November 7, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Local elections are big news across the country

Voters from Maine to California (and many places in between!) turned out to let their voices be heard on all the issues yesterday, and local papers were charged with the responsibility of covering all the angles.

First, voter turnout. The Porterville (Calif.) Recorder succinctly says, "Slim Turnout," while The Atlanta Journal-Constitution headline reads, "Few 'speak their minds' at polls."

Second, voting problems. It seems there hasn't been an election in the U.S. since 2000 that hasn't had its share of problems, and yesterday's was no exception. The Rocky Mountain News in Denver observes "More counting chaos." Scranton, Pa.'s The Times-Tribune headlines the county’s "Paper Wait" as counting slows "to a crawl." The Star Press (Muncie, Ind.) headline reads "9 Votes" as Muncie elected a new democratic mayor, maybe. The "winner" leads by a margin of nine votes, with a recount looming.

Third, we look at the winners. Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune's clever headline reads, "Good Night for Goodnight" — as Greg Goodnight wins the Kokomo mayoral race. As Lewiston, Maine, re-elects its incumbent mayor with write-in votes (for the first write-in mayoral win in Lewiston's history), the local Sun Journal proclaims, "Jenkins has write stuff." In Virginia, Democrats are victorious as they "Break GOP Hold on Senate," shown by a nifty diagram on the front page of Norfolk's The Virginian-Pilot.

Some places had issues, as opposed to candidates, on the ballot. In Charlotte, N.C., the big winners were a transit tax and school bonds, according to the front page of the Observer. The Victoria (Texas) Advocate asks, "Margarita, anyone?" as voters approve a measure for local restaurants to serve mixed drinks.

In some places, the 2008 presidential election, still a year away, was making news. The Journal News of Westchester County, N.Y., wonders in its headline, "An all-N.Y. race in '08?" That supposes, of course, that Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani each win a party nomination.

Finally, the Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News reminds us that even in these local elections, "Every Vote Counts," a mantra for democracy-lovers everywhere.

Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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