For Your Election Night Fun

Election night is around the corner and with it comes all the fun. You can either watch the talking heads make early predictions (such as calling New York State within a minute after polls close) or you can head to the intarwebs for some fun. Unfortunately, we won’t have the Tim Russert whiteboard to keep us company this time around.

First you’ve got Twitter Vote Report which is seeking to pull together reactions from Twitter users. You can use the “hashtag” #votereport for tracking and project participation, or follow suggestions by the volunteers behind the project:

If you currently use Twitter, send a message after you vote that begins with #votereport (this is critically important for ensuring that your message gets to the right place.) Then write some or all of the following:

  • #[zip code] to indicate where you’re voting; ex., “#12345″
  • #machine for machine problems; ex., “#machine broken, using prov. ballot”
  • #reg for registration troubles; ex., “#reg I wasn’t on the rolls”
  • #wait:minutes for long lines; ex., “#wait:120 and I’m coming back later”
  • #good or #bad to give a quick sense of your overall experience
  • #EP+your state if you have a serious problem and need help from the Election Protection coalition; ex., #EPOH

You can also text messages to 66937 and begin your message with #votereport or use the TTY service by calling (567) 258-VOTE/8683. An iPhone app is supposedly coming as well.

And if you want to torture yourself, Katie Couric is hosting a webcast immediately after CBS broadcast coverage ends. You’ll be able to pull this up on CNet and CBSNews.com.

CNN, meanwhile, is pulling together all spectrums of the blogosphere at Washington DC café Tryst for live blogging and reactions. The two blogs mentioned by the New York Times are Huffington Post and Red State but undoubtedly, there will be a good representation by DC-area political bloggers producing content for their sites and CNN.com.

Election Map is using Google Maps to currently solicit predictions as to how the states will fall. Presumably, they will rollover to an election results map as well.

Of course, there will be the normal banter on Twitter and FriendFeed and you can probably find a “Results Party” in your city where local webheads will group together to watch the results come in.

My prediction? It will be over by 10pm and Obama will take 42 states.

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Swing State Voter Calendar

If you’re in Maryland, as I am, or one of most other states in the Union that are not really in play, then you can keep moving. However, if you are in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico or Nevada (states that are swing states according to Politico’s Swing State Map), then there are some dates you need to be aware of going into October. Notably, you need to know when the last day to register to vote (or change your party, if you’re so inclined) or request an absentee ballot.

State Register Absentee
Colorado October 5 October 27
Florida October 6 October 28
Iowa November 4* October 31
Michigan October 6 November 1
Missouri October 8 October 29
Nevada October 4 October 28
New Hampshire November 4* October 25
New Mexico October 7 October 31
Ohio October 5 October 25
Pennsylvania October 6 October 31
Virginia October 6 October 28
Wisconsin November 4* November 3

* Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin allow onsite registration at the precinct voting center with proper ID

If you’re in a swing state, your vote really does matter. You don’t have much time to get registered and if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Go do it ASAP.

And if you don’t live in a swing state, make sure your friends and readers who do see this breakdown.

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