Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Welcome to another live Election Day blog!

10:15 p.m.: We just spent an hour with the Democrats at Spasso's in Media, and now we take a hop, skip and a jump down Baltimore Pike and we are at Springfield Country Club at the GOP headquarters. We'll be live with Republican candidates in just a few minutes.

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8:03 p.m.: That didn't take long. Just three minutes after polls close, Gov. Chris Christie declared winner in New Jersey gubernatorial race. Only question now is by how much, and is this the start of his run for the Republican presidential nomination.

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7:50 p.m.: OK, we're off to see the wizards. We'll be talking to both county Democratic leader David Landau, and Republican Chairman Andy Reilly as we pick up our live coverage starting at 9.

First we're going to visit with the Dems at Spasso's in Media. Then we'll hustle down to the Springfield Country Club, where the GOP is holding forth.

Make sure you come back at 9 and take part in our live chat.

For now, I'll leave you with this prediction.

GOP again sweep county-wide races in Delco!

Polls close in about 5 minutes. Seen you in an hour on DelcoTimes.com.

7:30 p.m.: Thirty minutes until the polls close.

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7:00 p.m.: We are one hour until the polls close. Have you voted yet? Make your voice heard.

I will be very interested to see if Delaware County Democrats can turn a 600-vote edge in the raw voter registration numbers into victory in a countywide race.

It says here that they won't, but we won't know for sure until around 10 or so.

Who thinks I'm wrong?

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6:10 p.m.: Here's a weird one: One of the premier races in the country today is the expected re-election of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Having put the state on his shoulders in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Christie is expected to roll over Democrat Barbara Buono.

Raise your hand if you have no idea who Barbara Buono is, or where she's from.

I don't think you're the only one. She's a state senator from Metuchen, on the outskirts of New York City in North Jersey.

Now here's the weird part.

The usually media loving Christie is carefully controlling his victory party tonight. He's only allowing pool coverage from TV.

A lot of people believe that instead of celebrating his re-election as governor, Christie is really kicking off his run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

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6:05 p.m.: Looking for turnout? Head for Upper Darby, where there are races for both the township council and school board.

According to one Facebook report, Upper Darby 1-3 is at 253 voters, one of the bigger ones in the county.

Let us know your turnout numbers!

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5:30 p.m.: Now that people are getting out of work, will there be a late rush to the polls? No, I don't think so either.

The polls will remain open until 8 p.m.

Remember to tune in to DelcoTimes.com at 9 as we start our live election results coverage on a special edition of "Live From the Newsroom."

We'll start the night with the Democrats at Spasso's in Media at 9, then we'll be at GOP headquarters at the Springfield Country Club as the races become final.

If you think we're tipping our hand by saving the Republicans for last, you're right. I don't expect the Democrats to win any of the county-wide races.

Anyone out there think I'm wrong?

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4:55 p.m.: Turnout is reported as light across the county, but those who did get out and cast their ballot offer some great commentary on what drove them to the polls.

Check out Kathleen Carey's story after spending the day visiting polling places across Delco.

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4:50 p.m.: A correction: That information is not the number of voters in Lansdowne, but rather the ones that have broken three digits! That's more like it.

Polling places in precincts 2, 4, 5, 6, 11 all have gone over three digits.

Good for them.

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3:30 p.m.: What if they gave an election and nobody came? Reports are that turnout is very light across Delco.

A shame. These positions probably have more effect on life here in Delco than the sexier presidential races.

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2:40 p.m.: Just wondering when it comes to turnout? Have any polling places broken triple digits yet? Maybe in Ridley Park? Or Upper Darby? It sounds like turnout is all but non-existent. That does not bode well for Delco Democrats as they try to wrest control of at least one of the county-wide positions up for grabs.

The Republicans are likely to get enough of their base to the polls to assure their vote.

I'm not nearly as confident that the Delco Dems will be able to do the same.

That's why I predicted that Republicans would once again sweep the county races, although likely by a somewhat smaller margin than they're used to.

Anyone disagree? Let me know! And check in to tell us what kind of numbers you're seeing at the polls.

Email your numbers to editor@delcotimes.com.

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2:20 p.m.: Another reader has checked in. William Evans is a longtime critic of the Rose Tree Media School District.

But this time he's instead turning his guns on the Daily Times, in particular our print edition.

What's got stuck in his craw?

Those "sticky" ads that appeared on the front page many days over the past couple of weeks. They've been touting Republican candidates.

Evans is not amused.

"I was completely disgusted by the political stickers put on the front page of yesterday's Delaware County Times," Evans wrote. "This indicates how totally the publisher and editor have sold-out to the political corruption that plagues Delaware County under control of the Republican Party. I threw the paper in the trash which is exactly where the two politicians named belong."

Geez, William, how do you really feel?

A couple of points I should make here.

One, I don't totally disagree with you. I am not a big fan of those Page One ads either, in particular the "sticky" ones that inevitably seem to block our lead item.

But I believe you are making one correlation that is off the mark.

The ads on Page One do not mean we endorse those candidates or the party. In this case the ad was for the two Republican candidates for the Court of Common Please, William "Chip" Mackrides and Rich Cappelli.

In our editorial endorsement, we actually urged voters to back Democrat Steve Chanenson, who struck us as one of the best candidates to appear on a Delco ballot in a long time.

We'd be only too happy to accept similar ads from Delco Democrats.

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1:30 p.m.: Just received a letter to the editor from a woman in Glenolden who is voting here for the first time after moving to Delaware County from another state.

Let's just say Aleta Payne of Glenolden is less then impressed with Pennsylvania voting habits.

She points out she was surprised that she was greeted at the polls by several Republican activists.

I'll let her tell the rest.

"I am not used to being accosted by 'helpful' representatives of the Republican Party positioned feet from the door of the poll," she wrote. "Other states have rules about that, and I am wondering why Pennsylvania allows campaigning virtually at the polls? They had a 'helpful handout' telling potential voters 'how to vote' ... and that could be construed as harassment or intimidation in other states. What gives?"

Welcome to Pennsylvania, Aleta.

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12:30 p.m.: Remember that while you likely will be asked if you have an ID, it is not required to vote in this election.

One exception might be if you are voting for the first time at your polling place. It might be a good idea to have some type of ID with you.

So far turnout appears to be incredibly light across Delco.

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11:35 a.m.: Here's today's election in Pennsylvania at a glance:

POLLS: Open statewide at 7 a.m., close at 8 p.m.

VOTER ID: Poll workers may ask voters to show photo identification, but a photo ID is not required in order to vote.

STATEWIDE: Pennsylvania voters will elect a judge to fill a vacant seat on the state Superior Court. The candidates are Republican Vic Stabile and Democrat Jack McVay Jr.

PHILADELPHIA: Re-election bids by District Attorney Seth Williams and Controller Alan Butkovitz, both Democrats, face Republican challenges in the heavily Democratic city.

PITTSBURGH: Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Peduto faces two opponents, including a Republican nominee who sold his home in September and moved to Israel.

SCRANTON: Tax collector Bill Courtright, a Democrat, and lawyer Jim Mulligan, a Republican, are vying to succeed Mayor Chris Doherty, who's not running again after three terms.

LANCASTER: Seeking a third term, Democratic Mayor Rick Gray is being challenged by Republican Charlie Smithgall, the former mayor Gray ousted eight years ago. Smithgall's defeat in 2005 ended his own bid for a third term.

HARRISBURG: A local businessman, Eric Papenfuse, and the city controller, Dan Miller, are competing to be elected mayor of Pennsylvania's capital. Democratic incumbent Linda Thompson, the first African-American and first woman to serve as Harrisburg's mayor, was defeated in the May primary.

JUDICIAL RETENTION: The state's voters will be asked to indicate yes or no on the retention of four appellate judges whose terms are about to expire. Unless a majority objects, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille and Justice Max Baer and Superior Court judges Susan Gantman and Jack Panella will be awarded additional 10-year terms.

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11:15 a.m.: And now a little Election Day pop quiz? Anyone know who Vic Stabile is? How about Jack McVay Jr.?

Give up?

You probably haven't been the polls yet.

They are duking it out in the only statewide race in Pennsylvania. Stabile is a Republican, McVay a Democrat. They're seeking a post on the state Superior Court.

Voters also will cast retention votes for four judges, including state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille, Justice Max Baer, and Superior Court judges Susan Gantman and Jack Panella. They're all seeking another 10-year term.

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10:45 a.m.: Back to Ridley Park, and another flap, at the same polling place. This time it apparently involves people who were apparently making a statement in opposition to the billboards that have been so controversial in the borough.

Several voters wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with 'No Billboards,' along with the standard red circle with a line through it were apparently hassled at the polls.

And again this was at the Christ Church polling place on Sellers Avenue.

The T-shirts did not contain the name of any candidates, or any political party, they merely were in opposition to the proposed massive billboard near Hetzel Park that has sparked a huge outcry in the borough

. A woman wearing one of the T-shirts was told she can take up her case with the Bureau of Elections. ----

10:05 a.m.: We have our first reader contribution of the day. Blogger Steph Ridosh writes the 'Simply Steph' blog.

Today she writes about the importance of the election and her desire to serve her community.

Honorable traits, and ones that are increasingly rare these days.

Steph breaks it down to neighbors seeking to serve their community and the power of one vote.

Bravo!

I'm still looking for pictures from polling places. Let's go people. This is your chance to be part of the news-gathering operation.

Let's see if you have what it takes to join the DelcoTimes.com team.

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9:50 a.m.: Why am I not surprised that the first reports of problems at the polls are coming from Ridley Park. It's a beutiful little town. But it hides some really ugly politics. These warring factions have been going at it for months, with reports of theft of some borough documents, borough checks being used in fliers and posted on the MAC machine at a local bank, and even the borough having to change their bank accounts.

We've also heard that CID went into borough hall last week and confiscated a computer in an investigation of all this political hininks, but nothing has been confirmed as yet.

This morning's skirmish sounds like the normal shenanigans. Voters being harassed, fliers being given out too close to the polls, where exactly political signs can be placed.

Welcome to Election Day 2013.

A reminder: If you have an issue at the polls, you can call the Delaware County Election Bureau at 610-874-8780. If you need to find out where your voting place is, call 610-891-4649 or 610-891-4659.

Play nice out there, folks! ---- 9 a.m.: We have our first reported problem at the polls. Two callers from Ridley Park report constables and police have been called to the polling place at Christ Church on Sellers Avenue. They claim voters are being harassed and signs confiscated, as well as voters being given political fliers too close to the polling place. We're checking it out. Anyone with any pictures from the site please send them to editor@delcotimes.com

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8:30 a.m.: The polls here in Delaware County have now been open now for an hour and a half. I need some reports. What has turnout been like? Did anyone have to stand in line? Get me some photos. Post a comment on the blog or email your pictures to editor@delcotimes.com.

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7:50 a.m.: We interrupt this early morning Election Day for some news.

If I was going to guess, I suppose this is not the front page that Delaware County Republican Chairman Andy Reilly wanted to see today.

The county's preliminary budget calls for a tax hike. You can read all about it here. The preliminary 2014 fiscal plan calls for a 2.8 percent increase in taxes. For most residents, it means forking over another 20 bucks. County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle said he hopes to shave that down before final adoption.

We go through this little dance every November. I have already been accused on Facebook by one poster of deliberately leading the paper with the story on the tax hike.

Not true.

Yes, I made that decision yesterday. I think it's an important story. It means Delco now will have raised taxes for three straight years, and underlines the problems with underfunding by the state when it comes to several crucial services such as the operation of Fair Acres and the county 911 Center.

But I didn't set the timing. County Council could have come out with their preliminary budget last week. They chose not to. Under the Home Rule Charter, the budget plan must be made public by Nov. 2. With that being Saturday, I told reporter Danielle Lynch to get it yesterday. Council was not exactly enthusiastic in turning over the plan.

I'm sure they would have been thrilled if we had just let it slide and they could announce it later in the week - after the election.

Delco Democrats made a lot on this campaign of their "no-tax-hike" pledge. It was branded as being "irresponsible" by the Republicans, who vowed they would not cut services such as Fair Acres.

Did we have to make it the lead on the front page of the newspaper and website. No, we did not. But it's an important story that affects every resident in this county.

I'm sure the County Council and county Republicans don't like it, but it was their decision to play it close to the vest, not mine.

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7 a.m.: And they're off! The polls are now open in Pennsylvania and will remain open until 8 p.m. If you have problems at your polling place, call 610-874-8780. Don't waste your most precious right. Vote!

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6:50 a.m.: With a few minutes before the polls open and no doubt they are overrun with eager voters (note the sarcasm there), let's have a little fun.

After all, what's an election if you can't interspice a few laughs.

These off-year municipal elections are notorious for voters staying away in droves.

I'll set the line for turnout at 30 percent.

And I'm taking the under. I say turnout will be 27 percent.

Rep. Nick Miccarrelli, R-162 of Ridley Park, has already weighed in on Facebook. He's set a line at 20 percent and is going with the over.

What do you say, Delco? What will turnout be? Post a comment on this blog with your idea and we'll tally them up later.

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6:30 a.m.: Good Morning! First Tuesday in November? That can mean only one thing - time for another Heron's Nest Live Election Day blog.

The polls don't open for another half hour, so enjoy that second cup of coffee and I'll try to let you know how we'll set this up today.

As usual, I will try to use this blog to give you the latest election news from Delaware County. Don't get too excited. My guess is most people will stay from the polls in droves.

But should you decide to exercise your most precious constitutional right, here's what's up for grabs in Delco.

You will be electing two members of County Council, filling two slots on the Delco bench on the Court of Common Pleas, and electing three county row officers, for the posts of sheriff, controller and register of wills. Towns and school boards also will be filling spots on their governing bodies.

You can get the details on what's up for grabs in Delco here.

Now comes the fun part. What I really want is for you - the readers - to take part in our coverage today. If you seem something interesting, email me at editor@delcotimes.com. You can also find me on Twitter @philheron. If you have pictures, feel free to send them along.

Then make sure you tune in tonight when we present a special Election Night edition of 'Live From the Newsroom.'

We'll be doing live interviews and giving your the latest results starting at 9 p.m., just an hour after the polls close.

We'll start at the Democratic HQ at Spasso's in Media, then head over to Springfield Country Club to catch up with the GOP.

I'll be joined by our lead Wednesday columnist, Chris Freind.

We'll also be featuring a live chat that you can take part in with our #election2013 hashtag. You'll also be able to follow our coverage all day on Twitter.

Make sure you vote. And then make sure you stick with DelcoTimes.com all day and tonight for the latest Delco election coverage.

Join the conversation!

2 Comments:

Blogger Your Havertown Realtor said...

See if this passes the smell test: GOP judge of elections mixes up voting machines, sets up machines in the wrong precinct, then goes to work for the day. Upon further investigation we find one of the Republican officials in the same precinct involved in the mixup doesn't even live in the precinct, yet he is allowed to work the table (that's supposed to be illegal). In fact, he was an emergency appointment by the GOP controlled Board of Elections. But it doesn't end there. He also happens to be the Township Commissioner's brother, also a Republican. And, surprise! The commissioner is up for re-election today. When we complained to the Election Bureau, they hung up on us. Election Day in Delaware County. William Bender should check this out.

In Marple

November 5, 2013 at 12:49 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Ridley's Third Ward polling place (at the Ridley School District Admin building), the "helpful Republican representatives" are stationed INSIDE the building, mere feet away from the voting booths. Isn't there some sort of rule about how close they are supposed to be to the actual voting booths? I thought the "helpful party representatives" handing out propaganda were only allowed to stand OUTSIDE the polling place?

November 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM 

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