CNN at work on Election Day
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- On Election Night, the CNN newsroom is one of the most exciting places in the world. It is filled with nerves and energy, and both the satisfaction and fatigue of a campaign that has been waged well.
For more than 20 years, CNN has been broadcasting election returns, and this year, the CNN newsroom in Atlanta was transformed into a full set. Lighting was added; red, white and blue bunting brought in; the walls decorated with special, festive posters and pillars. Seven additional cameras were put into place and 250 staffers were on duty. The place was truly turned into CNN's Election Headquarters.
The real work on an election begins well in advance of Election Day. For CNN, draping the bunting came after months figuring out what had gone wrong -- and right -- with the projections made in 2000. There was the process of putting automated results feeds in place, assigning correspondents to the pivotal races, exploring the issues and finding the most interesting ballot measures. There was the writing of a thick, red briefing book, followed with supplemental updates as the candidates and races shifted and the voting neared.
Then, during the first weekend of November, the newsroom was transformed and Judy Woodruff and Aaron Brown, Paula Zahn and Jeff Greenfield, their producers and the members of CNN's Washington, D.C.-based political unit, showed up in Atlanta to get ready for Tuesday night.
On Tuesday, as the Crossfire crew settled into an office off the newsroom and the anchors pulled up chairs behind the main anchor desk, the action started with the first projections at around 7 p.m. There had been some frustration when, earlier in the day, it became apparent that exit polls from the Voter News Service were not going to be accurate enough to report. But once the real votes started to come in -- the first projected big winner of the night was Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, down in Florida -- CNN's coverage was in full swing.
Above are links to some Behind the Scenes reports from a few of the anchors, analysts and folks who worked in the background to bring election news to the country and the world from CNN Center.