Voting machines unaffected by voter turnout

Despite low voter turnout, the Oswego County Board of Elections remains hopeful that students will step up and vote.

Oswego County Democratic Commissioner Dick Atkins said although there has been continuous low voter turnout at Oswego State, he hopes students know a lot of things are at stake for them in the upcoming elections.

"We have seen a standard pattern," said Atkins on student voter turnout. He added that the numbers are always low, especially in primary elections.

"Students tend to let the college community become the focus, rather than the bigger community that they are a part of," Atkins said. However, Atkins is optimistic about the race for New York state governor, which he thinks will have a good turnout.

"You do have an influence and if you don’t vote to put the right people into the right positions, it can come back to cause problems for you later," he said. The next group of elected officials could address hot topics, including "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," SUNY tuition increases and even reinstating the draft.

Regardless of the low turnout, there will still be two voting machines located in Campus Center room 133, the same location as in the 2008 presidential election. Atkins explained that the machines are paid for by tax dollars.

In total, funds from county, state and federal taxes will cover the estimated $30,000 cost of running the polling place located in the Campus Center. This cost includes voting machines, machine inspectors, table inspectors, machine delivery and ballots, which cost about 57 cents each. Lines to vote on campus are considerably shorter than at other polling places around the county. Atkins encourages students who are registered to vote to take time to read the newspaper and learn about the candidates.