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By Melissa Bounoua

Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. At the Blue Note, where the Democratic watch party happened, the atmosphere became crazy tonight. “Yes we can, yes we can” While singing, supporters and Obama campaign staff enjoyed the happy end of one year and a half of campaigning.

However, Barack Obama didn’t win Missouri (49,3%) against John McCain (49,4%) with a difference of  only 413 votes. It is only the second time for one century that Missouri doesn’t pick the president elected.

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Democratic supporters watching Obama's speech at the Blue Note

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Supporters after the Blue Note watch party.

The Blue Note after  people learnt Obama has been elected President

In front of the Obama speech at the Blue Note, downtown Columbia

Chris Wegan, 23, cook at the University Club. "We did it, we did it, I am so happy, what a moment!"

Chris Wegan, 23, cook at the University Club, "We did it, we did it, what a moment, I am so happy."

On the Republican side, earlier in the afternoon, the College Republican Chairman at Mizzou, Jonathan Ratliff said that “he was confident“. And it turned out that Missouri won’t be a blue State for the next four years.

By Melissa Bounoua

It is 8pm at the Reynolds institute of Journalism. “It is seems to be more journalists than real people” said Lasse Berg Soerensen, a exchange student in journalism at MU who came to see the preliminary results.

Every thirty minutes or so, the room is live and people can answer KBIA and KOMU journalists questions.

RJI Live

At 8:38pm, the question asked in this town-hall type meeting is about media coverage.

Prakash Jayabalan

At 8:38pm, Prakash Jayabalan, an English citizen who studies Pathobiology at MU participated in  the debate about media coverage of the Elections. “I think unlike the British media where you  can get hard news,  in the American media there is a lot of social commentary. We know that Fox News is more Republican and MSNBC is rather Democratic” he said, as he came for the first time at the RJI.

Comedy show

Around 9pm a Comedy Show started about the Elections with actors playing John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

People are still waiting for more precise results and journalists receive the result a blank map is filled with the College Electoral Votes. At this moment: there are 207 for Obama and 135 for John McCain.

By Melissa Bounoua

McCord Etsuko, the last voter at Memorial Union

At 6:55pm in Memorial Union on campus, the last voter has such an incredible story. Etsuko McCord, 83, got into the Emergency room at the Boone County hospital yesterday night. And she is not from Boone County, so yesterday night she thought she couldn’t vote.

But after a day of negotiation, she made it, five minutes before the closing of the polling place, she went to Memorial Union with an assistant who helped her to go through the whole process and at 7pm, when all the staff was happy to close the polling place after a long day, Etsuko McCord was even happier. She made it. “I am so happy, especially after all I had to fight for to eventually  cast my vote“, she said.

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Etsuko McCord voting with some help at 6:55pm

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The Staff is happy that the polling place closes after a long day of votes

By Melissa Bounoua

If you don’t have a TV and you don’t want to see the results alone in front of your computer, you would rather attend one of the numerous watch parties that will happen tonight in Columbia:

– At The Blue Note, 17 N. Ninth street after Broadaway, will celebrate Election Day with local candidates and supporters of Barack Obama, Jay Nixon and other Democratic campaigns. Watch the results roll in on a big white screen and the doors open at 6pm (even if the results won’t be available at least before 2am).

The Blue NoteWatch party

Update: The Boone County Libertarian Party will be holding a watch party in the side room of the Heidelberg starting at approximately 6:30 PM, with a local theater troupe offering some political satire at around 7 PM.

-If you want to be surrounded by journalists and attend to a non-partisan Watch Party, go to the brand new Reynolds Journalism Institute (across the street from Heidelberg) on Ninth Street. It will start at 7:30pm.

RJI

-The Assocation for the Advancement of Coloured people will have a Watch Party at the Second Baptist Church on Fifth Street and Broadway.

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-The Movie Theater RagTag, 10 Hitt Street, also has an Election Party, which start at 7pm. Election coverage from Comedy Central to Fox News & PBS along with live music, theater by Ross Taylor’s troupe and comedy during commercial breaks. “We don’t want to give away the party surprises, but political debates & eating contests figure in.” mention RagTag website.

Rag tag Election party

By Lisa Pham in Paris

parisFor the Americans in Paris, tonight will either be a night of celebration or despair.

Liz Webber, 22, an American intern at the International Herald Tribune in Paris, is planning to go to an all-night party hosted by Americans Abroad for Obama at the Palais Maillot in Paris where 1200 supporters are expected. “If McCain wins, I’ll try not to cry,” she says. Explaining that her birthday next year is the same day that the new President will take office, Liz hopes that she will “be drinking to celebrate and not to drown my sorrows.

Does it feel weird to be in Paris while the elections are on?I do feel slightly removed from it all,” she admits, “especially since I voted a few weeks ago by mail. But I am still very nervous!” Like most of her friends in New York, Liz is politically liberal. It is her second time voting in the presidential elections. “Although I do like Obama, I’m really voting for the party and not the person,” explains Liz. “The Republican beliefs in limited spending on social programs, tax cuts for the rich and curtailing a woman’s right to abortion completely go against my values.

With doors opening at midnight on Tuesday (8pm in the US), the party includes entertainment, analysis, bagels, cream cheese and live interactive blogging. The event should last until wednesday morning. There are also rumours of a Sarah Palin piñata to round off the festivities.

Depending on how close the results are, the Americans here in France might not know who wins until Thursday. Early indications are expected around midnight.“I’m looking forward to being surrounded by a lot of like-minded Americans and non-Americans,” says Liz. “I hope we end the night on a happy note.

By Melissa Bounoua

We started at 5am this morning said Zoe Poelhma, 19, student at MU in communications, a Volunteer for the Obama campaign . Volunteers for the Democratic Party were already at the Speaker circle and in front of the Ellis Library on campus this morning. “We will have new volunteers coming and  urge every student to vote” she added. Polling places opened at 6am this morning and will close tonight at 7pm.

From Left to right, Sissi Xue, Elizabeth Anderson, and Kiki Schmitz are Democratic Volunteers. They at Speaker circle this morning around 7am

From Left to right, Sissi Xue, Elizabeth Anderson, and Kiki Schmitz are Democratic Volunteers. They at Speaker circle this morning around 7am

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Obama campaign volunteer Zoe Poelhma in front of the Ellis Library this morning.

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It is gonna be a long day, a crucial day, we have to remind to every student that they can vote, make sure that they know where they are supposed to vote. Mostly we are here to encourage people to vote, especially when the lines get long. We registered several thousands of students in Boone County this semester so the turnout should be huge” said Elizabeth Anderson, 22, a volunteer for the Obama campaign and a student at MU in biology and Psychology.

Where are the Republicans? We will be looking for them…