For many, this election was a matter of trust

By on November 9, 2016
Leslie Penkunas and Benedict Sahd, Republican Committee and Warwick School Board members, spoke with queued voters during the chilly morning hours on Nov. 8.

Leslie Penkunas and Benedict Sahd, Republican Committee and Warwick School Board members, spoke with queued voters during the chilly morning hours on Nov. 8.

Trust issues seemed to be on the minds of many local voters who flocked to polls in record numbers Tuesday.

Paul and Jeanne Snader of Lincoln Avenue in Lititz cast their votes at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ.

“You can’t trust her,” Paul Snader said, referring to Clinton. “She wants to be a dictator, everything has to be her way. I hope there are a lot of closet Trump supporters who come out and blow her away. It is time for a change.”

Jeanne Snader said having a son-in-law in the military, coupled with her concerns about immigration, pushed her vote for Trump.

The couple had originally planned to vote for Bernie Sanders. Questions surrounding the legitimacy of Clinton’s winning the primary over Sanders bothered Jeanne, she said.

“This is kind of my default vote,” she said. “But if you’re not wondering what happened there, (the Democratic primary) then you’re not keeping a close enough eye on what’s going on.”

Wearing a red, white, and blue jacket, poll worker Holly Groff said this particular election gave her plenty to think about.

“I’m more worried about tomorrow than I am today,” said Groff, a retired social studies teacher. “One of the things I fear most is that the middle class is disappearing, and after this election it will either go up (in numbers) or go down, and that’s a red flag. In every country, if you lose the middle class, that’s a (catastrophe) and there are changes coming.”

Groff said she wanted to put up a “Hilary For President” sign in her yard, but was afraid her house would get egged.

As Charlotte Carper of Lititz left the polls, she said, “Now we hold our breath.”

Early on in the process, Carper said she knew she’d be voting for Donald Trump.

“I hope he has a chance,” she said. “I think he would be a whole lot better for our country. Because of everything I’ve seen with Hilary over the years, I don’t want her to be president of this country.”

At the Warwick Township municipal building, the sunny weather and contentious issues combined to bring out a steady stream of voters, said Republican committee member Janet Peters.

About 40 percent of potential voters were making their voices heard, she said.

Scott Althouse, district leader for the Warwick Democratic Committee, said several of the women coming to vote were wearing white as a symbol of the early suffragette movement to show they supported female candidates, including Katie McGinty and Christine Hartman.

Voter Lydia Seibert was one of those sporting white.

“This is for the women who fought for our right to vote,” she said. “They could never have dreamed they’d have a woman (presidential candidate) to vote for.”

Seibert said she voted a straight “blue” ticket, for Democrats, and predicted the Democratic Party would do very well in most areas. But Lancaster County wasn’t one of them.

“People are very traditional in Lancaster County; they vote how their parents and grandparents voted,” Seibert said. “This is not my first rodeo. I’m 68 and I started voting when I was 18. I used to be Republican, but then I saw the light.”

Kerry Maharg of Pebble Creek in Warwick said he felt the economy was the biggest issue, and that influenced his vote.

“I think Trump will do that better,” he said. “But there’s all kinds of dissension in my family, so I keep my opinions quiet, or I get ‘hushed.’ You get called racist, and I don’t really think he’s racist; I think that was blown out of proportion.

“I want someone to help the economy and to help our national security, and I think that would be Trump,” Maharg said.

Voting at the Warwick Township building, John Perkins of Lititz also believes the economy needs help, but he voted for the candidate opposite of Maharg’s.

“The economy is the most important thing,” said Perkins, who voted a straight party ticket. “When I voted, I looked for who I thought was the best qualified. If Trump does win, I’d be very interested in seeing how he handles it, because as far as I can tell, he has no political background.”

At the Elizabeth Township municipal building, Christine Ruf of Brickerville said she felt the same way as much of the country — confused, annoyed, and not all that pleased with her choices.

“With the ads, how much of it is real and how much is hype?” Ruf asked. “There was so much mudslinging going on; it was just a nasty process this time around.”

“There were issues with both sides, but at the end of the day, I went with someone who has knowledge and understanding of global policies, not just our country’s issues,” Ruf said.

All that negativity actually brought people out in droves to vote, said Debra Navitski of Elizabeth Township.

“Having a platform was an issue for me,” Navitski said. “One party presented a platform and one party did not. They are both flawed candidates, but the fact that one didn’t show a tax return … if he loses the election, he’ll say it was rigged, but there was nothing of substance there.”

The pro-life question brought Gerald and Brenda Long of Elm to cast their votes for Donald Trump.

“That’s the only thing that matters,” Brenda Long said. “The pro-life issue is everything and it shows true character to protect the unborn. I can’t believe anybody would vote otherwise.”

Arthur and Christine Kelsey of Elm agreed, and both voted for Trump as the pro-life candidate, although it took Christine longer to decide since she had qualms about Trump’s temperament.

But Arthur Kelsey mirrored many of the voters questioned today when he said it was time for a change.

“People are just dissatisfied,” Kelsey said. “People are tired of politics. Trump has been able to break down the political system, and that’s what needs to happen.”

Beth Flint of Elm brought her entire adult family to vote at the Elizabeth municipal building.

Flint said Trump’s a nicer guy than how he’s portrayed on TV, explaining that she has met him by way of a relative of a former boss marrying into Trump’s family.

The entire Flint family voted for Trump, Beth Flint said.

“We need a change,” she added.

Even so, Flint was disgusted with how the political process played out over the past year.

“Things got dirty, instead of sticking to the issues,” Flint said. “We’re glad it’s over with.”

Marylouise Sholly is a freelance feature writer and contributor to the Record Express.

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