Election day fever

There’s nothing new about heading to the polls and picking a president, but citizens have a new source today for obtaining the results: the internet.

In addition to the mainstream online news sources, hundreds of citizen journalists on hundreds of different personal websites will be blogging, crunching numbers and analyzing results, making predictions and providing commentary. And much of this journalism and opinion will be of expert caliber, as many of these new pundits are, in the noble tradition of democracy, committed to sharing their views with the populace. And blogging makes it easy.

Irregularities at the polling place? You can be sure these dedicated watchdogs will be reporting on it. While they may not have access to the big players, these investigators will be keeping a close eye on every conceivable angle related to the election process – from the size of the crowds to the effectiveness of the polling procedures. They will doggedly interview any disgruntled voter coming out of a polling place upset because of some procedural glitch. Nonstop coverage will detail not only all the news that’s fit to print, but also the color commentary missing from the premier editions.

Our special election report on e-voting security concerns by our ace reporter Angela Moscaritolo, investigates some of the conflicts that may be in store for some voters: the possibility of votes not being counted, of security vulnerabilities in e-voting machines. For example, the article explains:

Touch-screen machines have come under fire. Numerous studies have shown that it would be easy to introduce malicious software to these machines, potentially allowing rogue insiders or malicious outsiders to sway an election.

While stories like this may or may not break through into mainstream media, independent bloggers will pounce at the opportunity to right a wrong, and it’s more likely we’ll see ancillary coverage digging deep into the mysteries and inadequately explained.

Giving voice to the marginalized. A venue for the disenfranchised presenting the average citizen’s experience. This is the provenance of the internet. And you don’t have to wait for the evening edition.

For up-to-the-nanosecond election results and coverage, the Huffington Post, for example, calls attention to dozens of sites to which internet users can tune in, each cornering a niche, a particular area of expertise and/or speculation.

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