YDR Insider

Part of the USA Today Network

Voters may be undecided, but we’re not

As a journalist, you’re always adapting on the fly when news breaks. So I should know by now that no matter how much we plan, something’s always left out or something goes wrong.

A poll conducted before the races indicated that 76 percent of those polled use the newspaper as their main source. So months ago, we started planning. There were hand-addressed letters for each person running for a seat. There was the large undertaking of our Candidates’ Night to Listen, a forum that turned the traditional debate on its head. There was the poll. There was page after page that the copy desk planned out, only to have it changed again and again. And we budget for story lengths, pictures, numbers and anything else that could come our way. Take a look at our budget, done weeks in advance.

And that’s just for print. Online, we completely revamped our politics page to be the go-to place for everything you need to know before voting. We also created Primary Central, where you can go for results and links to stories done previously.

While the presidential GOP race has calmed down before tonight’s primary, we weren’t out of the woods yet. For the first time in 12 years, U.S. Rep. Todd Platts seat is up for grabs, and there was a plethora of people jumping at the bit to fill his shoes — 7 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Not to mention the seven other state House and Senate seats up for grabs.

So after months of planning, here we are. Tuesday, April 24. We start the day with two reporters hitting the polls. Around 3 p.m., the rest of the metro staff arrives. Each reporter visits two polling places, tweeting from each, using the hashtag #yorkvote. The each file anecdotes from their polling places, into a master file. With three photographers working, there are plenty of photos to sort through and a handful of videos. We have to check with candidates to see where they’re going to be as the numbers come in, and hope we’re in the right place at the right time. Stories are assigned, and then we wait. Once the polls close, the tallying begins. And we wait for the flurry of numbers and hectic last few ours of deadline. And we pray for numbers to come in on time.

But what we look forward to the most, is primary night food! Election night is all about democracy, and apparently this year, also our right to protest the lack of pizza. While most newsrooms across the country sit down to piping hot slices of cheesy goodness, we at the York Daily Record have healthy cold cuts. And a giant vat of potato salad. Some love the choice, others are petitioning for pizza come November. Take this quiz and weigh in on the great debate.