There’s nothing like election night

Published 9:55 am Thursday, November 4, 2010

I didn’t go to sleep until 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.

There’s a certain amount of adrenaline when it comes to covering what we call around here as “hard news.” For all of you non-news nerds reading this, hard news is a term for news that needs to be reported immediately. News beats like crime or politics often have a short shelf life; therefore we need to get it out to the reader ASAP.

So there I was sitting at home after covering the Northampton County side of the elections, my head still buzzing with adrenaline.

I have to say there is nothing like election night. And since my Halloween this year was blasé, the excitement that rolled through the Faison Administrative Building over in Jackson is what I needed.

This time around approximately 50 to 60 people gathered in the auditorium of the building to watch the results come in.

Some of the political races of interest included one for the Northampton County Board of Commissioners, which paired incumbent Robert Carter against John Wood; another for Clerk of Superior Court that saw Laquitta G. Cooper and Caroline Long going head to head; and, of course, the Sheriff’s race with Wardie Vincent going up against Tommy Byrum. Many were also keeping an eye on the District Court Judge race, one pitting Judge Alfred Kwasikpui vs. Tom Jones.

In some ways election nights are like a boxing match for candidates. For months the competitors condition themselves for that one match and in the end that one fight is all that matters. On the other hand for the voters, election day/night is somewhat like a horse race, you place a bet on your preferred candidate and you see if they cross the finish line to nab that first place spot.

Just before the results were posted in Northampton County, you could feel the excitement, suspense and even fear. With each precinct posted people took to their cell phones to inform those waiting and wondering at another location.

I too was on my cell phone, calling in preliminary results to be posted on our website. It was a task I was thankful for as it broke up the monotony of waiting for the 18th precinct to come in.

If you’ve never kept up with results on election night you don’t know what you’re missing. While there were other big races across the state and nation this election, having a vested interest in what is going on at the local level is, perhaps, the most important. Your local representatives are the most visible people in the political community and they are the ones with the most knowledge of the issues affecting your community.

It was good to see so many people in Northampton County come out to see the results on election night.

And as for Wednesday night, I plan on getting more sleep.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.