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22 September 2008 @ 09:11 am
a question for people in the US  
What time does the ballot counting start on Election day? I am really interested in watching some of the news broadcasts this year; but I have an exam on Wednesday November 5, which, owing to the time difference, is still November 4 in the US. I can't remember from previous elections... how long does it usually take for them to start being able to call it? When Australia had their Federal election last November, it was only about 4 hours from the time they started counting the ballots to when they could call who had won. I am guessing this election will be very close so it won't be quick, but is it usually the same night, or does the ballot counting usually go over until the next day?

[I am really annoyed that one of my exams is on the 5th; just the day I didn't want it to be on! At least the other one isn't until the 11th, so I will be able to pay attention to all the post-election dissection]
winterswitchery on September 21st, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Polls generally close by 8-9pm (local times), so the last time zones to count are Alaska and Hawaii. But Like spatzel said, they usually start "calling" pretty early.
    scarlet's walkkisstheviolets on September 22nd, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I just did some calculations of the time differences (taking into account the end of daylight savings there, and the start of ours), and it will be 9pm in the Eastern States when I finish my exam, so I shouldn't miss out on too much during that time, as in, the ballot counting... I hope!!
winterswitchery on September 22nd, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
Eastern time is the first time zone to close and start counting, so you will not miss a thing (since the continental US has four time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific and let's not forget our far flung states).

And if it's anything like the last two elections, they'll probably be counting clear until Christmas anyway :p
you got you a fast horse darlin': michelle lovethebluebells on September 22nd, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
Awwww honey, I am sorry that you have an exam that day! :/ But if the polls stay the way they are, it's likely going to be weeks before they declare a winner.

I love you. There will be plenty of time for us to analyse, commiserate or celebrate about the result :D
    scarlet's walk: politics : obama / biden 08kisstheviolets on September 22nd, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
yeah, I'm so bummed I have an exam that day!! Then again, at least having it on the 5th, I get my hardest one out the way so I can spend some time afterwards analysing, and then my next exam isn't until the 11th, so it could have been worse really. My exam will be finished my 12:30 that day, which is 9pm in the Eastern states, so I can spend the rest of the day glued to the news reports & blogs! What are you planning to do that day? You could be on my speed dial, rofl. People at work should be glad I definitely won't be here!! :D
you got you a fast horse darlin': michelle lovethebluebells on September 22nd, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)
I am going to be at home and on CNN and @forumz the whole time, I think! :D I will definitely have my mobile next to me so that we can ring each other if anything exciting happens, heh! xxxx