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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Tuesday, November 6

Election Night Live Blog 11.6.12

12:35 a.m.
Just figured I'd sign off tonight with the speech Pat Kane prepared conceding Saratoga Citizen charter change effort.

Folks, the votes are in. While we garnered a lot of support across the city, in all of the voting districts, we did not prevail. After all the debate and discussion, the voters of Saratoga Springs have decided that they prefer the current commission form of government over that which we proposed. The people have spoken. We must respect the outcome.

For many of us, defeat stings. We can acknowledge our disappointment. We can wish that the outcome were different. But, tomorrow, we must wake up and move on.

Tonight, however, let’s take a moment to reflect upon our efforts and take some solace in what we did accomplish.

·         We took the issue of charter reform to a whole new level of research, debate, and understanding. The issue of charter reform is not over in this city and the work that we have done will not be forgotten. It will impact future changes to the charter. We have educated many voters on the issues that the city faces. That education will not be lost. The enhanced level of understanding will persist.
·         We have demonstrated that a group of citizens can band together to petition their government for change. Despite efforts to dampen our voices, in the end we were heard and the process worked through to its conclusion. Despite our loss, it was a good night for democracy. I hope that we have paved the way a bit for future initiative petitions.

Tonight, I congratulate our opponents for their victory. Their views have prevailed. In a democratic society, we must all respect, and honor, the will of the majority. That is why we are proud to be Americans living in a free country.

Most of all, I want to thank all those that gave of their time, their money, and their heart. So many of you gave so much. Be proud of your efforts and the commitment to your civic duty. You waged a noble campaign. You did it in a professional and respectful way. There is much for which to be proud. It has been my honor and privilege to work with all of you.

Tomorrow, the sun will come up. Our families and friends will welcome us back from the long campaign. We can rest a little and catch our breath. But, some chores postponed await the time we now have. And, we can, and will, get back up and work for those ideals in which we believe. We live in a great country, a great state, and a great city. Our civic pride and our civic duty will lead us to new challenges. Go forth with a warm heart.

Thank you again, to all of you. Goodnight.
And with that, I'll say goodnight as well. 

10:56 p.m.
We are now answering the office phone "Thank you for calling the Saratogian, the measure has failed" to head off at the pass the voters wondering if charter change passed or failed.

10:52 p.m.
Saratoga Springs voters have rejected charter change, yet again. Numbers are not yet official but looks like it will break down about 60-40.

10:35 p.m.
We still don't have official results on Saratoga Springs charter change proposal. If you're thinking of calling our office to ask, that's your answer. (Four calls so far and counting...)

10:34 p.m.
With 29% of Saratoga County machines reporting -- remember, the district includes Washington, Rensselaer and Columbia counties --

Marchione is beating Robin Andrews 6,117 to 3,482.
Roy McDonald, who stopped campaigning after losing the GOP primary, has 2,738 votes.

10:26 p.m.
With 37% of machines reporting in his district, Sen. Hugh Farley is winning his 18th (!) term handily against challenger Madelyn Thorner: 9,395 to 5,822.

10:13 p.m.

At the Inn at Saratoga, Carrie Woerner, Democratic candidate for the 113th State Assembly district, hasn’t yet arrived but the mood is high as the national numbers come in.

“It’s looking good for us!” shouted a man over the crowd.
According to the Saratoga County Board of Elections, Jordan is ahead in Saratoga County with 17% of precincts reporting. He's ahead 3,228 to Woerner's 2,659. The district includes a big section of Washington County where Jordan is also ahead, 51.6% to 48.3%

10:08 p.m.
With 40% of the vote counted, Wilton voters are overwhelmingly approving a proposition that would allow Wilton Emergency Squad members to continue to accrue years of service after they start collecting pensions at 65.
The vote was 1,862 for to 708 against.
At present, members who start receiving payments under the Service Award Program at 65 cannot add to their service years.

The change, if approved, would encourage older members to stay active in the squad.

“That’s the objective,” town Comptroller Jeff Reale said. “Volunteers are hard to come by. It’s an incentive.”

10:01 p.m.
Still no Board of Elections results from Saratoga Springs... let the frantic refreshing continue.
But, at the Holiday Inn GOP HQ, pollsters are reporting that charter reform is losing 3612 to 2808.

9:49 p.m. Saratoga Dems celebrate national results
As national results begin to come in, Jennie Grey reports that lively Democrats at the Inn at Saratoga have stood a cardboard cutout of President Obama beside their podium. Wild cheers as tallies come in.

9:42 p.m.
Despite no official results from the county Board of Elections, Lucian McCarty reports that the mood at the Saratoga Citizen headquarters has become grim. 

9:38 p.m.

Caitlin Morris talked to Mayor Scott Johnson at the Holiday Inn. On charter reform he said the proposal on today's ballot came up short: "I think it will not prevail — citizens want to have input on how to fine tune our government."
"I do recognize there are people in our community who feel we can do better, which is why I am creating a charter committee." Johnson's committee will have 15 members, the maximum number allowed under New York law, the member names have not been finalized yet but he said it is a broad spectrum of community leaders and people from City Hall.  The committee's goal will be to improve the efficiency of the city's current charter. That, of course, is contingent on the measure failing today.

9:27 p.m. GOP party upbeat

Former City Public Safety Commissioner Richard Wirth, Former Finance Commissioner Ken Ivins, Mayor Scott Johnson and Public Works Commissioner Skip Scirocco are hob-nobbing at the Holiday Inn…. It’s an upbeat atmosphere here at GOP headquarters with 2 Senate races and 3 assembly races expected to be in the bag, Paul Post reports.

9:24 p.m. City Dem Joanne Yepsen

Yepsen, one of two Saratoga Springs Supervisors, talked to Jennie Grey at the Inn at Saratoga where city and county Democrats are gathering this Election Night:
“It’s exciting to have so much election energy here and throughout the country. I’ve been worried that people wouldn’t turn out to vote because they were disgusted at the state of the country, but they have. I’m glad they’ve come out to vote for their future.
Because this year, besides the presidential election, we have races for the U.S. Senate and House, as well as local races, and the results are going to affect everyone’s lives significantly.
I regret only that I can’t be with United States Senator for New York Kristin Gillibrand tonight—she’s in New York City. We’ve been friends since 2005 when we both ran for office. She was my inspiration to enter the race. The Democrats have come together locally as well as nationally to support our values and principles, voting against tax increases and serving the taxpayers well. I’m proud of our record."

It’s so LOUD in here! I miss the Sports guys.
9:17 p.m. Sen. Hugh Farley at GOP HQ

Caitlin Morris asked Farley what his rebuttal was to challenger Madelyn Thorne saying his time has come and gone. "I love my job, I'm effective at what I do, I work hard, I'm in good health and I have reached a capstone in my career where I can do more for my district than ever before," Farley said. 
9:07 p.m. Looking for national results?
We've got another live blog for that:

9:05 p.m. Skidmore hosts Election Night event

8:59 p.m. Polls are about to school...
and Saratoga Citizen organizers have put a "yes wins" speech/press release and a "yes loses" one. They're very organized organizers. Also, the libations have come out at Saratoga Citizen HQ. "We did all we could do" says one organizer.

8:54 p.m. From the GOP party...

8:40 p.m. All quite at the Saratoga Citizen party
Lucian McCarty is at Saratoga Citizen organizer Pat Kane's house where supporters of changing Saratoga Springs' city charter are anxiously awaiting the results of today's election. Kane is handing out "vote yes" stickers to supporters and "just think positive" just rang out from the Kane's kitchen.
Brent Wilkes, a fellow Saratoga Citizen organizer, said he's anxious, "it's all the waiting."
Polls close at 9 p.m. ... stay tuned. 

6:40 p.m. Impound Order in the 21st Congressional District
From Caitlin Morris:
The race to represent an enormous swath of northern New York in U.S. Congress is expected to be extremely close and the incumbent's campaign has already filed an order to impound all ballots cast in the race.
Democratic incumbent Bill Owens hopes to fend off a challenge from Republican hopeful Matthew Doheny tonight for the 21st Congressional District.
The new 21st Congressional District includes the Saratoga County towns of Day, Hadley, Edinburg, Providence, Galway, Milton, Greenfield, Corinth, Moreau, Northumberland, Wilton and parts of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga and Stillwater. The district includes all or part of 11 counties and extends as far north and west as the Canadian border.
A poll released last week showed the two candidates were neck-and-neck; it is likely that no clear winner will emerge tonight. 
Owen’s spokesperson, Jon Boughtin, said Owen’s campaign filed for an impound order about a week ago, which State Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin signed it into effect on Monday.  The order requires the 12 county election commissioners to secure all the ballots from the 21st Congressional District and appear in Albany on Friday.
"It’s a standard practice these days," Boughtin said.
This is the second time in two years Doheny has challenged Owens for his seat in Congress.
Owens, 63, resides in Plattsburgh where he practiced law for 30 years and became a managing partner at the law firm. The incumbent has spent almost three years in Congress and was elected in 2009 to fill John McHugh’s seat when he was named Secretary of the Army. Doheny, 42, resides in Watertown and started North Country Capital in 2010, which lends money to start-ups, invests in business expansions and assists businesses in distress.

6:30 p.m. Photos from Ed Burke and Erica Miller of Saratoga County voters in action today:

6:20 p.m. Live from the polls
Paul Post has talked to lots of people out voting tonight, here's some of what he's heard in and around Saratoga Springs:
  • At the Lincoln Baths, where there is a steady stream of people coming in to vote, an election worker said she is making a point to remind people to turn their ballots over (the charter change proposal is on the back).
  • Also at the Lincoln Baths, Frederick Gergits, a 17-year-old Saratoga Springs High School student said he was disappointed he couldn't vote this year and has to wait four more years to vote for president. "It's kind of a big deal to determine what's going to go on with the economy," he said. His mother, Nancy, said she preferred the old lever voting machines to the new Scantron-style voting. "You really felt like it registered" when you pulled the lever, she said. Willy, Frederick's brother, said filling in the bubbles "felt like an SAT."
  • GOP election inspector Stan Drosky said turnout in Saratoga Springs has been heavy all day with only one minor problem with a machine that was easily resolved. He predicts we won't know the results of the presidential race for at least a day or two.
  • Cecile Gutchell said her parents came to the U.S. from Canada and impressed upon her the importance of voting, telling her it was her responsibility. Her first presidential vote was in 1954 (she voted for Ike) and her future husband Gary Gutchell voted for Adlai Stephenson. "My family was very serious about voting, too," she said.
  • At the Saratoga Springs High School, Stacey Turner said she felt Hurricane Sandy was overshadowing the election. "People still don't know where to vote," she said.
  • An inspector at the high school said at 30 people had to re-do their ballots today because they put an "X" on their preferred candidates rather than filling into the ballot. Everyone did it hhe said, "nobody walked out."
  • The same inspector said several people forgot to turn their ballots over to vote on the charter change proposition.
  • At the high school, "There were a lot of first-time voters. That's good to see," the inspector said. 
  • "I'm surprised at how many people can't read, we had to help them," the inspector said.
  • Some people displaced by Hurricane Sandy who are staying locally also voted at the high school with affidavits signed by a judge.

6:10 p.m. Election Night is finally upon us! 
The end is in sight for political lawn signs and TV ads, robocalls and annoying posts on Facebook. Whether the election goes the way you want it to or not, that is something to celebrate.

Before the celebrating begins, though, we'll be reporting results and reaction live right here. Reporter Caitlin Morris will be heading to the Holiday Inn in a couple hours to see what the Republicans are up to, while reporter Jennie Grey is across the street at the Inn at Saratoga with the Democrats. Reporter Lucian McCarty -- who is typically the voice behind this blog -- will be checking in with both Saratoga Citizen and SUCESS, the pro- and anti-charter change groups. Reporter Paul Post is checking out several polling places throughout Saratoga County before he joins Caitlin at the Holiday Inn.

I'll be in the office tonight compiling their dispatches for this live blog. If you've got questions feel free to leave them in the comments or email

So far voting seems to be going pretty well throughout Saratoga County, the only complaints we heard were about paving on the Avenue of the Pines that made it difficult for some voters to get to the Lincoln Baths, a major Saratoga Springs polling place. Also, heard a few people say their poll workers got a bit  too close for comfort when they were inserting their ballots into the machine that reads them -- those voters felt uncomfortable that the poll workers could see how they voted. Anyone else experience this?

At my polling place -- the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church on Circular Street -- there was a bit of a kerfuffle this morning when one of my fellow voters became irate about the lack of stickers. Seems like that was going around today. If you didn't get a sticker, here's a link for you.

-- Emily


Blogger Steve Shoe said...

You guys rock. Almost wish I was in the trenches with you right now. Almost.

November 6, 2012 at 9:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have Adlai Stevenson spelled wrong. Heck, he only ran for President twice...

November 6, 2012 at 10:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A sincere thanks for your hard work, but a two hour wait for local results is kind of ridiculous considering all the twittering and facebooking available.

November 6, 2012 at 11:00 PM 

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