UPDATED: Obama Wins Omaha Electoral Vote

UPDATED, 8:15 p.m.

Posted, 6:47 p.m. — Barack Obama tonight became the first Democrat since 1964 to win a Nebraska electoral vote.

The Ballot Box is calling the Omaha-area race for Obama.

In an e-mail interview tonight, the head of the Douglas County Election Commission said his office was continuing to count the onslaught of early-voting ballots it had received.

“We have counted around 15,000 early voting ballots today,” said Dave Phipps, election commissioner of Douglas County, where Omaha is located.

Phipps acknowledged a report in the Omaha World-Herald that said the newspaper also was calling the race for Obama.  Election Web site fivethirtyeight.com also has called the race for Obama. Continue reading

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Black Mother in Omaha: ‘Can This Be Real?’

Posted, 11:17 p.m. — One day after Americans chose Barack Obama — a black man — as their next president, Omaha resident and mother of two boys Deborah Bridgman — a black woman — said this: “Oh, my God.  Can this be real?”

Omahan Deb Bridgman says she feels that her vote influenced history.  BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Omahan Deb Bridgman says she feels that her vote influenced history. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

Bridgman, who before the election said Obama’s ascent would open the eyes of African-Americans to the possibilities in their lives, voted along with 52 percent of her fellow Omaha residents for Obama.

The Douglas County Election Commissioner on Wednesday said his office still was counting 9,000 absentee ballots, and would not declare a winner in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District until possibly next week.

A majority of voters in Douglas County, which overlays the city of Omaha, voted for Obama, but residents of suburban Sapry County, which makes up a small, but not inconsequential, part of the 2nd District, chose John McCain.

The latest count showed Obama trailing McCain by 569 votes out of more than 250,000 cast.  Up for grabs is the Omaha area’s one electoral vote.

Whether or not Obama wins the 2nd District, Bridgman said her vote influenced history.

“It matters,” she said.

Before the election, Bridgman had purchased an Obama bumper sticker she affixed to her gray minivan.  It read: “African Americans for Obama.”

Wednesday, Bridgman took a Magic Marker to the sticker.

It now reads: “Americans for Obama.”

— BY BRAD DAVIS

Columbia Journalism Students Show Their Mettle with Ambitious Election Coverage

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At roughly 12.30am today, the most relieved students who spilled out onto Columbia University’s campus and the surrounding streets of Broadway and Amsterdam were probably not the staunch supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. They were the university’s journalism students who had just completed their most ambitious project yet: extensive multimedia coverage of the U.S. presidential election.

Continue reading

As ‘Change’ Wave Sweeps Country, Omaha Still Too Close to Call

Posted, 1:02 p.m. EST — It’s still too close to call whether Barack Obama will snag the Omaha area’s one electoral vote.

the Omaha area, Missouri and North Carolina.  Photo/FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM

Still undecided: the Omaha area, Missouri and North Carolina. Photo/FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM

Of course, it won’t technically matter because Obama now is estimated to have 349 Electoral College votes, according to major news organizations.  A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

Nebraska allots its five Electoral College votes proportionally, a system that makes it differ from all other states except for Maine.

As of Wednesday afternoon, races had been called in most of the state’s precincts.  John McCain won four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes.

In the 2nd Congressional District, which overlays the core of the Omaha metropolitan area, things were different: Residents of the city of Omaha chose Obama 51 percent over 48 percent for McCain. Continue reading

Obama Wins Presidency; Omaha Still Counting, Leaning His Way

Posted at 2:24 a.m. EST — The Nebraska Secretary of State reported early Wednesday the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which overlays the core of the Omaha metropolitan area, would give its electoral vote to Barack Obama.

If the initial count, with more than 93 percent of the votes tallied, holds, Nebraska would give an Electoral College vote to a Democrat for the first time since 1964.

All but four of Nebraska’s 93 counties voted for John McCain, according to the Secretary of State’s latest count. Continue reading

Kenyan Americans Vote in Historic Election

Posted, 7:49 p.m. — Kenyan Americans were among thousands of voters who went to the poll to decide the 44th President of the United States.

They braved the morning chill in New Jersey to ensure their votes counted, in boosting Senator Barack Obama’s chances of occupying White House.
Continue reading

8th Graders Can’t Vote, But They Can Rally

8th graders from Holy Name of Jesus School rally for Obama on the Upper West Side

8th graders from Holy Name of Jesus School rally for Obama on the Upper West Side

Posted 7:33 p.m., NEW YORK – They can jump, dance, rap and sing, but they can’t vote. These are the 8th grade students from Holy Name of Jesus school, on the Upper West Side. The girls were seen on 95th and Broadway by passersby, chanting an impromptu rap, “Whose gonna lower your taxes? Obama, Obama, Obama!”

One of the girls, who had picked up an Obama-O’Donnell sign and waved it around to people in cars, was very enthusiastic about her contribution.

“Well we can’t vote, but we can do this to make a difference,” she said.

Election Day, Upper West Side, New York

— BY INSIYAH SAEED