May 4th 2016
ALAN NUEVO: Hello and welcome back to Election Night coverage on the Empire Report, I’m Alan Nuevo.
BECK RUSSUM: And I’m Beck Russum. We’re joined by Ben Warden, a political strategist and author of Steps for Humanity: A Study of Political Discourse.
BEN WARDEN: Thanks for having me. I have to say, this has been quite a day.
ALAN NUEVO: It really has.
BECK RUSSUM: And we’re just getting started. We’re continually receiving comms from our sources around the Empire as planets continue to tabulate votes for the 2946 Senatorial Race.
ALAN NUEVO: That’s right, Beck. We’ve just received an update from Borea, with 87% of the votes finalized, longtime incumbent and current Speaker Marshall Madrigal seems to have secured another term. Which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Madrigal has become one of those political institutions over the years.
BECK RUSSUM: It is surprising, actually. Earlier this year, political insiders claimed that he was contemplating retirement at the end of this term.
BEN WARDEN: I heard the same, but watching Madrigal the past few months, I have to say I’m glad he reconsidered. After the tragedy of Vega II, he’s become the Madrigal of old. It feels like he’s been woken up. Found purpose. That’s the thing that’s very interesting when looking at multi-term politicians. After a while, they fall into a routine, where they slog through the machinations of legislation until they need to begin campaigning again and then repeat. Some almost refuse to commit to pushing a political agenda for fear of alienating potential voters, which, if I may be blunt, leads to the bureaucratic stagnation that we suffered under for so long.
ALAN NUEVO: Sorry to interrupt you, Ben, but we just got an update from Croshaw. Angeli just announced their results. Windel Aurelia and Yann Isher secured their seats for another term.
BEN WARDEN: I think I know where this is heading.
ALAN NUEVO: Kyle Polo lost his seat to Sean Debinavi, a Universalist from Quinton.
BEN WARDEN: Wow.
BECK RUSSUM: Although a political unknown outside of Angeli, Debinavi has been a fixture of local politics for decades and ran a near perfect campaign. He outmaneuvered Polo at nearly every debate.
BEN WARDEN: Polo’s popularity plummeted after Vega II and Debinavi kept him on the defensive the entire campaign. Stoddard Polls indicated that voters never let him get out from underneath the weight of the Polo Initiative, which, in my opinion, was a little unfair. Not many people remember, but Polo was asked to draft the bill by Witness Cavendish to address the growing spending crisis within the government.
BECK RUSSUM: It was still his idea.
BEN WARDEN: Yes, but he was trying to offer a solution to a very real problem. The Vanduul attack simply reminded people that there were threats at our borders.
ALAN NUEVO: Debinavi’s theme for his campaign was “Foundation,” where he ran on a platform of getting back to solid, dependable government.
BEN WARDEN: He was pushing a very classic pro-military, pro-security strategy, which fed right into all of the issues people had with Polo. The people wanted a change and Debinavi represented everything they disliked about Polo.
BECK RUSSUM: We’ve got more election coverage coming up for you, but now we’d like to go to Emily Havilan who was on hand for the closing mark of a voting station in midtown New York.
[ B-Roll footage of citizens lining up to cast their votes, proudly displaying their preferred Senate candidates for the vids ]
EMILY HAVILAN: Thanks Beck. Nestled on east 68th Street, in the shadow of the Senate itself, Citizens came from far and wide to this voting station to exercise their right to help decide the next wave of senators. We spoke with Carol Esposito, chief organizer for this station, about the turnout.
CAROL ESPOSITO: Well, I always prep our volunteers to expect a heavy turnout, but every election, it seems to always be considerably less than we’d hope. Today, it was more. Much more. We had a line outside an hour before the polls opened and were slammed all day. We’re still receiving remote votes from central distribution.
EMILY HAVILAN: Do you think the events of the past few months have contributed to an increase in political awareness?
CAROL ESPOSITO: Oh yes. Most definitely. The people I talked to today wanted to get involved. They felt empowered to be involved. It was very exciting. So exciting, I nearly forgot to vote myself.
EMILY HAVILAN: As you can see, it’s an excitement that’s palpable even now after the voting terminals have been powered down and the results sent for processing. Carol and her fifteen volunteers will close up this station and report to the central office to work through the night to assist with finalization of any lingering elections, so they’re just getting started. But, if you ask them, it’s the most exciting part of the job, knowing that they’re helping make a difference tonight in the direction Humanity takes tomorrow. Beck.
BECK RUSSUM: Thanks, Emily. We’ll be streaming in reports from around the Empire throughout the night. We’ve just received word about another election turnout that’s close to finalization. This campaign has been one of the stand-outs and could potentially be a historic moment in Human politics. The results for Jalan in Elysium have come in.
ALAN NUEVO: That’s exciting.
BECK RUSSUM: Suj Kossi, the first Tevarin to run for Senate …
BEN WARDEN: You’re killing me.
BECK RUSSUM: Suj Kossi is now the first Tevarin to win a Senate seat with Gabrielle Gracián coming in second.
BEN WARDEN: That’s incredible. Congratulations to Senator-elect Kossi, first of all.
BECK RUSSUM: Candidate Gracián has released a concession statement. Let’s take a listen.
GABRIELLE GRACIÁN: I would like to thank all my supporters, both near and far, as well as my staff who worked tirelessly to keep me going. I would also like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Senator Kossi. While we didn’t see eye to eye, he was a gracious and honorable opponent and I’m thrilled to have him represent me in the Senate.
BEN WARDEN: I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of Gabrielle. She’s proven herself to be a really dynamic candidate and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before her name appears on another ballot.
BECK RUSSUM: So it’s official, the first Tevarin has been elected to the Senate. We’re going to take a quick break, but when we come back, we’ll go out to the Kossi campaign headquarters, which I’m sure are absolutely euphoric.
ALAN NUEVO: Absolutely. We’ll also have an exclusive interview with Callum Robb, star of the hit show Lost Squad, who also moonlights as a volunteer for a Senatorial candidate. Which one? We’ll tell you after the break. This is Empire Report.