Cecil voters voice heartache over choices
— 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
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-
“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.”
An election judge helps a voter enter his written ballot into the scanner Tuesday at the Elkton High School polling place.