Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Election Day special

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 3, 2014 3:39 PM
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What to look on Smart Talk Tuesday, November 4, 2014:

After months of campaign commercials, dozens of promises from candidates, and tens of millions of dollars spent, Election Day is finally here.  Tuesday is when Pennsylvanians go to the polls (open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) to elect a governor, members of the U.S. and Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and half the state senate.

Even though the offices are important and can have a great impact on voters, turnout is expected to be low-to-moderate.  Most political analysts suggest only 40% of registered voters will actually cast a ballot.

In fact, voter turnout has dropped 12 percentage points in Pennsylvania over the last five gubernatorial elections and even more in the state's cities.

Keystone Crossroads reporter Emily Previti appears on Smart Talk to provide details.

WITF's Ben Allen also joins us to discuss the five most closely watched races in the midstate.

WITF's Multimedia News Director Tim Lambert joins with any last minute election news.

We also encourage your participation.  We'd like to hear your observations about Election 2014.  What issues are most important to you this year?  Did you vote or if you didn't why not? 

Call 1-800-729-7532 or send us an email at smarttalk@witf.org.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-04 09:16


    John From Carlisle emails

    For the past 35 years I have only voted for the presidential candidate, not being motivated to research the candidates for other offices. Only recently I realized that our President effectively had his hands tied behind his back, as congress voting along party lines fought tooth and nail against him. So today I voted for all the democratic candidates without considering their viewpoints, character, or background.
    I am ashamed of our current political process where big business and the wealthy fund candidates.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-04 09:18

    Chris Chappell from Stewarstown PA emails

    I live and vote in Stewartstown. I vote at the local borough town hall.
    My issue is the growing number of what I would call ‘Touts’ standing in front of the polling place with signage, handouts, candy, coffee and so on. It seems to me that this is a very thinly veiled attempt to curry or influence the vote of those that either know nothing about the election or those that are undecided.
    I would think that there is a restriction as to how far from the polling place these people need to stand.

  • John H. img 2014-11-04 09:26

    Scott, the lack of lines in the morning might have something to do with the weather. I've decided to vote in the afternoon because it's suppose to be warmer...if I have to stand outside, I might as well get some rays.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-04 09:36

    Dave Emails

    I wonder if it would help if we had term limits for all races. Would that shake things up so we don't get people so entrenched.

    We voted this morning in Lititz at 7 and there was a nice torn out !

    Thanks for the great programming on WITF

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-11-04 09:45

    Beth Katz emails

    In Yoder-Miller area, seeing a nice turnout. People don't like pipeline prospects.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-11-04 11:55

    A listener writes...
    I like that in any race, if I have less people to vote as it makes my vote have a better chance that my vote be a winner. Plus I like it when someone complains about an office holders job. I ask them if they voted and when they so no. I tell them they have nothing to say about it and that the politican holding that position got there because of their lack of voting. And the other side is hoping they do the same again.
    thank you Wild Bill ~ Perry Co
    It's kinda like the person praying to GOD "please let me win the Lottery" same prayer week after week,, finaly a voice from the heavens "meet me half way buy a ticket"

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-11-04 13:08

    Allen says...
    I heard Mr. Allen touch on a fundamental problem that is not discussed frequently enough and also impacts voter turnout. He mentioned that you don’t hear the words “conservative” and “Democrat” in the same phrase very frequently when he was discussing a particular race. I feel that the parties have, indeed, become completely polarized along the conservative/liberal lines as is evidenced by the conversion of the conservative Democratic south to Red State status. Washington has become a setting of juvenile (or even elementary school) level “us vs. them” games that are all about winning and advancing an agenda rather than doing what’s best for the country. If anyone took the time to watch Ken Burn’s series on the Roosevelts, they would have seen that Democrat Franklin Roosevelt had some very conservative foreign policy positions and that Republican Teddy fought against the big-business robber barons of his day. The latter is in extremely stark contrast to the mindless support of corporate cronyism by today’s Republican party that is, by every statistical measure, creating an aristocracy of wealth at the direct expense of the middle and lower economic classes. Massive quarterly bonuses are achieved via layoffs and outsourcing without regard to the long-term health of the business as the 1% incestuously move between corporate boards and executive positions and achieve enrichment in a few years that negates the need for longer term consideration. I don’t know that either of the Roosevelts could be elected today due to their propensity to act on the simple principal of what is right in accordance with their beliefs. Republican Theodore was Democrat Franklin’s hero throughout his life.

    I’ve been a life-long conservative but feel completely abandoned by either party as one moves too far along the spectrum of the interests of the many vs. individual rights and the other allows the creation of an aristocracy in the country that is better disguised than those of the past (such as that of the French) but is no less real and, as history has shown, ultimately destructive to that society. It is only a matter of time until the resentment of the many over the wealth of the few results in the end of what the founding fathers envisioned. I long to vote for a candidate that defies classification by party and votes what his belief system dictates. That would give us true choices at the polls and result in the degradation of partisanship along with an electorate that felt empowered. There are very few people that believe only in the specific positions of each of the two platforms but are forced to choose only on that basis as the parties support only candidates that spew their positions without exception.

  • Maria img 2014-11-04 13:11

    Scott, I called in today to share that I would be voting even though I am sick. Just letting you know I did vote. I wore a mask to cover mouth and nose to try not to spread my illness. I want to pass on that my precinct was having a very good turnout. We had only three on the ballot, so it is kind of surprising. I am thinking the pipeline issue has a lot to do with it. And I do think a lot of people want to put Corbett out of office.

    I have lived in four states and have always registered to vote right away. I was able to experience caucusing in a presidential primary in Austin, Texas, when we lived there. I found it fascinating and fun.

    I was so disappointed the year I was so sick that I couldn't get out of bed and to to vote. I wanted to have a perfect voting record.