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Election Day

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.

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From Chicago

It was not that hard to predict Obama would be elected. But still, it was daring to make t-shirts picturing him as a winner before the 4th. In Chicago streets, “Yes we did” t-shirts were on sales even before Barack Obama’s victory speech. The first Black President’s  election already benefits to the economy!

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By Baptiste Etchegaray

Voters do need a reward. The women association from the Columbia First Christian Church organized, as for every Election Day, a special lunch that anyone could attend, proud to wear the “I voted” button. For $6, you could get chili or potato soup, as well as a ham sandwich and a home made pie. The money raised goes to the church’s social missions. Women led the way but they are now joined by men “and this is fun!” explains Brenda Mosby, a cooker for the occasion. Almost 500 guests were served between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM in the canteen where politics as well as random neighborhood stuff were discussed.

Guests were rather aged and conservative. One of them voted for John McCain this morning because he served with him in Vietnam. “He’s a wonderful Christian, a smart guy, I’m sure he’s gonna win! I’ll tell you something: if the other man wins, we’ll have a war in this country down the road,” he said.

By Baptiste Etchegaray

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At the polling place in Memorial Union on MU campus, a dozen of students were already lining up before the opening time at 6pm. They were willing to be done with that election, at last. Since yesterday night, they have been receiving text messages from both campaigns urging them to go to the polls.

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The first voter was not a student though. Shuan Meriweather, 21, currently looking for a job, is an electoral staff himself in another polling place so he had to cast his vote very early. What drove him to the polls? Barack Obama, because he believes in his “Change We Need” slogan. “If John McCain gets elected, we’ll have 8 more years like we’ve had and we can’t affort it.” For his first electoral participation, he voted for all Democratic candidates, acknowledging that he is not really a political person. He didn’t answer the propositions at stake as he didn’t look the ballot at the back.

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Shuan Meriweather, a hip hop singer, wrote some songs to support Obama. There is only one issue he doesn’t really agree with the Democratic candidate: the right to carry arms. “I think we shouldn’t mess it up, this is a very important right, we never know what might happen, ” he said. Yet Obama remained rather silent on this issue during the campaign.

At 6.10am, Shuan Meriweather’s ballot was in the voting machine. In the US, there is no transparent ballot box like in France, nor public vote counting. The machine will be sent to the county’s clerk tonight to record the results.

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