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CNN has taken over the Empire State Building on Election Day.
The cable news network and the iconic New York landmark will partner on lighting display that tallies each candidates electoral votes as they are called by CNN. Each vertical LED-illuminated “meter” atop the office tower will light up red or blue as a state is awarded to either Barack Obama (blue) or Mitt Romney (red).
STORY: How the Networks Will Cover Election Night
When the election is finally called by CNN – which may not be until the wee hours of the morning in New York – all tower lights will change color to all-blue or all-red.
The four-sided tower, which sits atop the building more than a quarter of a mile from the streets of Manhattan, will be illuminated in red, white and blue vertical stripes, while the mast will be lit in blue and in red on two sides each to represent Obama and Romney’s respective electoral vote totals. CNN is exclusively shooting footage from the rooftop of a neighboring building and will air live images of the illuminated tower as the evening’s results progress.
It is the latest bell and whistle for CNN, which for this election season is using a “virtual senate” to track hotly contested Senate races and issues.
The Empire State Building is one of Manhattan’s marquee tourist attractions. Its tower lights recognize everything from historical milestones to charitable organizations, countries and even local football teams. The lighting tradition began in 1932, when a searchlight was used to announce the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a New Yorker, as president.
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