Lyndon Voters Eye Presidential Race

votinglyndonLYNDON – A steady stream of cars poured into the municipal building in Lyndon today, as people got up early to cast their ballot in Tuesday’s presidential election.

 Town officials declined an interview request, but we spent a lot of time talking to voters to get a feel for the election, and most of those we spoke to cited the race for the presidency as their reason for voting.

Corinne McGrath – who cast her vote for Obama – said that casting a vote is one of the most important things we can do as voters. She also said that, while some of the local races were in the back of her mind, it was the race for the presidency that motivated her to vote.

“Today’s my day off,” McGrath said. “I work the second shift, so I’m not usually awake by now. So, rolling out of bed this morning to do this, it’s definitely the idea that I made a difference today.”

Ted Dinkel, who voted for Romney, said that his primary reason for going to the polls was the presidential vote.

“I think that the economy’s gotta be in better shape,” Dinkel said. “I just don’t think the last four years have been good for the economy.”

The numbers echo the importance of the presidential race to voters. About 57% of Caledonia County residents voted in non-presidential elections since 2000, compared to a turnout of 73% for presidential elections. This year, election experts expect a record number of voters will cast their ballot.

Though most of the people at the Lyndon Municipal Building were focused on the voting process, others stood outside the municipal building for reasons that had nothing to do with the names on the ballot. Petitioners representing organizations from RCT to the Catamount Arts stood outside, waving clipboards and encouraging voters to take a moment to sign their petitions.

By and large, the petitioners were seeking to get items onto the town meeting ballot. Donna Stark was one of the petitioners seeking signatures. Her group, the Lyndon Area Chamber of Commerce, is seeking $2000 to maintain the Lyndon Information Center, which runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. 200 signatures today would be enough to get her petition onto the town meeting ballot.

“This is my first time [trying to get signatures] on Election Day,” Stark said, “so I’m hoping to get about two hundred. I don’t need that many, but it’s better to have them than not to have them.”

No matter the reason, everyone could agree on one thing: Nothing gets the people of Lyndon moving quite like a presidential election.