Election Central, that physical place where election results were traditionally handed out to members of the public, campaigns and the media, has changed. In the "old days" - a.k.a. - before the Internet, people would gather at the county seat after the polls closed and mingle, have refreshments and wait as election results came in. There was always excitement in the air, especially at presidential elections.
Today, the scene at Election Central is much different. At least in San Mateo County, California located in the heart of Silicon Valley.
These days only a few people join the festivities at Election Central. Sure, there are some people, mainly campaign supporters, that might venture out to an election party but for the most part people stay home and get their election results on the web or by television. Pictured here is the campaign party of Pacifica Councilwoman elect Mary Ann Nihart surrounded by her supporters. The laptop on the coffee table is displaying our web site and crowd is tracking election results. (Photo courtesy of the Pacifica Tribune).
This is the new Election Central.
Not only has the Internet changed the way people get their election results but it has made it possible to transform the look and feel of election results. Today's web offerings are much different than in the past.
There was a time when all you got were results printed on several sheets of paper. Those papers only listed the contests and the corresponding vote totals. Now election enthusiasts can go on the web and track a specific contest, look at a map and view vote totals displayed in a pie chart.
Race Tracker, the application that makes this possible on the San Mateo County website, www.shapethefuture.org, simply gives people more viewing options - and information options. We call it the "customization of election results." Just like Burger King - you can have it your way!
Some 4,000 people visited our web site on election night. Those visitors had their choice of a customized vote total report or a PDF which presented the information in a more historically familiar fashion.
Take a closer look at our enhanced election results offerings. >