Elections

In-depth coverage of elections and campaigns.

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This week on the Campbell Conversations, Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus and Syracuse University professor Chris Faricy return to the program to discuss the November elections.  They were last on the program in February following the Iowa Caucuses.  They discuss the long, strange political trip since then, and the implications of a Trump presidency for a variety of policies and other national political institutions.  

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Scriba's residents have resoundingly defeated a referendum that would have allowed the town's officials to replace the highway superintendent. The proposed law would have changed the job from an elected position to an appointed one.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Unofficial election results show a slight increase in turnout among New Yorkers this year as compared to 2012, but turnout in many northern and central New York counties decreased.

The election just ended and the new president doesn't even take office until Jan. 20. But the transition planning starts now.

Who's going to be President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of state? His chief of staff? His education secretary? Now that the news of Trump's election has settled, speculation over how the president-elect will fill out his administration has consumed Washington.

Keeping in mind the truism that nobody who knows is talking, and those who are talking don't really know, here are some of the names being floated, leaked and speculated about.

When American voters must choose a new president, reaction tends to rule. Given a choice between continuity and contrast, we favor contrast — even when the retiring incumbent leaves office with relatively high public approval.

This sometimes is called the pendulum effect: The farther the pendulum swings in one direction, the farther it is likely to swing back. In physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction; in politics, the pushback sometimes can be disproportionate.

Brian Mann / NCPR

Rep. Elise Stefanik stormed her way to a second term last night. The Republican from Willsboro won the North Country’s congressional seat by more than 90,000 votes in unofficial returns. The Democrat and the Green in the race were both handed stinging defeats.

Jubilation in Glens Falls

It was a jubilant and confident night in a packed ballroom at the Queensbury Hotel as a beaming Elise Stefanik greeted volunteers and supporters after winning every single North Country county – often by landslide margins. Young volunteers chanted "Elise! Elise! Elise!"

Republican control of Congress could mean more clout for upstate NY

Nov 9, 2016
Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Several races for Congress in upstate New York were expected to be competitive, but Republicans won those comfortably. Some experts say the GOP winners in the region got a boost from Donald Trump’s name at the top of the ticket. And having Republicans control all branches of government could mean more leverage for upstate residents.

Reed Extends a Hand

New York State Senate

Democrats had hoped to make inroads into the New York State Senate. But preliminary results show the Republicans gaining one seat to hold a razor-thin 32-seat majority.

Despite a corruption scandal among Republicans on Long Island, incumbent GOP senators apparently kept their seats, and won an open seat formerly held by a Republican.

In close races in the Hudson Valley, GOP candidates also held on, and in a western New York swing district that includes portions of the Buffalo area, Republicans took the post back from Democrats.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, like the business career that preceded it, was unpredictable, undisciplined and unreliable. Despite those qualities — or perhaps, in part, because of them — it was also successful.

So what should we expect from President-elect Trump, mindful that his path to the White House has defied expectations at every turn?

Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

That's remarkable for all sorts of reasons: He has no governmental experience, for example. And many times during his campaign, Trump's words inflamed large swaths of Americans, whether it was his comments from years ago talking about grabbing women's genitals or calling Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally "rapists" and playing up crimes committed by immigrants, including drug crimes and murders.

Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States, the capstone of a tumultuous and divisive campaign that won over white voters with the promise to "Make America Great Again."

Trump crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold at 2:31 a.m. ET with a victory in Wisconsin, according to Associated Press projections.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

 

Democratic Assemblywoman Addie Russell overcame a rematch challenge from Republican John Byrne to hold on to her seat in the 116th Assembly District. She defeated Byrne 53 percent to 47 percent, or by roughly 2,500 votes, in unofficial returns. The district runs from Cape Vincent to Massena along the St. Lawrence River. Russell was seen as vulnerable after having nearly lost to Byrne two years ago.

Russell's supporters gathered inside a new business in downtown Watertown -- and indoor children's playground called Fun Escape. 

Updated at 10:45 ET Wednesday

While votes are still being counted, some high-profile ballot initiatives already have returned clear results — including a slew of states opting in favor of medical or recreational marijuana, and several more raising the minimum wage.

You can see our full list of key ballot measures here, or check out a sample of the highlights:

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Republican Rep. John Katko is the first incumbent in more than a decade to be reelected to the 24th Congressional District. The district flipped back and forth between Republicans and Democrats in the past four congressional election cycles.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The 22nd District will remain in Republican hands after Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) won a close three-way race with 44 percent of the vote in unofficial returns.

Tenney was jubilant as she claimed victory Tuesday night, knowing that she will soon succeed the congressman she tried unsuccessfully to defeat two years ago. The embattled Tenney took a sigh of relief as she recounted what were acrimonious primary and general elections.

Canada's Immigration and Citizenship website was down for hours Tuesday and Wednesday — apparently due to a spike in searches by Americans reacting to Tuesday's presidential election. Access was cut off on Election Day; the site was brought back online shortly after 10 a.m. ET.

Thanks for joining WRVO online for election coverage. Current election returns and final results will be available on this page throughout the night.

The races we're covering include: U.S. Senate; 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Congressional districts; 51st and 54th Senate district races; the 101st, 116th, 125th, 126th and 127th Assembly districts; and the race for the City of Syracuse Councilor-at-Large.

Democratic nominee Colleen Deacon finishes up campaign on Election Day

Nov 8, 2016
Curtis Driscoll / Democracy in Action

For many voters going to the ballot box, choosing a candidate can be tough. With different candidates and issues on the ballot, it can be hard to figure out who would be the best representative for the district.

But for 24th Congressional District Democratic nominee Colleen Deacon, the choice was easy.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

With Hillary Clinton being the first woman nominated for president from a major political party, some voters are remembering the long hard fight for women to gain the right to vote. In Fayetteville, they're marking the moment by going to the grave of Matilda Joslyn Gage, a major player in the sufragette movement upstate. Visitors left notes, flowers, and “I voted” stickers.

Naturalized citizens become first-time voters

Nov 8, 2016
Samantha Mendoza / Democracy in Action

The only thing brighter than Miriam Gillett-Kunnath’s multicolored scarf was the smile on her face as she exited the polling station at North Central Church on Buckley Road this morning. This was her first time voting in a presidential election --  a moment that was particularly special for her as a Belize-born woman who gained U.S. citizenship two years ago.

“I think I wanted to cry,” Gillett-Kunnath said. “I was just overwhelmed.”

Voters, not all happy, still turnout to the polls

Nov 8, 2016
Nicole DeMentri / Democracy in Action

Faith Heritage School, located on Midland Ave, opened its doors for voters as students got the day off.  Voters and their families started to show up in greater numbers as the day went on, but many expressed they could not wait to put this election cycle behind them.

Today, as results come in across the country, NPR reporters will be updating this breaking news blog in real time. The NPR Politics team, along with local station reporters, will be providing live updates in the form of photo, video, commentary and analysis for both national and local contested races.

Skaneateles voters hope issues, not candidates, are focus

Nov 8, 2016
Rachel George / Democracy in Action

Residents walked in and out the Skaneateles Fire Department casting their vote for the 2016 presidential election, with feelings of optimism and concern.

Tom Fernandez, 34, and Ali Rogness, residents of Skaneateles, brought their three-year-old son Jack to the polling site to show him how voting could affect his life and how he grows up in the future.

“He needs to be here and see this,” Fernandez said. “I’m optimistic that one day my son will be president, but I’m not sure of this country. We have a lot of work to do.”

97-year-old voter proves everyone can make a difference

Nov 8, 2016

The first Tuesday of November means Election Day and one Marcellus man is proving you’re never too old to make a difference.

Robert Gang grew up on Syracuse’s Northside and over the course of his 97 years he has seen just how drastically the community around him has changed.

“It looks different to me, when I drive in town now, things are different,” said Gang.

Katko's neighbors show support in Camillus

Nov 8, 2016
Robin Katko taking photo of supporters
Elliot Williams / Democracy in Action

Across the street from the Camillus Volunteer Fire Department, a group of seven enthusiastic friends and neighbors of U.S. Rep. John Katko waved American flags and posters in support of the Republican candidate for the 24th Congressional District.

The group was surprised when Katko’s wife, Robin, showed up with donuts and motivation for the supporters. She said this is just one stop along the way as she goes to other Camillus polling locations in support of her husband.

Parents teach kids importance of voting in DeWitt

Nov 8, 2016
Kathryn Shafsky / Democracy in Action

As teachers made their way into Tecumseh Elementary School this morning, Caitlin Seamans was juggling an infant in one arm and an excited 2-year-old son on the other.

Seamans brought them along to the polls this morning because she’s a stay-at-home mom but said that her son understands that something important is happening.

“It’s good to bring them,” Seamans said. “I don’t know if he knows what it means, but he’s been saying ‘vote’ all morning.”

Voters at Nottingham High School polling site urge everyone to vote

Nov 8, 2016
David Onoue / Democracy in Action, 2016

Twenty-two voters waited in line for the polls to open at 6 a.m. at Nottingham High School.

First in line to cast her ballot was Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, who is running unopposed for re-election in the 128th district. Hunter was happy to have been able to vote for herself this morning and felt relieved to be here, but with trepidation after a difficult and hard fought election cycle.

Columbia City Blog / Flickr

New York is poised to elect Hillary Clinton for president and give Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) a fourth term, but down-ballot races for Congress and state Senate are less certain.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Board of Elections is unveiling some new software for Election Day that will allow website visitors to look at vote totals as they come in by geographic location. Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says it’s something voters have never had access to before on election night.

"The voters will know how their neighborhoods have voted and they can see how their individual vote matters," Czarny said.   

NAZARETHCOLLEGE VIA FLICKR & PLUMB CAMPAIGN

 

One of New York state’s most sprawling congressional districts is the 23rd. It includes Jamestown to the west, Ithaca to the east, and even goes north of Geneva into the Finger Lakes area.

Incumbent Republican Tom Reed is running for re-election there against Democrat John Plumb.

There hasn’t been any reliable polling done in the race. Republicans do have a voter registration advantage of more than 20,000 people. Even so, almost a 100,000 people are not registered with any party.

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