A bunch of
us will be in The Saratogian newsroom and a handful will be out in the field
Tuesday night, hoping for results in time for our 11:45 p.m. press deadline.
there will be a number of close races in spread-out districts that may indeed
be “too close to call.” By 11 p.m., my worry is not who won, but whether we’ll
be able to get it in print. We’ll have a couple of front pages mocked up for
the various options.
the beauty of the Internet. Staffers will stick around to get results online.
ready for the elections to be over.
had more than 16 hours of election-related in-person sessions — hour-long chats
with Republican and Democratic candidates for the 112th and 113th
Assembly districts, the 43rd and 49th Senate districts, and
the 20th and 21st congressional districts, as well as representatives
of Saratoga Citizen and Saratoga Success, the respective proponents and
opponents of the city government change on the ballot.
All of these
were informal discussions, all “on the record” – meaning everything said could
be used for publication. Also, we videotaped competing candidates answering the same
questions in the same order. Those videos can be seen The Saratogian website.
participated in all of those sessions; Assistant Managing Editor Betsy DeMars
missed only one. The reporter covering the specific election sat in, too.
sessions were useful for our news coverage and in making editorial
endorsements, we also took into account coverage of the races, voter forums, and
input and materials provided by the candidates and their campaigns.
all the personal discussions were done, we sat down with Publisher Mike O’Sullivan
and reached a consensus about whom to endorse. Most were not unanimous
decisions. I am happy to say that we have a mix of views on our makeshift
editorial board. As the editorial writer, I try to make a convincing case for
the candidate, regardless of how I intend to vote. Either way, sometimes it is
a challenge to do justice to the candidates and their campaigns.
was comfortable, as I was, with not endorsing in the presidential race, but
rather to focus on our niche as the local paper and stick with the
congressional and state legislative races for the districts representing most
of our readers.
I think a
newspaper’s editorial page should be a place where residents can turn for an
informed opinion about candidates and issues, whether or not you agree with the
conclusions. It’s a responsibility I do not take lightly.
special pains with the editorial against the proposed change in city
government. We didn’t decide on the position until the day before it went to
press. I read the entire proposal carefully, consulted with people in and out
of the active circles for and against, read many thoughtful comments both for
and against, and applied my firsthand experience and knowledge of how City Hall
works – or should work. I had to shrug and laugh at an online comment saying
the paper’s editorial position was based on where its revenue comes from. That
has never come up, and it just plain isn’t the case.
As for the people
who get involved in elections and campaigns: I have a lot of respect for people
who invest their time and energy, and sometimes their money, for a cause or a
candidate they believe in. The same goes for most of the people I’ve met who
run for office. Public service is an honorable endeavor.
As for news
coverage, every year I wish we could have done more with the elections that we
did. If only our four reporters had nothing else to write about. Still, I think
our reporters did a good job with the legislative races letting readers know
who’s running and what they stand for.
candidates and position, we should all thank the Saratoga Springs League of
Women Voters for their leadership in setting up voter forums and putting together
the written guide that formed the basis of The Saratogian’s special section on
I also want
to acknowledge Editors Betsy DeMars and Paul Tackett, who added several hours
to their already long workweeks to get the Voter Guide pages together for The
Saratogian’s print edition.
telling you about the candidates, we also tried to let you know about the
election disticts, all of which have been redrawn. Most Saratogian readers are
no longer part of the district of the congressman and assemblyman who
represents them at the moment.
our voter guide, the league’s voter information, and the state and county Board
of Elections websites if you’re not sure what district you’re in.
And then get
out and vote.