03 November 2008

U.S. Presidential Election Coverage

It’s almost over. The 2008 U.S. Presidential election campaign ends Tuesday as American voters go to the polls to decide who will be the next occupant of the White House.

VOA has, in recent months, devoted considerable resources to telling audiences worldwide on the air and on the web this most American of stories.

And we know already there is considerable global interest in the outcome.

For one, history will be made. As VOA National Political Correspondent Jim Malone has written:

No matter who wins Tuesday, election history will be made. Senator Obama is poised to become the first African-American president, while Senator McCain would be the oldest candidate to win a first term as president. In addition, a Republican victory would usher in the country's first woman vice president, Sarah Palin.

But international interest goes beyond just that. There have been a number of online polls asking non-U.S. citizens who they would vote for.

Of course, non-U.S. citizens can’t vote for real.

But everyone around the world can follow the actual voting results closely by staying with VOA. In addition to special broadcasts in English and VOA’s other languages, there will be comprehensive, multimedia coverage at VOA’s new community interactive website, USAVotes2008.com.

Visitors will be able to track returns on the site’s U.S. map, reflecting the popular and electoral counts as well as the balance of power in Congress. USAVotes2008.com also offers blogs and a live T2A (Talk2America) online chat beginning at 0000 UTC. Users can also find USAVotes2008.com and VOA updates on Twitter.

“The presidential contest of 2008 has riveted people around the world from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe,” said VOA Director Danforth Austin. “Because we broadcast in English and vernacular languages, VOA has the unique ability to deliver news and information about the election, the democratic process and the people of the United States,” he said, adding, “We'll be using every technology possible to reach people with the results of this race.”

We hope you will join us. And when it's all over, we'd like to hear your thoughts on how well we did.

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