Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney are names I’m sure you’re all familiar with right now. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t follow politics and can’t fully tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans, these names are constantly being emitted from your TVs and laptops as their political ads interrupt your Hulu streaming to ensure that your brain is effectively oversaturated with political exposure. In the last week before the election, the frequency of these ads has only increased, but on Tuesday, they will come to an end; Tuesday, you get to vote for the representative of New York’s 22nd district. It needs to be Brindisi.
Elected in 2016, incumbent Tenney has only served one term in Congress, but she has consistently voted in favor of dangerous legislation that threatens the livelihood of the people of the 22nd district. According to FiveThirtyEight, a website respected in the political world for tracking our representatives’ voting habits, she votes in line with President Donald Trump’s position 96.8 percent of the time. As the TV ads have already informed you, Congresswoman Tenney voted in favor of the health care bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act that would strip coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. She also voted for the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, legislation that allowed for massive tax cuts for the wealthy. The congresswoman frequently favors laws that restrict women’s rights, increase the rights of gun owners, roll back environmental protection procedures and limit the rights of immigrants.
In complete contrast, candidate Brindisi is committed to working for the people of the 22nd district. He opposes many aspects of the Trump agenda, but has said at multiple town halls throughout the area that I’ve attended that, if elected, he will work with the president in a bipartisan effort to ensure the passage of the best legislation possible. Brindisi opposes any bill fully repealing the Affordable Care Act and has sworn never to vote in favor of a law restricting health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. He has a strong stance in favor of women’s rights, environmental protection and a fair immigration policy for our nation. Brindisi strongly sees the need for effective gun control, but understands that there are aspects of owning a gun that need to be protected, especially in this district. He does not support an all-out ban on assault weapons, but believes we need to take steps to protect our citizens from merciless attacks at the hands of gun owners. He already understands the needs of the people of this area more than Congresswoman Tenney has in her two years as our representative.
When you vote on Tuesday, you need to think about the effects of your decision. This district is considered a “toss-up,” meaning the result could come down to just a few votes. A vote for Tenney is a vote for a decrease in health care access, a decrease in women’s rights and an increase in taxation of the poor; a vote for Brindisi is a vote for change. We already have a person sitting in the Oval Office who endangers the livelihood of Americans — we don’t need another one in this district.
If you live in the dorms, you can vote right on campus in the University Union. If you live in Downtown Binghamton, you can find your precinct’s location by visiting the Broome County Board of Election’s website. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Go vote.
Emily Houston is a senior double-majoring in political science and English.