voter turnout | WAMC

voter turnout

There was a fair amount of attention given before Election Day to what impact Latino voters would have on the presidential election.

Now that we know Florida and Texas went for President Trump and Arizona is still not called, though it is leaning in former vice president Joe Biden’s favor, one thing that is clear is that there is a lot left to learn about how Latinos in America engage in politics.

According to some exit polls, President Trump captured as much as 36% of the Latino vote Tuesday night. Leading to this question - Why did so many Latinos vote for Donald Trump? To investigate – we welcome Dan Irizarry, chairman of Capital District Latinos.

Polling place St. Andrew's Church in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Voter turnout has been high at many Capital Region polling sites today despite nine days of early voting and an expanded mail-in option during the pandemic.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

New York is taking a look at how its first experiment with early voting went in a quiet election year.

Professor Joshua A. Douglas, an expert on our electoral system, joined us to present an encouraging assessment of current efforts to make our voting system more accessible, reliable, and effective. His new book is: "Vote for US: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting."

In contrast to the anxiety surrounding our voting system, with stories about voter suppression and manipulation, there are actually quite a few positive initiatives toward voting rights reform. Douglas says regular Americans are working to take back their democracy, one community at a time.

Douglas is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. His most recent scholarship focuses on the constitutional right to vote, with an emphasis on state constitutions, as well as the various laws, rules, and judicial decisions impacting election administration.

Matys O'Connell via Twitter

      With the deadline passed for candidates to turn in nomination papers, the municipal election picture is coming into focus in the largest city in western Massachusetts.    A discussion is also underway about taking steps to boost voter turnout, which in recent local elections in Springfield has been anemic.

Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science and director of the MacMillan Center at Yale University, with Frances McCall Rosenbluth (Damon Wells Professor of Political Science at Yale University), he's written the book "Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself."

In recent decades, democracies across the world have adopted measures to increase popular involvement in political decisions. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates; ballot initiatives and referenda allow citizens to enact laws directly; many places now use proportional representation, encouraging smaller, more specific parties rather than two dominant ones.Yet voters keep getting angrier.There is a steady erosion of trust in politicians, parties, and democratic institutions, culminating most recently in major populist victories in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

Frances Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro argue that devolving power to the grass roots is part of the problem. Shapiro joins us.

One of the defeated candidates in the seven-person Democratic primary for New York’s 19th Congressional District is involved in a new endeavor. Gareth Rhodes is executive director of Show Up 2018, whose motto is “Make America Yours Again.” WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Rhodes about his new role.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on today's primary races in New York state. Dr. Chartock also discusses a New York Times editorial about voting laws affecting voter turnout.


Following a record low voter turnout for last month’s primary, the city of Springfield is taking steps to remind people to vote on November 7th. 

National Voter Registration Day is on Tuesday, September 26th this year. Organizations all over the state will be participating in the event day by holding voter registration drives. 

The League of Women Voters operates a non-partisan electronic ballot website The ballot site provides non-partisan election information about all the candidates New Yorkers will be voting on in November.

We welcome Jennifer Wilson - Program and Policy Director for The League of Women Voters of New York State and Kathy Koebrich from the Saratoga League and Patricia Sibilia of the Albany League. 

  In his new book, The End of White Christian America, Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, challenges us to grasp the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation.

For most of our nation’s history, White Christian America (WCA)—the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians—set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But especially since the 1990s, WCA has steadily lost influence, following declines within both its mainline and evangelical branches. Today, America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white Christian nation.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about the political impact of millennials and about a public lecture happening in August in Charlemont, MA, on the profound demographic transformation happening today, as characterized by the Millennial and Boomer generations.

We are joined today by Pam Porter, of The Charlemont Forum, and by Paul Taylor, who is the former Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Institute and the author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown Paul will be speaking at the Charlemont Forum in Charlemont, MA, on Wednesday, August 10th. 

Jim Levulis / WAMC

It’s Election Day, and once again the question is how many people will go to the polls. With the governor's seat up for grabs and four ballot questions to decide, early voter turnout in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is surprising some.