I had travelled to the USA for some more training and so was in the USA for the day of the Presidential election. Last night was very quiet, I went to Kapps in Mountain View. I had left the office where a number of people were, oddly, watching the BBC web site report via a wall screen display. I had also enabled the facebook and multi-protocol chat applications on the ipod and discussed the elections with my son at home in the UK. This was pretty good as I had to stop using my laptop. The media seem to declare states as won very early, with the BBC and Guardian being earlier and more certain than the US sites. Also the polls also shut early in my British view, the west coast polling stations shut at 8:00 p.m.

McCain conceded at 20:15, I wasn’t expecting it so early; in British elections, the polls don’t close ’till 22:00 and the counts don’t start until the counting stations are open, which is usually at 23:00. The first results come through at just after midnight and the results aren’t usually clear ’till the early hours. I remember going to bed at 4:00 am on 1st May 1997, knowing it was good, and that Mellor and Portillo were looking for work, but the final results weren’t known ’till later in the morning.

The CNN site was awesome and I used it to follow the results during the early evening, and I have followed the elections via realpolitics.com, the BBC page had a great feature to show the states in proportion to their electoral college votes. It looks something like this, which is much more accurate and powerfully descriptive than a geographic map.

In 1997, I had a page torn from the Guardian and ticked off results on the paper’s ‘Must Win’ list. A pencil and paper, but nomadic solution, to go with the UK’s pencil and paper voting system.


Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, reposted here some time, probably in 2014.

Tuesday on the night of Obama’s election
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