has es­caped un­harmed. Na­tional polls show that each rank

ELK­TON

among their party’s most un­pop­u­lar can­di­dates in his­tory.

While Cecil County was an­tic­i­pated to vote for Trump in the gen­eral elec­tion due to its higher Repub­li­can reg­is­tra­tion and turnout, sev­eral vot­ers on both sides said the 2016 cam­paign was wholly un­sat­is­fy­ing for them. The Whig vis­ited the Elk­ton High School and Holly Hall El­e­men­tary School polling places due to the county seat’s high di­ver­sity rate.

“I think this year was a pretty poor pool of can­di­dates,” said Joey Edwards, a Clin­ton voter, out­side of the Elk­ton High School polling place. “I think Clin­ton has more ex­pe­ri­ence in pol­i­tics. Trump has some good ideas, but the way he brought them across was too far out there for me. It turned me off. If he had been a lit­tle more elo­quent, I prob­a­bly would have sup­ported him.”

Edwards said he hoped for bet­ter choices in fu­ture elec­tions, re­fer­ring to Tues­day’s race as one be­tween “Beelze­bub and Lu­cifer.”

Mark Wal­lace, who shared a sim­i­lar point of view with Edwards, said he casted his first

bal­lot in 30 years Tues­day, at the be­hest of his wife.

“I don’t play pol­i­tics. I don’t think there’s a politi­cian in of­fice who isn’t a liar,” he said. “I don’t vote for liars.”

While Ar­mand and Mary Miles said they sup­ported Trump’s hard­line stance on im­mi­gra­tion, they re­sented his de­pic­tions of mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties and his at­tempts at lob­by­ing for their votes, ul­ti­mately cast­ing their bal­lots for Clin­ton in-

stead.

“Any­thing beats Trump,” she said. “I’m not a fan of (Clin­ton’s) ei­ther, but if I have to pick the less of two evils, she’s the evil.”

“Who would put a per­son like Don­ald Trump into of­fice?” he added. “In the be­gin­ning, he made some in­ter­est­ing points but near the end the wheels fell off.”

Melvin Belcher, who voted with his wife, Deb­o­rah, con­tin­ued the night’s re­frain, say­ing, “I didn’t re­ally feel com­fort­able with ei­ther can­di­date.”

The Belch­ers said that they were still de­bat­ing their

choice in the car on the way to the polling place Tues­day night, ul­ti­mately choos­ing to vote for Trump.

“We need a change,” he said. “Over the past eight years, I felt like I was sit­ting on the curb go­ing nowhere. I can’t think of one thing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion did for me … I tried to vote for who I thought was best for the job.”

While many vot­ers strug­gled with mak­ing a decision be­tween the two pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, Mitch Matthews, who voted at Holly Hall, had no qualms about cast­ing a vote for Clin­ton — and ev­ery other Demo­crat on the bal­lot.

“I’m a Demo­crat all my life,” he said. “It’s the only one that’s work­ing for me.”

Randy Hobeck, also voted for Clin­ton, but for a dif­fer­ent rea­son.

“Happy wife, happy life,” he joked as his wife, Lynn, who also voted for Clin­ton, laughed.

This is likely the first time he’s voted for a Demo­cratic for pres­i­dent though, Hobeck said, while con­ced­ing that Clin­ton is the “lesser of two evils.”

Pat Land was equally re­signed about her vote for Clin­ton, which she cast dur­ing early vot­ing. But she came to

Holly Hall on Tues­day to ac­com­pany her hus­band, who also voted for Clin­ton.

“We didn’t like ei­ther of them, but she’s much saner than him,” she said.

Charles Patchell and Bran­don Mabe were more en­thu­si­as­tic about vot­ing for Trump.

“He’s very straight­for­ward and to the point and I think we need that in the White House,” Patchell said.

Mabe, on the other hand, said he dis­agrees with many of Trump’s stances, but that the Repub­li­can can­di­date’s tax plan was the de­cid­ing fac­tor in who earned his vote,

not­ing he knows sev­eral peo­ple that would ben­e­fit from Trump’s plan to lower taxes on busi­nesses.

Wal­ter Scott, a reg­is­tered Demo­crat who voted at Elk­ton High, said he didn’t like his party’s choice in Clin­ton, but chose to come out to sup­port down-bal­lot races, in­clud­ing Wil­liam Manlove for school board.

“Trump says stuff, but Hil­lary has been ad­ver­tis­ing what he says so much,” he said. “You don’t know who to vote for, one is as crooked as the other one.”

“I’m just glad it’s over,” he added. “And my wife is too.”

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

An elec­tion judge helps a voter en­ter his writ­ten bal­lot into the scan­ner Tues­day at the Elk­ton High School polling place.

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