12.30 pm: Obama ends to thundering applause, confetti and Springsteen
And Obama finishes to thunderous applause, fireworks, bits of Red White and Blue paper fluttering down on the stage and people and Bruce Springsteen. The speech was emotionally charged, including stumps of his campaign speeches, and eloquent ideals of what made America the greatest nation on earth, peppered with promises to take the country forward on a path of progress.
"I’ve never been more hopeful about our future…and ask you to sustain that hope", he said, adding, "Tonight you voted for action, to focus on your jobs, not ours."
12.23 pm: Obama waxes eloquent about 'what makes America special'
Obama is all eloquence and poetry now, talking about "what makes America special". So far we have covered the spirit of work, duty, patriotism, generosity, resilience, you name it. Some truly quotable moments:
"We are and forever will be the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth"
"We believe in a generous America, open to the dreams of an immigrants daughter who pledges to our flag."
"We want our children to live in America where there is no debt or poverty."
"The freedom that so many Americans have fought for comes with responsibility"
12.15 pm: Special thanks for the volunteers
Obama has well deserved special words for his volunteer team. "I want to thank the best ever campaign team in the history of politics..All of you are family. Thank you for believing all the way. I will always be grateful for lifting me up and going all the way", he says.
He also has kind words for Romney, saying that he is looking forward to sitting with him to discuss how they could best work together for the betterment of America. "Despite our differences, we have the same hopes", he said.
12.13 pm: No new dog for the Obama family
Obama makes another touching tribute to Michelle Obama and to his two daughters. "You are becoming strong beautiful women just like your mother. I am so proud of you. But for now, one dog is probably enough", he says to laughter and applause.
12.09 pm: 'The best is yet to come", says Obama
President Obama takes the stage to thundering applause and the strains of 'Signed, sealed and delivered' by Stevie Wonder. He begins by telling the crowd that America has reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war depression, and lifted the country from the depths of despair.
"The best is yet to come", he says.
Obama takes a moment to thank all Americans who came out to vote regardless of who they voted for, and mentions the long lines at the polling booths that were such a problem today. "I'll do something to fix that", he says.
12.03 pm: President Obama arrives at McCormick Place
Pres Obama has departed for McCormick Place to address supporters. His motorcade twice as long as usual. Includes VP Biden too. And the crowd goes mad. And look at how much his daughters have grown since the last time he did this four years ago!
And just in case you're wondering about the music in the background, they're playing Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed and Delivered."
11.30 am: Romney calls for an end to partisan bickering
After thanking his wife, children, volunteers and everyone else who helped him on his campaign, Romney calls for an end to partisan politics, saying that the nation was at a critical point, and that this was not a time for partisan bickering. "I so wish I had been able to lead you and this country in a different direction, but the nation chose the other candidate, and I earnestly pray for him", he said.
Romney added that despite his defeat he believed that principles endured, adding that the principles that founded the country would lift the country out of the economic quagmire that it presently found itself in.
The full text of Romney's speech can be read here
11.26 am: Romney begins speech, gracious in defeat so far
Governor Mitt Romney has put on a brave face, graciously congratulating Obama and saying he prayed that he would be able to guide the nation properly. He also thanks Paul Ryan, saying that he "was the best choice he made after Ann"
11:15 am: Romney concedes after Virginia is called
Romney has conceded defeat according to both CBS and CNN. He will speak soon.
11:00 am: The popular vote
The popular vote is neck and neck, with Obama taking a marginal lead. If California has pushed Obama ahead of Romney, it finally proves that the California vote does count.
And this election's rockstar FiveThiryEight blogs Nate Silver tweets, "There's been a clear shift toward Obama in national polls. Based on most recent data, he may lead by 2-3% in popular vote."
10:30 am: Romney yet to concede, awaiting Obama's address
Interestingly, Romney is yet to concede. Supporters too are yet to react. The Chicago HQ is still awaiting the Obama address. Typically the defeated concedes before the winner speaks. One theory is that he isn't willing to concede, the other is that he doesn't have a concession speech.
The New York Times, now has Obama at 285 and Romney at 200.
Meanwhile, some dramatic news on Marriage Equality (same-sex marriage). It looks clear now that Maryland and Maine will bring marriage equality into effect by popular vote - and the margin in Minnesota has narrowed to 4 points against. With 50 percent of the votes in in Washington, the margin is pro-equality 52 - 48. That's an amazing shift. And Obama did a turn around and supported it. It was not political harakiri for him.
10:20 am: Tracking the Indian Americans and Asians
Congratulations, Grace Meng. New York has elected its first Asian American congresswoman.
Manan Trivedi has lost and Maggie Hassan is the only Democratic woman governor
10:10 am: Obama sends out Thank You email to supporters
I'm about to go speak to the crowd here in Chicago, but I wanted to thank you first.
I want you to know that this wasn't fate, and it wasn't an accident. You made this happen.
You organized yourselves block by block. You took ownership of this campaign five and ten dollars at a time. And when it wasn't easy, you pressed forward.
I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started.
But I want you to take real pride, as I do, in how we got the chance in the first place.
Today is the clearest proof yet that, against the odds, ordinary Americans can overcome powerful interests.
There's a lot more work to do."
But for right now: Thank you.
9:50: Obama re-elected the American President
CNN calls it, the Republicans have been thumped. Barack Obama has been re-elected the President of the United States. Crowds roar in Chicago. New York breaks into a jig.
And Obama tweets this 'aww worthy' picture:
Four more years. twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) नवम्बर 7, 2012
and also says "the seat's taken".
9:40: the final moments
CNN calls Iowa and New Mexico for Obama. Oregon is called for Obama. There is no real comeback strategy that one can see for Romney.
CNN projects Missouri for Romney. Romney breaks the 200 barrier, at 201. Obama at 256.
CNN projects Ohio for Barack Obama.
9:25: Who will be the next American President?
We are getting closer to making that call says CNN. Rajdeep Sardesai on CNN IBN is braver and has tweeted that Obama will be re-elected, barring last minute shocks. There are some jokes on twitter that yes, Fox is tired of this and has switched to a weatherman's report. CNN has called California, Hawaii, Washington for Obama. Finally, CNN calls Wisconsin for Obama, North Carolina for Romney.
President Obama is ahead at 238, compared to Romney's 191.
Democrats will also keep control of the Senate, says CNN.
9:20 am: Now we're waiting for Florida, Ohio and California
CNN has also called Minnesota for Obama, Arizona for Romney
9:00 am: The wind is blowing the American President's way.
Wisconsin is going to Obama says ABC News. CNN though has still not called it. The wind is blowing the President's way. And remember Wisconsin is Paul Ryan's state...
CNN is now saying "this may not go as late as we expected." John King is saying the numbers don't favour Romney in North Carolina or Virginia. Romney holds a slim lead but outstanding counties are almost entirely blue.
8.41 am: Romney's path to 270 electoral votes is looking harder
CNN is saying that Romney's path to the Presidency and the magic number of 270 electoral voters is looking increasingly difficult although early results show Romney leading. Why? Well, because the results from a lot of traditionally Democratic states have not come in as yet, and Obama is performing fairly well so far.
And in Florida, CNN analyst John King strongly suggests Florida may go blue with 80 percent of the vote counted -- a tally which has Obama leading by one point. The reason: the votes still to come in are from the traditionally blue counties like Miami-Dade. That will be a big win for Obama, and a decisive one.
And analysts all agree that there is no way Romney can win the election if he loses Florida. So far voting is neck and neck, with CNN showing vote shares at 50-50. Obama is down by 636 votes, at this moment. And remember they're still voting in Florida. Long lines.
8:30: CNN now calls Utah for Romney, New Hampshire for Obama
Meanwhile, BBC is solemnly discussing the NASCAR vote. Solidly blue collar conservative, I've been following that for awhile says one analyst. It's been trending a little towards Obama for a few weeks now, he says. Oh didn't one candidate make a slip up by saying he didn't follow NASCAR but knew some owners says another.
Very interesting says the patrician host and then says "What's NASCAR? Is that trucks?" All of this works much better when heard in posh British accents.
8:15 am: Not Florida, Ohio is going to be the decider
Al Jazeera is wondering if Mitt Romney is thinking he should have picked popular Ohio senator Rob Portman as his running mate. He might have had a better chance in Ohio. Paul Ryan didn't help him take Ryan's home state Wisconsin. Portman incidentally played Obama during Romney's debate prep and that certainly helped Romney in the debate. But Lynn Sher says on Al Jazeera that VPs dont win elections anyway. They might just energize the base for awhile.
8:10 am: Everyone agrees on Pennsylvania.
Both BBC and CNN are calling the state for Obama. The African American turnout in Penn HIGHER than 2008. Obama campaign saying this is a national trend.
8:00 am: Back to Florida
It is still neck and neck in Florida. CNN is showing vote shares at 50-50. Obama is down by 636 votes, at this moment. And remember they're still voting in Florida. Long lines.
CNN honchos excited about repeat of 2004 in Florida (correction we meant 2000 election). But the big difference -- Florida won't decide this election. Obama can still win without the Sunshine State. It's all about Ohio this year. But a close count in Florida doesn't bode well for Romney. So far. Romney, in the words of the pundits, is "still in the game" but he shows no signs of the sweeping tallies he needs to win.
7:50 am: Why the senate race is important
If Obama wins is it back to status quo in America? The Republicans retain the House, perhaps increase their margin there. They don't get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Obama could then struggle to govern.
CNN analysts say congressional candidates complain Obama didn't come out to help them. He only recorded robo-calls for one Democratic congressional candidate. And used reliably blue state California as an ATM machine but ignored key Congressional rates there that would have helped Nancy Pelosi come back as Speaker.
7:45 am: Tweets, tweets, tweets
Two tweets that made us laugh about Romney losing Massachusetts.
Manish Vij @manish_vij
Romney loses his home states, Massachusetts and Michigan.
Nathan Jensen @NateMJensen
To be fair, Romney's home state is really the Cayman Islands.
7:35 am: Meanwhile in the Senate races.
NBC calls Massachusetts for Elizabeth Warren (D). She replaces Sen. Scott Brown (R).
These were Key senate race Democrats were fighting for. In governor races Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation Maggie Hassan wins NH! Will be only pro-choice Democratic woman Governor
Republicans will keep control of House of Representatives.
7:25 am: The big calls
Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Mississipi - all for Romney
Michigan, New York for Obama
7:20 am: The never-ending lines
It shouldn't take this kind of heroism to cast your vote: CNN pundit Van Jones on two hour lines in Florida. Don't miss our photo post on the stunning lines.
Tell that to Indians in remote villages who travel great distances and wait all day to cast their ballot.
Mark Knoller @markknoller tweets - Virginia State Board of Elections suspends reporting results so voters still waiting "not unduly influenced by preliminary results."
7:10 am: More projections
Now CNN calls Alabama for Romney. Yawn.
What's interesting is the pace of media calls - Fox, the most aggressive is calling the electoral votes for Obama 78 - Romney 88 and at the other end of the spectrum is the NYTimes and AP at Obama 65 - Romney 51.
7:00 am: The Florida question
Signs of hope for Obama in Florida? His numbers are bigger in Miami-Dade county than 2008 and he is winning in some of the bellwether swing counties. Still too early to call, but an unexpected sliver of hope for Obama in a state where he has consistently trailed Romney.
CNN has just called Arkansas and Tennessee for Romney.
Arkansas is another one of the six states Pres Obama has not visited since taking office says Mark Knoller, CBS News White House Correspondent, Radio
6.54 am: It's the economy stupid
That old Clinton campaign mantra has since become conventional wisdom. And all the exit polls, be it CNN or BBC, show that the economy is indeed the number one issue for voters.
So what would it mean if Obama did indeed win this election -- a president who has presided over a sluggish economy, failed to deliver on promises, real or perceived, to deliver America out of its fiscal crisis?
One BBC pundit describes such a win as "stunning" and unprecedented. Will Obama rewrite the golden rule of US elections? If so, what does it say about the American voter? That's one of the big questions hanging over this Election Day.
BTW: "Macaca man" George Allen is in the lead in the Senate race in Virginia. He is at 53.1% of the vote against Democrat and former governor Tim Kaine's 46.9% according to New York Times. Allen lost to Jim Webb last time around especially after he singled out an Indian American filming him in the crowd calling him "macaca."
6.50 am: 11 million tweets with #Election2012 Hashtag
This is BIG!
Twitter Government @gov, which describes itself as a handle that provides "Updates from the Twitter Government & Politics team, tracking creative & effective uses of Twitter for civic engagement has just posted this: “BREAKING: Tweets around #Election2012 just surpassed 11 million for the day.”
6.35 pm: CNN projects 7 more states for Obama
CNN has projected a bunch of states for President Obama, giving him 64 electoral college votes to Romney's 56. The latest projections gave Obama the states of Connecticut (7 electoral votes), Delaware (3 electoral votes), District of Columbia (3 electoral votes), Illinois (20 electoral votes), Maryland (10 electoral votes), Massachusetts (11 electoral votes) and Maine (3 of 4 electoral votes).
Meanwhile in Florida, counting so far shows Obama leading by 51 percent to Romney's 49 percent. These are based on real votes, not exit polls.
Some good tweets on the elections so far:
Ohio is India's AP! Win AP win India, win Ohio, win the White House!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) नवम्बर 7, 2012
Election night is just like the Oscars, but with a greater chance of a black person winning.
— Eric D. Snider (@EricDSnider) नवम्बर 7, 2012
Other than deciding the president, the US election is when people around the world attempt again to pronounce "Massachusetts" correctly.
— Bassem Sabry باسم (@Bassem_Sabry) नवम्बर 7, 2012
6.28 pm: Obama exhorts people to #StayInLine
As polls begin closing across states in the country, President Obama is reminding voters that they can still vote as long as they just #StayInLine!
Wisconsin & Minnesota: Polls close at 8pm CT. Spread the word: You can vote as long as you're in line before then. #StayInLine
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) नवम्बर 7, 2012
New Mexico & Colorado, RT this: Polls close at 7pm MT, and you can vote as long as you're in line by then. #StayInLine
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) नवम्बर 7, 2012
And on the subject of voting, what did Michelle Obama wear when she voted? This, for all our page 3 type readers. “Mrs. Obama voted in style, wearing a mustard yellow and white embroidered cardigan by L'Wren Scott. She accessorized with a delicate pearl and bead necklace" says Fashionstyle.com.
6.01 am: CNN projects West Virginia, Indiana for Romney
Based on its exit polls, CNN has said it expects Romney to take West Virginia and Indiana, giving him 24 electoral college votes to Obama's 03. It has declined to project for Ohio, although it said that exit polls in the key swing state of Ohio indicate Obama winning 51 percent of the vote to Romney's 48%.
More good news for Obama in Florida, with early counting giving the President a slight lead (51% -48%) in the swing state. Florida is crucial for Romney, with political commentators saying that he has absolutely no chance of winning the Presidency if he loses the state.
Meanwhile the data crunchers over at Businessweek have said that the earliest that they will be able to conclusively call the election will be 9 pm EST (6.30 am India) and that is if Mitt Romney wins. Why? Because according to the publication, "states leaning his way close earlier than those leaning toward President Obama. That’s if Romney wins toss-ups such as Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and New Hampshire. If he doesn’t, we’ll all have to stay up later."
The report adds that "the earliest there will plausibly be an official call for Obama is 11 p.m. And that’s assuming that he carries most of those toss-up states. The reason it’s later for Obama is mainly California and its 55 electoral votes. The polls don’t close there until 11 pm EST (8.30am India)
5.42 am: Voting ends in swing state of Florida, early counting begins
Voting just about ended in the key swing state of Florida, but results have already started coming in. So far, early results show a dead tie in terms of voter percentage, although Romney is ahead by 712 votes. Only five percent of the vote is in though.
Meanwhile speaking to reporters aboard his campaign plane on his last flight on the campaign, Romney said he just finished writing his victory speech on the flight from Pittsburgh to Boston.
"It's about 1,118 words. I'm sure it'll change before I'm finished because I haven't passed it around to my family and friends and advisors to get their reaction. But I've only written one speech at this point."
The question at ill we ever get to hear it?
He said he had no regrets: "I feel like we put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end and I think that's why we'll be successful."
He also talked about his parents. "I think about my dad from time to time. And my mom. I sure wish they were around to be part of this," he said. "I hope they're able to watch in their own way."
“Asked on his final campaign flight whether he might get a puppy if elected, Romney said “one of the benefits would be to get another Weimaraner.”
5.34 am: Fox News calls Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia for Romney
The Fox News channel has called a few states, projecting that Republican Mitt Romney will carry Kentucky, a deeply Republican state, so no surprises there. However it has also projected that he will win Indiana, which Obama won in 2008.
The channel has also called Georgia for Romney, but has said Obama will win Vermont - which has long been considered a liberal bastion.
CNN has also called Kentucky for Romney.
First projections from Al Jazeera also hand Indiana and Kentucky for Romney and Vermont for Obama.
5.07 am: Inside polls showing Obama leading in Ohio
Both Team Obama and Team Romney are waiting for their first result to come in, with only very early exit polls trickling in. Inside Romney polls indicate that Obama is leading by five points in Ohio, which is significant given that historically no Republican has won the White house without winning Ohio. These are still very very early days though.
Poor Ohio. Every four year both parties descend on that state with a vengeance because it's the state both want desperately. They have been spammed, robo-called and had the candidates tramping up and down it for weeks.
But CNN's Peter Hamby said that the Romney campaign's internal polls had Obama winning the state by 5 points at the end of the campaign. That's why they went to Ohio on the last day. Sources close to Romney campaign feel they might have lost Ohio says Al Jazeera.
Here are some more facts that are coming out through the exit polls, as listed out by the Washington Post:
so far the electorate is shaping up to be broadly similar demographically to 2008 (on race, age, etc.), but, as expected, appear to be a shade more Republican
- tons of lock-in, around seven in 10 say they made up their minds before September
- no surprise, but economy is overwhelming top issue, none of the other three come close — true in national data and across all nine states we subscribed to.
- voters are flipped from 2008 in their interest in a more active federal government. But the limited government sentiment may end up dampened from 2010
- voters nationally split on what to do about “Obamacare,” with slightly more saying get rid of some or all of it.
- indicators of the overall mood of the country are tilted in a far more positive direction that was the case four years ago, with more now saying things are going in “the right direction” and fewer now say the economy is deteriorating. As expected, the improvements are among Democrats.
- The union vote may be headed to a record low, later waves of course, will give a better tally.
Great anecdote coming in by the way, of a girl who was refused entry into a polling station because she was wearing a MIT sweatshirt. The officials (who clearly have some spelling issues) had thought she was trying to influence people to vote for MITT (Not MIT) Romney. More on that here.
4.45 am US voters frustrated by long queues, voting glitches
Sporadic complaints about voting procedures surfaced from Pennsylvania to Florida on Tuesday, while long lines in many states posed their own challenges in what could be one of the closest presidential elections in US history, the Reuters news agency reports.
It was unclear what impact controversies over everything from the presence of poll watchers to software installation on tabulation machines would eventually have on an election that caps the long and bitter presidential campaign. National opinion polls showed President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a virtual dead heat.
As the reports trickled in however, the team behind the President's Twitter account tried to urge people to stay in line and cast their votes:
If you’re in line when the polls close, stay in line to vote. It could help make the difference. twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) नवम्बर 6, 2012
Watchdog groups said there was confusion over voter ID requirements in Pennsylvania, a state Obama had been expected to win, but that Romney visited in recent days as he sought to expand the battleground.
"Poll workers have been poorly and wrongfully trained, and they are standing there and sitting there and requiring people to show ID, and sending people home if they don't have the ID," said Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, at a press conference in Washington. "The state of Pennsylvania ought to be ashamed."
A judge in Pennsylvania last month blocked the state from requiring voters to show photo identification, a setback for Republican state officials who had championed the law.
Zack Stalberg, president of the Committee of Seventy, a Philadelphia-based elections watchdog, said most of the hundreds of calls the group has received so far were about "massive confusion" over voter ID requirements.
Six-hour wait time for voters!
Long lines at polls in many states prompted concerns that some voters would give up without casting their ballots. Lengthy waits to vote were reported in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, all key swing states, as well as New Jersey and New York, states walloped a week ago by superstorm Sandy.
Civil rights leaders said the lines threatened to be an international embarrassment for the United States.
"When you look at the lines that have formed in places like Ohio, they are longer than the lines in Baghdad and Kabul," said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
In the densely populated Miami area, wait times on Tuesday ranged from 15 minutes to more than three hours to vote a lengthy ballot. A lawsuit had been filed already on Sunday in Florida over the waiting times for early voting, which in some cases on Saturday stretched to six and seven hours.
4 am: Exit polls show weak economy is top of the mind for US voters
Associated Press news agency reports the findings of an exit poll: the presidential election hinges on the economy. The survey of voters as they left polling places on Tuesday showed that nearly 6 in 10 voters said the economy was the top issue facing the nation, with unemployment and rising prices hitting voters hard.
About 4 in 10 said they thought the nation's economy was on the mend, but more say that things are getting worse or are bad and stagnating.
About half of the voters said the previous president, George W. Bush, shoulders more of the blame for economic challenges than President Barack Obama.
Just a quarter of those surveyed in the exit poll say they are better off than four years ago.
3.00 am: Wall Street ends stronger
US stocks finished stronger on Tuesday as voters went to the polls to elect the next US president. The bellwether Dow Jones industrial average gained 133 points, or 1 percenty, and the two other leading indices - the S&P 500 and Nasdaq - edged up 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.
Market were bracing for an uncertain win for either candidate, which would have heightened political uncertainty. Memories of the 2000 elections, which were marked by protracted legal battles that delayed the final verdict, were haunting investors.
Meanwhile, gold had a good day on short-covering as well as bargain-hunting ahead of the results. Comex gold prices ended the US day sharply higher, well above the $1,700 level.
As Firstpost had noted earlier, Wall Street would like Mitt Romney as President, because it believes that his plan to cut taxes on capital gains and dividends, as well as for corporations, will do it good. Business leaders also feel that the US is more likely to avoid going over the fiscal cliff with a Romney presidency.
2:40 am: Long lines, glitches, other hurdles irk civil rights activists
A Reuters report speaks about the problems faced across the country by voters, primarily that of long line, software glitches and other problems faced by voters. But will long lines really affect the outcome of the polls?
In India it definitely hasn't been a problem..
2:15 am: Obama doens't plan to dance Gangnam style if he wins polls
Yes, those hard-hitting questions keep coming for the candidates, even on Election Day: President Barack Obama was asked by one interviewer Tuesday about the "Gangnam Style" dance craze.
During a radio spot with WZID-FM in New Hampshire, the commander in chief was pressed on whether he and first lady Michelle would do a rendition of the South Korean rapper PSY's hit, which has hundreds of millions of views on YouTube.
"I just saw that video for the first time," Obama replied. "I think I can do that move. But I'm not sure that the inauguration ball is the appropriate time to break that out."
"Maybe," he concluded, "do it privately for Michelle." AP
2:10 am: Resilient New Yorkers flock to polls after Sandy’s wrath, says Firstpost's Uttara Choudhury
Perennially resilient and busy New Yorkers are going to the polls in sunny, but frigid, weather to cast their vote. Special buses have been deployed to hard hit areas to shuttle voters to polling stations.
"No storm or flood water is going to stop me from getting my man (Obama) back to the White House," said school teacher Loretta Harris, who had a tree crash into her front porch during the superstorm last Monday.
All schools are closed in New York for Election Day, although some of them are running bake sales to help people affected by Sandy.
To keep things uncomplicated, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order allowing registered voters, who are displaced, to go to any polling station to cast their ballot.
“There are complications on election day, because you have people who are displaced, you have people who are in shelters, you have people who are staying at a friend's house, and it's often a far distance from their residence and a far distance from their original polling place. We want everyone to vote, just because you are displaced does not mean you should be disenfranchised," Cuomo said.
New Yorkers have taken Cuomo’s words seriously and are flocking to polling staions. The media has received reports that poll workers are struggling to handle the crowds.
2:00 am: Is the US election really secret ballot anymore?
Thousands hit Twitter and Facebook even as they voted, many of them for the first time.
The Washington Post highlighted how a recent Pewpoll pointed out that almost one fifth of all voters have shared whom they voted for and almost one in ever three voters were encouraged to vote by contacts on Facebook and Twitter.
So far 1.5 million tweets have made their way into cyberspace and could be the most tweeted subject ever.
1:45 am: Romney continues whirlwind campaign tour, goes to Pennsylvania
Romney's still travelling and he's now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in an attempt to get the swing votes in his favour.
Now here's another theory why US markets rose this morning. Reportedly because one site said that the Republican candidate was in the lead in the swing state of Ohio.
The Wall Street Journal reported that one news outlet said Romney had a lead in Ohio, and given the markets are more in love with Romney presently they may have spiked as a result.
Gives you an idea how close this election is.
1:30 am: Obama hits basketball court, Romney gets burger
It's a election tradition and Obama's not about to break it. He's on a basketball court in Chicago where he's reportedly started playing already.
Romney, meanwhile, in Ohio is getting himself a burger at Wendy's and waving at fellow diners along with VP candidate Paul Ryan.
1:20 am: What are the random things to look out for to know who will win?
ABC has put up this hilarious list of what signs to look for in order to know who's going to win the poll. Among the factors that matter include if the Washington Redskins win their game, who kids pick to win and who Nate Silver picks as the winner (he picked Obama, but said he doesn't expect a landslide victory).
Meanwhile in Colorado, the Republicans are claiming a lead in early voting in Colorado:
— National Review (@NROcorner) नवम्बर 6, 2012
1:10 am: Machine records votes for Romney even if you voted for Obama
Voter machines are notorious no matter where they're used. In Pennsylvania, a machine reportedly recorded votes for Romney even if you voted for Obama.
MSNBC said that the errant machine was removed but here's a video uploaded by the voter showing the machine running amuck:
And here's what the voter said:
My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.
I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney's name and started tapping very closely together to find the 'active areas'. From the top of Romney's button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama's name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein's button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.
I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said "It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK." and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.
There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I'm not a video guy, but if it's possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more.
Pshaw! Homer Simpson foresaw this ages ago. Check out the Simpsons take on the elections in 2008.
12:50 am: US stocks gain as market expects bipartisanship to make a comeback
Hope springs eternal on Wall Street and traders are growing more confident that America bipartisanship is set to make a comeback — no matter who wins the White House.
"I think whoever wins is going to have to reach across the aisle to reach a deal that would avert the fiscal cliff. Lame duck Congresses aren't known for doing big things, but I think it will manage a compromise,” said New York hedge fund manager Rick Wiskari.
For markets an Obama win means more of the same, for good or bad. There is a good deal more excitement on Wall Street about a Romney presidency and potential change at the top. But no one is betting on it — Romney has never for a moment been favoured by the odds makers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13,282.07 points 169.63 points or 1.29 percent to 13,282.07 at 1.49 pm EST.
While Republican control of the House and Democratic control of the Senate are not expected to change, most traders feel that after four years of divisive politics and polarization, bipartisanship is set to make a comeback.
12:35 am: How to track the exit polls
Now of course we don't know the first thing about how the US polls do. But the folks at Washington Post have been kind enough to explain what to look for in the exit polls:
1. Trust exit polls only after 6 am India time
2. If you do see early exit polls, don't trust them
3. Early exit polls will favour Obama
4. The demographics matter (yes it matters how many white people vote)