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The Empire State Building is lit up red for the Republican victory

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

CNN turned the Empire State Building's spire into a giant bar graph for Election Day. As Republicans clinched the Senate majority with Thom Tillis's victory over North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan, the building lit up bright red:

CNN brags about its election night technology, including the "magic wall" of talking heads, but this is actually a throwback to a much earlier way of broadcasting election results. In the early 20th century, the New York Times used swinging searchlights on its own headquarters to let people know who'd won the elections, a practice that lasted at least from 1905 until 1922.

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