Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Election Day


Election day!  It's finally here!

I face this primary on two fronts, personally and professionally.

First, the personal stuff.  I get to vote today!  Pennsylvania has closed primaries, so you have to be a member of a party to cast a primary ballot.  But, there is a special election for senate today.  There are four important ballot questions.  I can vote in those contests, even though I am an Independent.  I'll have to sit on the sidelines for the rest.  I'll drop by my polling place right after work this afternoon.  I'm sure I'll see some familiar faces, beneath the masks, and that's always a treat.  Voting is like a social engagement.

The preview stories I wrote last week will get one more going over, and then we're on the air with Newswatch 16 This Morning at 4:30 am.

Watch this space for updates during the day.  My work day ends at noon.  After voting, lunch, and a nap, I'll be up to watch my colleagues deliver the numbers.

There are several new people running county voter services offices in our area, and across the state.  It will be interesting to see if the tally can be done in a timely and efficient manner.  There have been challenges over the years, plus some downright slow and sloppy work.  Maybe new faces in new jobs isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It's 2021.  You deserve a fast and accurate count.  Having said that, I am not willing to sacrifice accuracy for speed.

Keep checking in tomorrow for a little analysis.  I have my theories and speculation.  We'll see if I was right.

As I always say, "off year" elections don't get the attention of a presidential contest, but they are just as important.  The people you vote for today control your taxes, police protection, schools, trash collection, snow removal, social services and a thousand other things.

Vote.  It's important.

>>>11:00 am update:  Apologies for the blackout.  It's been a whirlwind morning.  State senate candidate Marty Flynn voted at 7, Chris Chermak at 8, and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti at 9.  A photographer and I managed to talk with all three.  It was then back to the office to bang out a story for our noon broadcast.  I finally have a moment to  breathe and write.

Early impressions:  I asked Flynn and Chermak about the nasty tone of this campaign, and there are reports this morning of one of the other candidates doing surprisingly well and siphoning off a lot of votes from the two major parties.  Fascinating.  Turnout didn't appear to be heavy.

>>>12:00 pm update:  My work day is done.  The story is airing, part of a series of election reports.  Problems with ballot wording in Luzerne County.  You had how long to get this right?  It's a detour to my polling place after work, then lunch at home.

>>>1:15 pm update:  I was voter 77 in my precinct.  Anemic.  I was the first Independent.  Hideous.   Independents need to know they can vote in the 22nd district special senate election, and Independents everywhere can vote on the ballot questions.

It's a little down time, then up tonight to watch the numbers come in.