At area polling places, parents stress value of democracy

Voters across Lycoming County turned out in droves for the 2016 election, as poll workers raved about the high numbers and parents brought their children to share in the historic moment.

Traci Francis brought her 14-year-old son, Jordan Francis, to participate in the vote.

“I love politics,” Jordan said, adding that he is excited for his vote to count in future presidential elections.

The Francis family share a love for politics but don’t always agree on which candidate to vote for. Traci said she and her son are more Democratic, but the other members of her family lean more Libertarian.

Tim Huther, of Old Lycoming Township, also brought his daughter Madalynn Huther, 12, to vote on Tuesday. They are a unified family and support Hillary Clinton for president.

“I don’t think Donald Trump represents what I stand for,” Tim said.

Madalynn’s parents talked through their decision with her and expect her to begin voting as well when she turns 18.

The Old Lycoming Township fire hall was a whirlwind of activity Tuesday, with a constant flow of vehicle traffic moving in and out of the parking lot.

“It’s been wild,” said Louis Hunsinger Sr., a fire police officer who was helping direct traffic at the site.

This year’s election brought plenty of people to polling places such as Old Lycoming Township throughout the day.

Some voters leaving and coming to polls said they simply had to vote in an election that featured a presidential race pitting Trump against Clinton.

“It’s monumental,” said Angela Nagy of the election. “Probably one of the biggest ones I’ll see in my lifetime.”

Nagy brought her son, Cameron, 12, to the precinct with her. She said her family has closely followed this year’s presidential election.

“It’s definitely a learning experience for my children,” she said. “I feel like this is a big decision because who gets in could be in for the next eight years.”

David Wascher, of Old Lycoming Township, said he had his mind made up about how to vote before he arrived.

“I didn’t wait until the last minute to decide,” he said.

Betsy Stahlnecker, of Hepburn Township, said she certainly didn’t want to miss voting in this election.

She said she usually votes anyway but finds this year’s presidential election to be a particularly interesting one.

James Page, 46, of Williamsport, said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to vote this year.

After all, he feels both Clinton and Trump have “issues.”

“I voted for Obama and look where that got us,” he said.

But, he felt it was his civic duty to vote and, on Tuesday, brought his daughter, Aliyah, 10, with him to the city polling place at the Monsignor Fleming Center on West Fourth Street.

Norma Hinkelman, 70, of Hepburn Township, said she didn’t want to miss out on voting in this election.

“I am tired of the way things are going in this country,” she said. “I wanted to make a change with Mr. Trump.”

This year’s decision was a hard one for Steve and Patty McLoney, of Hepburn Township. While the husband and wife team both voted for Trump, Steve, expressed frustration with the poor choice in candidates.

“I feel like we’ve been presented with government garbage,” Steve said. “We feel that we are betrayed on both sides.”

Patty said she voted for Trump, not because he is a good person, but because he is a capitalist.

“I think we need to make a change,” she said.

The McLoneys believe in the democratic system, though, and while they said this year does not present good choices, they have hope for the future and believe the most important thing to do is vote.

“There’s always hope,” Steve said. “But I feel like the hope isn’t going to come from Washington, it’s going to come from us.”