Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Election Day!


Election Day is finally here.  For those of us in the news business, it's our equivalent of Super Bowl Sunday.  Stories have been produced, logistics considered, graphics readied, the web site checked and double checked.  All we need are the numbers, plus the reaction from the voters and the candidates.

I compare working election mornings to being a pin setter in a bowling alley.  I set them up.  Someone else knocks them down.  My day will be over long before the polls close and the results trickle it.  No complaints.  It's what I do.

My day will consist of some preview stories for the morning news broadcasts.  I might visit a few polling places to gauge turnout, especially in areas with hot contests.  I'll put together something for noon, vote, go home, have lunch, take a nap, and watch the numbers come in tonight.

Of course, there will be a few updates here as the day progresses, and a few election thoughts tomorrow.

One footnote on this Election Day...  Today is the 23rd anniversary of the election that ended with Al Gore and George Bush virtually tied in the contest for the presidency.  It all came down to the Florida vote, and the whole thing was decided by the Supreme Court December 12th.  No matter how you felt about the election, the process, hanging chads, and the outcome, it was an amazing night/morning to watch television and simply a fascinating moment in American history.

>>>3:00 AM UPDATE:  A fast food spicy chicken sandwich used to be my election morning ritual.  Covid 19 did away with that.  That 24 hour fast food restaurant stopped being 24 hours long ago, and I'm sad.  Even though most of my election morning work was done days ago, I still arrived at the office early today.  Nerves.  Anticipation.  I checked and re-checked my stuff.  We're good to go.  Now, all I have to do is wait for photographer Bonnie to arrive in a few minutes, and it's off to a polling place for Newswatch 16 This Morning.

>>>9:00 AM UPDATE:  I spent the morning at Scranton High School, where eight precincts now vote.  It seemed roomy and organized.  People who voted didn't seem to have any issues inside.  Outside, it's a different story.  While there is parking for the handicapped close to the building, it could be a long walk from the parking lot for everyone else.  After that, it was a quick atop at the Lackawanna County Government Center on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton to watch the mail in votes counted.  It looked organized and trouble-free.  There are 14-thousand mail in ballots in house, with more coming in today's mail and the drop box in the lobby.  By the way, early turn out was light.

>>>10:30 AM UPDATE:  Anecdotal evidence from friends and coworkers still shows a light turnout. #sad.  Photographer Bonnie finished putting together our noon story.  It was one where I didn't know where it would go when I sat down at the keyboard.  The fingers still work.  It flowed.

>>>12:03 PM UPDATE:  My day is done.  My story aired.  It's time to power down at work, and power up at home.  I'll vote between the two.   I hope you do the same.   It was a long day, and an interesting one.  Let's do it again in the spring!

>>>1:05 PM UPDATE:  I voted, and I'm home.  I was voter 80 in my small town's ward, and that wasn't too bad.  We have tight contests for council and school board, so I expected a little more.  Be that as it may, that's all for today.  Thanks for reading, and it was nice meeting so many people this morning in Scranton.  You make the system work!  Thank you.  Time for a little sleep and I'll watch the numbers, with you tonight.  I'll call you back later.