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AP Election Night: 7,000 Races in 4,600 Locations

NEW YORK: The Associated Press has put together its battle plan for Tuesday, Nov. 6, when Americans elect a president, Congress and numerous state officials.

AP said it would count votes in nearly 7,000 races in more than 4,600 locations on election night. The news service will call the winner in the presidential race state-by-state, plus 33 Senate, 11 gubernatorial and 435 congressional races, using analytical tools and its premier vote count to help determine when a race is decided. State-based race callers also will designate winners in nearly 4,000 additional down-ticket races, from state constitutional officers to state legislatures to ballot initiatives.

AP Mobile, with 11 million downloads, will provide updates on presidential and other key races, including maps showing the balance of power. Push alerts and breaking news banners will provide the latest news.

Live video coverage will be provided on APTN Direct throughout the day and into the evening until after the presidential race is called and through the victory and concession speeches. AP will also be providing continuous live coverage of polling locations across all time zones leading into the evening speeches.

AP’s Live Desk will offer a continuous flow of short-form color, updates and observations throughout Election Day and night as Americans vote and results are announced. These brief reports will work in tandem with AP stories, allowing customers who check in regularly—especially on mobile devices—to see what’s happening at a glance.

HTML interactives—viewable across platforms—will be provided by AP for the first time in an election, with a heavy emphasis on the balance of power and maps. An “On the Trail” interactive will showcase AP photojournalists in a dynamic grid design, capturing candid moments on election night using Instagram, the popular photo-sharing mobile app.

AP’s Big Story microsite will gather all the service’s election coverage in one place. The page will be updated throughout the day and night with the latest news and analyses, video and photos on all the big races. It will also highlight the “Election Watch” feature, a frequently updated text feed of short-form material from AP journalists across the country. “Election Watch” will be distributed on all major AP services.

A new daily text feature, “What to Watch,” will run as of Monday, Oct. 29, underscoring the top things expected each day. It will move on AP’s wires and mobile platform each morning, Eastern time in the United States. It will build on the AP’s “10 Things to Know,” a twice-daily rundown of the top items of the day, which has become one of the more popular features among customers and readers – particularly on mobile devices.

AP also will be mining social networks for newsworthy tips, trends and user-generated content related to the election and putting them through our extensive verification process.

Early on Election Day, AP will move a selection on images of citizens casting their ballots from polling places nationwide. In addition, photographers traveling with the presidential candidates are using Instagram to document behind-the-scene moments on the campaign, using the hashtag, #aponthetrail.

AP Radio will broadcast live special reports at 20 and 40 minutes past the hour on the AP-1 special events channel until after the race is called and through the victory and concession speeches. Titled “Campaign 2012,” the reports will be anchored by Ed Donahue. Election news will top the hourly AP-1 newscasts, :55 updates and :31 headlines, barring breaking news. AP Radio will also offer both anchored (AP-2) and unanchored (AP-3) coverage of the victory and concession speeches. Reporters will be with both candidates’ campaigns and cover key congressional races from Capitol Hill.