On Nov. 8, those who are 18-years-old or over and registered to vote will have the opportunity to exercise their political rights in the annual local elections.
Students can vote here in Rochester or in their hometown elections via absentee ballots. Polling will take place at Helen Wood Hall at UR for those who live on the River Campus, and at the Plymouth Gardens Apartments Community Room for those who live in Riverview Apartments. These polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For those who are voting in Rochester, there are two elections in Monroe County that are especially important to students: county executive and district attorney.
A county executive is the head of the executive branch of the government of a county. The county executive oversees the day-to-day functions of the regional government, creates policies to represent his or her constituents and has veto power. Therefore, the county executive acts on behalf of the needs of the students and resolves issues that students feel are important. It is essential to elect someone who represents the student voice.
The candidates for County Executive are democrat Sandy Frankel and republican Maggie Brooks.
Frankel has served as supervisor of Brighton, N.Y. She is the incumbent County Executive and has served in that position since 2004.
If elected, Frankel said she will “establish an independent Office of Integrity,” seek out opportunities to control costs and improve services, eliminate wasteful spending, lead “green initiatives,” work to improve the Rochester City School District and work with fire and emergency medical response service providers to continue efficient and cost effective emergency response.
Brooks, if re-elected, said she will continue to work hard to “protect” local taxpayers, advance “Monroe County’s strategic investments in the private sector,” reduce the size of county government, maintain a high quality of life for citizens and ensure “the highest level of integrity in county government.”
A district attorney oversees the prosecution of felony and misdemeanor crimes and violations, and also creates and enforces new programs to prevent crime and prosecute criminals. Their effectiveness can determine the safety and well-being of the citizens of the county.
Bill Taylor, a republican, and Sandra Doorley, a democrat, are the candidates for Monroe County District Attorney.
Taylor believes that illegal guns, drugs and gangs are the most significant problems facing Monroe County. If he is elected, Taylor said he will “focus on two areas to reorganize and improve the [district attorney’s] office”: creating a bureau to prosecute cases involving illegal drugs, guns and gangs and focus on addressing the prosecuting of crimes involving “sensitive victims” such as children, the elderly and victims of sexual and domestic abuse.
Doorley stated that “protecting our families and community from violent criminals and those who prey on our children should be the top priority of a district attorney.” If elected, Doorley said she plans to “create separate bureaus of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence, to ensure that each type of case is handled with the attention it deserves.” She would also create a Citizens Advisory Board to help the district attorney’s office recognize the needs of the community.
Other elections on this year’s Monroe County ballot include State Supreme Court Justice of the Seventh Judicial District, County Court Judge, County Legislator of the 25th District, City Court Judge, City Council and Commissioner of Schools.
More information about voting can be found at www.monroecounty.gov/elections-index.php.
Hansler is a member of the class of 2015.