As the United States election race draws to a close across the Pacific, Americans in Wellington joined together to usher in the presidential decision.
With a whiteboard being shaded in state-by-state in red or blue as votes were decided, and television screens showing live coverage, Americans at the US Embassy-organised event on Queen’s Wharf were kept up with the play at home.
Bill Anderson, a life-long Republican voter who switched allegiances in a absentee vote before he left the States a month ago, accidently stumbled across the election party.
"We’re on holiday. We just arrived here in Wellington this morning. We did our absentee votes before we left."
Mr Anderson said he and girlfriend Kathy Hudden, who usually split their time between New York and Florida, were having lunch when they were invited by Embassy staff to hang around.
"We both voted for Obama. I felt that Barrack Obama, when he was elected, the country was going south so fast there was no-one who could have done better than he did in dealing with the financial situation. He achieved some things that most Americans are very proud of," Mr Anderson said.
"I have more hope in the Democrat party for the future. I think the Republican party knows they’re in big trouble ... they need to stop being the rich man’s party."
Ms Hudden said it was great to find a slice of the States in Wellington.
"This is just wonderful. It’s exciting. We are so overwhelmed by the interest in the States. We’re happy that we came here today."
US Ambassador David Huebner said election day was about his countrymen having a say in their nation’s politics.
"Election day is always a great day for us. I think it’s the best example of democracy in action.
"It really doesn’t matter who wins or loses, it matters that a majority of Americans come out and vote and make a decision on their government."
- The Dominion Post