Well, what a night it was. The final result, expected at around 2am didn’t actually arrive till just before 6. We were aiming to be curled up in bed by about 3:30, but didn’t get in till 10.
The evening started in controversy as certain (as yet unexplained) issues arose regarding the people counting the votes. After a hastily arranged emergency meeting – attended by large numbers of security staff, the counting went ahead as planned except for a small delay.
There was one change however; a number of counters were barred from the counting room, reducing the number of people available. Coupling that with extended validity checks on every count and the fact that turn out was up by a 1/3; the length of time before the results were announced was drastically extended.
After several hours (5) of checking blog entries, the first result for Education officer came in at just after midnight. This was followed by Women’s officer about 45 minutes later. By this point we would usually be expecting all but Treasurer and President to be announced, but no, still four to go.
Despite the long gaps between results, there was still a lot to do such as proof reading blogs, fixing mistakes in the releases, making podcasts and visiting the counting room to see how long we had left before the next result. There was one hour where James did nothing but make podcasts non stop.
Finally, after a total of 10 and a half hours, the final result came through. Owen Morgan – the current president had managed to retain his position to stay on for a second term. This result meant that we could put the finishing touches onto the printed paper. After what seemed like ages, it was all over at about 8am.
I have since spent the rest of Friday trying to catch up with sleep and am now watching the rugby. Definitely a good night – albeit very long. The website worked exactly as planned and we have a good batch of content. A total of 46 blog entries, 5 photo blogs and 14 podcasts were made throughout the evening along with our live text commentary that operated all night.
Thanks to Lianne, Bryan, Kim, Charlie, Kate, Dawn, Tim, Dan, Chris, Holly and Nia who all contributed to the blog throughout the night, as well as Pete and Tom who manned the live commentary for the 10 hours.
Also, I should mention the Xtreme Radio team who were up with us all night with their coverage of the election. Despite the long night, they kept on going and provided much needed entertainment for the Waterfront team – and also put up with the Waterfront storming the station for a few minutes early in the morning.
Will next year be any better? We will have to wait and see.