Every year on election night, The Post moves our publishing deadline to a day earlier. We want to ensure our audience will wake up the next day to be informed on all election results. 

After classes and fueling ourselves with pizza, we take to the streets of Athens to cover the elections from the evening until the early hours of the morning to make sure our tabloid is ready for print by deadline.

Many of the work for election night is done weeks in advance. Our staff pitches stories and plans out the design of the tabloid to see where everything needs to be for election night.

Writers also make shells of stories with basic background information on the passing of levies and what candidates are elected candidates. That way, the results and reactions can be added to it. It’s a lot easier to adjust a story that’s been half-written rather than writing a story from scratch, especially with our quick turn-around deadline. 

We will have reporters at various locations, such as the Board of Elections, waiting for the results but also being engaged in the community. Reporters are talking to voters about the issues that will affect their city. Photographers are capturing events for the day and reactions from the city. 

National news outlets, like The New York Times, have their live results reported by The Associated Press. It includes sending correspondents to local government offices and having reporters gather vote tallies from state, county and other local officials. 

Meanwhile, we have to wait for paper ballots to be counted and results to be given to us before we can report it. At The Post, we push up our deadline a day to make the results more accessible to our audience.

Once we have all our stories ready to be printed, our designers work to design the pages, a task that is usually not completed in one night. 

As this is my last time covering elections for The Post, I am excited about the energy election night brings each year.  

From our oldest to our youngest staffers, everyone brings their own elements of excitement and experience. For seniors, it’s passing on the torch to those who will remain after we graduate. For freshmen, it’s taking the time to learn from older peers and bring in a new level of excitement to election night. 

From the reporters and photographers on the street to designers in the newsroom, it takes a whole staff to get it done. 

On a normal week of designing the tabloid, we have about 10 people working late together to put the final touches on everything. Election night shows the teamwork of the entire staff in one night as opposed to an entire week. 

Ellen Wagner is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Ellen at ew047615@ohio.edu or tweet her @ewagner19.

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