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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Waiting for the polls to close

I am writing this from a classroom at the University at Albany, where on Tuesday evenings I teach Introduction to Reporting and News Writing. The students, meanwhile, are banging away at their keyboards, having just come back from interviewing poll workers at one of the on-campus polling places and a couple of voters. The workers, they reported, are lonely: the on-campus turnout could be counted on two hands, two feet -- well, not much more than that.

I like this bunch of students. They are engaged, they are doing good work, and no more than one student ever falls asleep at the same time. It's a tough gig, a three-hour night class. They don't know it yet, but they'll be getting out a bit early so that I can head back to The Saratogian to help with our election night coverage.

We had an interesting discussion earlier in the class about whether newspapers should endorse candidates. No consensus. But they agreed that citizens should be able to turn to an editorial endorsement for an informed opinion, with which they can agree or not. One student worried that an endorsement colors the perception of the publication's news coverage. I hope that has not been the case for The Saratogian.

By the way, I was voter No. 92 at my polling place at about 10 this morning, and everything went smoothly. My fingers are crossed that the same holds true for this evening as the results are reported, so that we can report them all in our print edition. We'll stick around to update the website with things that happen after the paper goes to press.


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