Next election, we’ll blog from the Grand County Courthouse
November 5, 2008
On Election Day, there isn’t a place I’d rather be than in a newsroom.
On Election Day, we ride an adrenaline buzz as we plan our coverage ” photos, phone calls, deadlines. It’s a day we’ve worked toward for months with stories and forums.
We guess at who will win and debate who should win.
It’s a frenzy of preparation all day until the polls close.
Then the waiting begins. The Election Day buzz kill.
We sit at our desk, refreshing Web sites and waiting for the phone to ring.
In Grand County, the polls closed at 7 p.m. We watched as results poured in from around the state. Races were called ” state and national. But still no results.
Early voter results didn’t come in until almost 10 p.m.
And unofficial cumulative results from all voters didn’t arrive until after 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
In the meantime, we had some frustrated readers on our hands.
One online comment came in telling us that monkeys could cover this election better than us.
With feedback like that, the stretch of waiting between the 10 p.m. early voting results and the next batch of results at 4:30 a.m. was a long one.
Reporter Will Bublitz was at the county clerk’s office all night. Waiting.
But readers didn’t know that. All they saw was a static Web screen, showing the same numbers all night.
In retrospect and in preparation for the next election, we have agreed that someone will blog through the night to let readers know what is happening “behind the scenes” at the county clerk’s office.
The Grand County election team is meticulous, which we appreciate. It ensures that the results we receive are accurate, but taking care takes time. So, in future elections, we plan to have a more interactive Web presence to let you know what is happening and when to expect results.
If you have other ideas to improve our newspaper’s election coverage ” or any coverage for that matter ” feel free to drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
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