Mark Lafer, born and raised in Passaic, NJ, has been living in State College since 1988. He and his wife are always some of the first people to vote in their precinct in eastern State College.
He attributes it to their position as precinct co-chairs for the Democratic party.
However, Lafer’s passion for politics is very clear in conversation.
“I’m off to the Democratic headquarters to do about three hours of phone banking,” Lafer said. “To get out the vote.”
Lafer’s wife provides rides for voters who need it, mainly Democrats.
Lafer has been involved in politics since he was very young thanks to his parents, both of whom served in the military and were very politically active. He says he got his start handing out Coca-Cola to phone bankers.
“Eventually my father ran for local office and I managed that phone bank for a while,” said Lafer. “I’ve been active for candidates at higher levels staring in 1968 campaigning for Father [Robert] Drinan in Boston while we were living there.”
Lafer’s main reason for voting in this election can’t be boiled down to one policy issue. In fact, it’s all of them.
“The next president will decide at least one, probably three Supreme Court appointments. Since the Supreme Court rolls over very slowly, if it moves in one direction or the other, it will shape decisions on law possibly through another generation,” said Lafer. “So when you hear young people say ‘what’s important in this election?’ for me that’s the primary one.”