As election nears, The Herald is ready for whatever

An 11-page document lays out The Miami Herald’s election plans in painstaking detail, covering a 36-hour span beginning at 7 a.m. Election Day.

Fifteen reporters and photographers are assigned to arrive at polling stations across Miami-Dade and Broward counties as soon as they open. In the newsroom, an online-only writer will begin the first of five scheduled shifts through Wednesday to provide continuous updates on MiamiHerald.com and all mobile devices, from the iPad to your phone.

A social media team will share the news throughout the day and night using Twitter, Facebook and text alerts. Then, as polls close and the wait begins, the WLRN/Miami Herald radio team will broadcast live on 91.3-FM results from all the major local and regional races, as well as the U.S. Senate race.

Meanwhile, dozens of editors, page designers and copy editors will begin the sprint to produce the morning paper with results and in-depth analysis of a tight presidential election that also includes 11 statewide amendments, eight local initiatives and 15 municipal elections in Miami-Dade and Broward.

“It takes a lot of people and a lot of coordination,” said political editor Sergio Bustos, who is the conductor in this fast-paced, multi-layered production. “At least half the newsroom will be working on elections.”

Beyond the newsroom, our colleagues in the pressroom and in circulation will face some of the most daunting logistical challenges on Election Day. The calculus includes printing thousands more copies on a tighter deadline to allow for the most complete results. That means papers may be delivered a little late on Wednesday.

Our plans assume a smooth night with a clear winner in the presidential race. Yet as Floridians learned from the 2000 presidential race, we could end the night without a result. We have a contingency plan for that scenario as well.

“You have to adjust plans in real time,” said Armando Boniche, circulation director.

Count on The Miami Herald to be your continuous news source online, on the air and in print for the broad spectrum of political races, from the White House to the city of Doral.

If you are among the 60 percent of Florida voters who will cast your ballots on Election Day, you can find all of our coverage on the issues, as well as the editorial board recommendations, at MiamiHerald.com/Voters-Guide/. If you run into trouble casting your ballot, call us at 305-376-4650.