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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Election Day

Primary Election Day 2014 is finally here.  We'll be following a few hot races for state representative in this cycle.  District boundaries have been redrawn, and that's set up some interesting contests.

Two other things jump out today, and the main one is at the top of the ballot-- the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Tom Wolf was the third one in the race, entering on April 2nd of last year.  He spent early and big.   His campaign got started with millions of his own money while the other candidates had to get their fund raising machines up and running.  Every pollster is ready to hand Wolf the nomination.  Incumbent Tom Corbett also seems resigned to the fact he'll face Wolf in November.  The Republican is already running anti Wolf ads.

I'm sure Corbett has a sizable campaign fund.  I wonder if Corbett intended to spend some of it this early, or if it was by design.  Corbett has some low poll numbers to deal with.  It's a matter of trying to take down Wolf while boosting his own profile.

There's another expensive race out there.  It affects only one county, but I'm sure others are watching.  Lackawanna County voters have to decide whether they want to replace three commissioners with a seven member county council, and an elected manager.

Those who favor the council say it's actually smaller and more responsive government.  Those pushing the status quo say things are OK, and more people doesn't not equal a better way to run the county.

Ads on both sides are very good, especially the direct mail.  I think I know how this one ends.  I'll tell you tomorrow if I was right.

As usual, the election day plan for me goes like this-- a hearty breakfast, followed by preview stories live from a polling place for Newswatch 16 This Morning.  I'll check the big races and turnout for out noon broadcast.  Breaking news forces a change in direction.

After our noon broadcast, I'll stop at my polling place on the way home, have lunch, take a nap, and watch the votes come in tonight on WNEP, WNEP2 and WNEP.com.

Look for a recap here tomorrow morning, plus Tweets and blog updates this morning and afternoon.

As I always preach, every election is important, so get out and vote today.

>>> 2:45 AM UPDATE   One of the things that makes our democracy great is the ability to get a fast food spicy chicken sandwich and fries at 2:00 AM.  Chicken and fries has become an election morning tradition for me.  Don't ask me why.  After dining, I headed to the office.  Most of my pre-election work was already done.  It was just a matter of tweaking scripts and going over plans with Producer Thomas and Photographer Jason.  We'll be heading out the door in just a bit.

>>> 6:15 AM UPDATE  We went to the Y in Dunmore this morning because we never visited on an election morning.  Off to talk with movers and shakers after our next update.  Busy early morning ahead.

>>> 9:30 AM UPDATE  Visited a few polling places in Lackawanna County.  Light turnout.  We're hearing light is the norm so far today.  Conducted interviews on the Lackawanna County government question, writing our noon story now.

>>> 11:00 AM UPDATE  Writing, script approval, and video editing went well.  The Lackawanna County referendum is a tough story to tell in a minute and a half.  We hit the major points, and other staffers will have more later on in the day.  Soon, it's out the door for a live shot, and my day is nearly complete.

>>> 1:30 PM UPDATE  The noon live shot wrapped up smoothly in Taylor.  We ended with less than stellar numbers from several communities.  It wasn't unexpected.  It was still sad.  I voted on the way home.  I was voter # 107 in my little town.  Not bad, but we do have a hotly contested state representative race here.  I've discussed this in the past.  It's no secret I'm not a member of any political party.  Independents can't vote for candidates in the primaries, but we can vote on questions.  Guess what?  I was independent voter # 0001 in my ward.  Are you kidding me?  Both sides in the Lackawanna County referendum debate did a poor job of letting third party members, and independent voters know they can vote.  This goes not just for today, but ANY primary.  You can vote on the questions.  Shame on those involved.  It's time to hand things off to my colleagues, take a nap, and watch the votes come in tonight.