Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Technology of Elections

I admit it. I'm a political last night was like a huge, give-away candy store for me.
I'm also a technology junkie so it was also an awe-inspiring night.

As a "political, techno" junkie, I'm overwhelmed by how much technology has changed presidential election reporting.

When I was a kid (I sound like my father) presidential election coverage was so simple. Back then it was a two talking-heads sitting at a desk.  As the wee hours of the morning approached and polls closed, results would dribble in. Candidate's numbers were displayed at the bottom of the TV screen in "white numbers"(ow, white numbers).

We've come a long way. Today, presidential election coverage is so different.

"Teams" of news reporters and anchors feed viewers results that are complied by "political experts" sitting off screen in a room called a "boiler room". In the boiler room demographics are dissected and analyzed.

Today reporters use electronic "smart boards" to display totals and predicted future trends. These "smart boards" are capable of  breaking states down into counties and counties down into towns. 

Over the past ten years technology has turned election reporting into a sophisticated, scientific operation. Last night I had the feeling the technology employed  is so good that most networks could have predicted the national results much earlier than they actually did.

Technology! It's amazing.

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