‘It’s dirty’

By on November 5, 2014

Local voters hope for a cleaner political landscape

LititzResultsThere was no way to escape the bright spotlight that was Tuesday’s mid-term election in Lancaster County. The national media was focused on the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and how it might effect legislation over the last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The Pennsylvania Legislature had a lot on the line as well with all of the representative positions on the ballot, plus half of the state Senate seats. And at the top of the page was the race for governor.

“I only decided three or four days ago,” said Michael LaSala, after voting at Lititz United Methodist Church (the Second Ward, 2nd Precinct polling site). “I made my choice for governor on the whole of the issues and the debates (he watched two).”

Martha Strite voted at the same location, but had her mind made up for the last two weeks. “My main issues were pro-choice and, of course, taxes,” she said.

Across town, at the First Ward, 1st Precinct site (Lititz Fire Company), Mary Ann Seitz’ decision was made after the results of the primaries.

“I was unhappy with the current administration, and wanted to try something different,” she said.

At Warwick Township’s Clay-Newport District (the township municipal building), long-term resident Jack Skinner had decided more than three months ago.

“Property taxes are most important to me,” he said. “I did see bits and pieces of the first debate.”

Trust in the party philosophy was most important to fellow township resident Joanna Hess. “I always vote a straight party ticket,” she said.

The debates weren’t the only source of information for local voters. Television commercials to the tune of $70 million or more flooded the airways from the gubernatorial contest to the state representative positions.

“The TV ads affect me in a negative way,” said Skinner. “I don’t believe any of them.”

Hess also had trouble finding the positive in the ads.

“I hate them,” she said. “I’m usually tuning them out.”

Seitz felt that the ads had little influence on her. “There are some facts and a lot of fiction,” she said. “It’s hard to find out the truth.”

LaSala came down on the same side of the ledger when it came to the political commercials.

“They had more of a negative effect on me,” he said. “It seems like we’re riding a roller coaster. Years ago there was a lot of mud-slinging. Then there was a period that was more civil. But now it seems like we’re back to a more negative approach.”

Even the word politician left a bad taste in the collective mouths of the local voters on Tuesday.

“It’s like trying to herd cats,” commented LaSala. “I’m disappointed with the lack of compromise.”

“Dishonest,” stated Strite. “I want them to stick to the facts and stay away from the mud.”

“I wonder why anyone would want to do it?” added Seitz. “I don’t want to hear spin or personal attacks.”

Skinner was on the same page. “They’re slime,” he added. “I really am sick of it, but I’ll keep voting until I find it doesn’t matter any more.”

Hess agreed. “Oh boy, it’s dirty. I’m tired of it really.”

While the voters came and left over the course of the 13 hours that the polls were open, two groups were there for the duration. The first were the poll workers &tstr; the judge, majority and minority inspectors and others (based on registration). The second were the party committee people, who are the ones outside the polling places handing out literature and answering questions. One of those was Cathy Gelatka, who has been on the job since 2004.

“The people I called before Election Day were upset with the current administration, especially in educational funding,” she said, but found that the dissatisfaction did not lead to a morning mob scene. “The early rush was very sparse.”

Now, the results are documented. What remains to be seen is how the two parties work together until we gather to vote again.

Kevin Frey is a freelance reporter for the Record Express. He welcomes your comments at frey_kevin@ymail.com.


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