The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2012

November 6, 2012

Spear: Election Day coverage changes planned

— We’ve implemented a few changes for our Election Day news coverage, many for the better.

In the past, we’ve spent a good deal of staff time sitting at courthouses waiting for results or more recently sitting at our computers waiting for online results to be available.

This year we will again be giving you real-time results as they come in but also providing you with links to check on the results yourself in a user-friendly way.

We’ve set up 33 links to local election results through the secretary of state’s website. Simply go to our website ( and follow the links to see results for the Legislature, federal offices, schools, cities, counties and the hotly contested constitutional amendments.

We’ll also be using instant news messaging through Twitter on our website to provide the latest results and hopefully get you the final results before you go to bed, depending on what time you go to bed, of course. Most of us in The Free Press newsroom will be here until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.,   and we have staff coming in at 5 a.m. Wednesday to catch you up on all the latest if need be.

Two or three of our reporters and a photographer will be providing live coverage from some of the campaign headquarters, again through the Twitter feed on our website. It’s at It’s an effort to humanize election night coverage and show the drama of what this election may mean to the candidates and their supporters.

The Secretary of State’s Office tells us they will update their site every 15 minutes and experience tells us that sometimes it’s even more frequent. We, of course, will rely on county websites as backups to the secretary of state.

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Election 2012