The newsroom on Election Night is a special place

Staffers from different media organizations and the county clerk’s office prepare print-outs to be disseminated to reporters during the Kentucky 2018 Primary Election in Nelson County.

It’s Election Day 2018 and we are gearing up to cover the election returns for Nelson County, Kentucky.

Check out our latest information on tonight’s returns here.

I love election night. Election Day is a lot of waiting around, maybe visiting a couple of polling places to gauge voters’ temperaments, and waiting for the storm to break.

In Kentucky, the polls close at 6 p.m., and at The Kentucky Standard we have a team at the county clerk’s office to gather the results as quickly as we can so as to share with the voters online and on PLG-TV, the local cable channel that is our sister news operation. Nelson County is fortunate to have a robust media climate for a community its size, and our journalists are racing against online, television and radio competition, all of us packed into a room and talking over one another as we try to get it right and get it first.

As a newspaper that still survives almost entirely off of the printed product, election night poses serious hurdles to overcome in a digital age where people want their information immediately. Our deadline to have everything written, laid out and designed on a page, PDFed and then sent via FTP to the printer is 9:30 p.m. Polls don’t close until 6, and the first results besides absentee won’t start rolling in until probably between 6:30 and 7. We will start to get an idea of who is winning around 7:30 or 8, then we have to start making phone calls to try to get comments from the winners. By 9 reporters should be finished with their articles so that we can pull them onto the page, adjust the layout to fit and then print out proof pages.

All of this process causes a lag in getting the information to a modern readership that expects the information immediately.

It’s hectic. But that’s what makes it fun.

Races we are watching this year

This year is especially tricky for The Standard because we have so many races without an incumbent, including sheriff, county clerk and jailer. On top of that, if Democrats turn out tonight motivated not as much by President Trump but by how Republicans lawmakers voted in Frankfort last session, we could have an upset at state representative.

We are set for a long night. But on Election Night, there is no place I would rather be than a newsroom.