AP announces election night coverage plans

Oct. 26, 2012
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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama spar during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Above, votes are tabulated at an AP election center in 2008.
NEW YORK -- The Associated Press will use a wide array of digital tools and innovations to count the vote and cover the results on Tuesday, Nov. 6, when Americans elect a president, Congress and numerous state officials.

The AP, the most trusted source of information on U.S. election night with a history of accuracy dating to 1848, will offer that expertise to its member news organizations, other commercial customers and the public across all platforms.

Here are the highlights of AP’s coverage plans:

•    The AP will count the votes in nearly 7,000 races in more than 4,600 locations on election night, tallying and reporting the vote to elect the president, Congress and governors, plus state and some regional and local races. Its tabulation of results is used by almost every major news organization in the United States, plus numerous international clients. "AP has people gathering the vote in almost every county and parish across the United States," says AP Director of Election Services Brian Scanlon, making its tabulations highly prized for their accuracy and speed.

•    AP will call the winner in the presidential race state by state, plus 33 Senate, 11 gubernatorial and 435 congressional races, using state-of-the-art analytical tools and its premier vote count to help determine when a race is decided. State-based race callers also will designate winners in nearly 4,000 additional down-ticket races, from state constitutional officers to state legislatures to ballot initiatives.

•    AP’s popular news app, AP Mobile, downloaded by more than 11 million users across all mobile platforms, will provide timely updates on presidential and other key races, including maps showing the balance of power. Push alerts and breaking news banners will provide the latest news. You can download the app at www.getapmobile.com.
“As the media landscape has changed so rapidly over the years, we have innovated to ensure our bedrock vote count and race-calling operations -- so vital to Americans on election night -- are available everywhere customers and consumers want them, from mobile phones to online, on air, in newspapers and across the social space,” said AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee, who’s in charge of campaign coverage.

“Our journalism will help Americans and the world stay on top of the vote results as they come in, and understand what those results mean for the country,” she added.

Among other highlights:

•    AP video will provide live video coverage on APTN Direct throughout the day and into the evening until after the presidential race is called and through the victory and concession speeches. AP will also be providing continuous live coverage of polling locations across all time zones leading into the evening speeches. AP has made an investment of $30 million over the past three years to convert all of its video ingestion, production and playout to high definition.

•    AP’s Live Desk will offer a continuous flow of short-form color, updates and observations throughout Election Day and night as Americans vote and results are announced. These brief reports will work in tandem with AP stories, allowing customers who check in regularly — especially on mobile devices — to see what’s happening at a glance. "Election Watch" will be distributed on all major AP services.

•    HTML interactives – seamlessly viewable across platforms, from desktops to phones to tablets – will be provided by AP for the first time in an election, with a heavy emphasis on the balance of power and maps. An "On the Trail" interactive will showcase AP photojournalists in a dynamic grid design, capturing candid moments on election night using Instagram, the popular photo-sharing mobile app.

•    AP’s Big Story microsite will gather all of AP's extensive election coverage in one place. The page (http://bigstory.ap.org/topic/election-2012) will be updated throughout the day and night with the latest news and analyses, video and photos on all the big races. It will also highlight the Election Watch feature, a frequently updated text feed of interesting, short-form material from AP journalists across the country. (http://bigstory.ap.org/election-watch)

Additional AP coverage plans:

•    A new daily text feature, “What to Watch,” will run starting Monday, Oct. 29, underscoring the top things expected each day. It will move on AP’s wires and mobile platform each morning, Eastern time in the United States. It will build on the AP’s “10 Things to Know,” a twice-daily rundown of the top items of the day, which has become one of the more popular features among customers and readers – particularly on mobile devices.   

•    AP will be mining social networks for newsworthy tips, trends and user-generated content related to the election and putting them through our extensive verification process.

•    Early on Election Day, AP will move a selection on images of citizens casting their ballots from polling places nationwide. In addition, photographers traveling with the presidential candidates are using Instagram to document the quirky behind-the-scene moments on the campaign. Their work can be seen by searching #aponthetrail.

•    AP Radio will broadcast live special reports at :20 and :40 minutes past the hour on the AP-1 special events channel until after the race is called and through the victory and concession speeches. Titled “Campaign 2012,” the reports will be anchored by Ed Donahue. Election news will top the hourly AP-1 newscasts, :55 updates and :31 headlines, barring breaking news. AP Radio will also offer both anchored (AP-2) and unanchored (AP-3) coverage of the victory and concession speeches. Reporters will be with both candidates’ campaigns and cover key congressional races from Capitol Hill.

For further information on AP’s election night efforts, visit our website at http://bit.ly/RCpUna.

About  AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.

Paul Colford
Director of AP Media Relations

Erin Madigan White
Manager of AP Media Relations

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