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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Voters ready for presidential race to be over


MASSENA - If there’s one thing most St. Lawrence county voters can agree on, it might be that they’re glad the election is almost over.

Several county residents said they have grown tired of the “mud-slinging” and negative attack ads exchanged between candidates. Others have expressed a dissatisfaction with both candidates, both parties, and an overall lack of progress in Washington.

“Neither candidate can unify the parties,” said Joseph A. Daniels of Potsdam. “Both parties are so intent on their own agendas they got stuck in gridlock and make it very hard to get anything through.”

St. Lawrence County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Thomas A. Nichols said there are 66,622 registered voters in the county,including 24,609 registered Democrats, 23,148 Republicans and 3,637 Independents. Another 13,220 voters have no party affiliation, and 596 registered with “other” parties.

In 2008, St. Lawrence County supported President Barack Obama by a 57 percent to 42 percent margin over John S. McCain, in an election during which 63 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot.

Despite how close the election is, some county residents remain undecided.

Wilma R. Taylor of Massena said she’s caught between the two candidates.

“I’ve changed my mind this way and that,” Ms. Taylor said. “There are some things I like about each candidate and some things I don’t like about each.”

Ms. Taylor said she disapproves of ObamaCare and is concerned it might be more expensive for the middle class. Mr. Daniels, also undecided, said he disapproves of the supposed added costs of ObamaCare, but said he does not agree with Mr. Romney’s position to set 60 as the minimum age for social security benefits.

“Sixty is too late in life for people to change their plans for retirement,” Mr. Daniels said.

Some county residents expressed a general distrust toward Mr. Romney, due to his corporate background, a perceived lack of new ideas on how to fix the weak economy, and the Republican party’s questionable comments and positions regarding women’s health rights issues.

Jessica M. McPherson of Potsdam said she believes a vote for Mr. Romney and Paul Ryan is vote against both women’s rights and gay rights. She also expressed greater trust and faith in the Democratic party on economic issues.

“I don’t think (Obama’s) doing as badly with the economy as most people think,” Ms. McPherson said. “I check a lot of fact-checking websites, and it seems like Obama tells the truth a lot more than Romney or Paul Ryan.”

Other county residents think neither candidate will be able to solve the problems the country is facing.

“There is no miracle worker for this economy,” Ms. Taylor said.

Despite some residents’ opinion that neither candidate is right, the county board of elections has issued even more absentee ballots for this election than in 2008.

“I think from what our office has seen, you’re going to see a lot of voting for both parties,” Mr. Nichols said. “I think we’ll see an even higher turnout than in the last election.”

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