During exit interviews conducted at the Hillsdale Community Library voting precinct by The Hillsdale Collegian, voters shared their thoughts regarding the issues that mattered to them in the 2016 general election.
“I’m a little disappointed in the national candidates, how they were all about downing each other and sharing bad news about each other,” Hillsdale resident Shelly Weddington said. “I want someone who will be out there looking out for our state and world, not worried about ‘he said, she said.’”
Weddington said that although she was uncomfortable with the level of mudslinging to which the candidates reduced themselves, the scandals surrounding former presidential candidate Sec. Hillary Clinton gave her some pause. She said she also questions Clinton’s stance on abortion and financial policies.
“Her support of abortion at 36 weeks — it’s absurd. I don’t believe in abortion, period, but you can take your child home at 36 weeks,” Weddington said.
In the election for the 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, Weddington had more confidence in her candidate, Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich.
“He seems like a pretty good guy. I definitely went with him. He’s being honest about what he’s offering, so I was pretty happy with him,” Weddington said.
Lt. Tim Parker, who won his race for Hillsdale County sheriff, was the subject of controversy during his campaign for violating the Hatch Act by posing with his official uniform in campaign materials. This controversy lead some citizens, such as Weddington, to reconsider voting for him.
Others, however, said Parker’s actions did not change their minds.
“Tim’s alright. He wasn’t my preference,” Hillsdale resident Jason Snoes said. “I’m not opposed to Tim. I’m okay with that.”
Snoes was supportive of President-elect Donald Trump, especially the candidate’s assessment of the electoral system, which both he and Snoes say is rigged.
“I’m with Trump — he says it’s a sham. With the way the electoral system is, they take a lot of power out of the voters,” Snoes said. “I think they should count the votes vote for vote, instead of having this ‘each state gets this many votes’ system.”
The Rev. Steven Allen, a Greek Orthodox whose family has roots in the Hillsdale area dating back to 1812, said he was supportive of Trump, though he had reservations about his vote.
“I’m a die-hard monarchist, so, even if our republic were still legitimate, I would say its system is uncongenial to my sensibilities,” Allen said. “I believe that Clinton is the tool of an insane hubristic war establishment, and if we let these people stay in power, we could enter a war with Russia or China, which is insane, since our military can’t win such a war.”
Allen said he held his nose the first time he voted Republican, and that he did so again today. He explained that he had to choose the worse of two evils, but that he knew what he had to do.
“Politics is the art of the possible, so instead of voting for the devil I voted for a weak human being,” Allen said.
Nobody The Collegian interviewed said they supported Clinton and a clear majority supported Walberg.