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Election 2012: Explaining U.S. Democracy to RFE/RL's Audience

Chocolates with the faces of US President Barack Obama (R) and US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are displayed in a chocolate box in Paris, 12Oct2012
Tuesday's U.S. elections are being followed by millions of people throughout RFE/RL's broadcast region. For many, this democratic process is a window into a world they have yet to experience. This year, RFE/RL's correspondents offer our most expansive coverage ever -- including a live blog, expert analysis, interactive maps, and sound bites from Washington, D.C. -- to help explain for our audiences how the world's most powerful democracy picks its next leader.

A sampling of recent reporting follows:

U.S. Election: Who Will Iranian-Americans Vote For?
Within the Iranian-American community, voter preferences largely mirror divisions in the U.S. electorate at large. Correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari speaks to three Iranian-Americans who have very different ideas of what to do with their ballots on November 6.

Agreeing To Disagree: The U.S. Election And One Middle Class Couple
He's voting Republican and she's voting Democrat. It’s an understatement to say that George and Abreen Marountas don't agree on the important issues in the election. But as this Afghan-Greek-American couple told correspondent Heather Maher, they love each other and agree to disagree.

U.S. Presidential Race: Don't Mention The War
Also by Heather Maher, a look at why the candidates have largely avoided talking about Afghanistan during the campaign, despite the fact that U.S. troops are still fighting what has become America's longest war.

Giant Storm Sandy Could Be 'October Surprise' In U.S. Presidential Election
Questions about functioning polling stations are just part of the unpredictability that superstorm Sandy has brought into the election. Correspondent Ron Synovitz takes a closer look.

Electoral College: U.S. President Chosen Indirectly, Not By Popular Vote
Also by Ron Synovitz, an explainer on the difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College tally.

Beyond Buttons: The Oddest Merchandise Of The U.S. Presidential Campaign 2012
Tired of that boring Obama button? Romney bumper sticker starting to fade? You're in luck. From dog toys to voodoo dolls, the election has inspired some incredibly imaginative campaign merchandise to help Americans show their support, or disapproval, of the candidates. Correspondent Richard Solash reports.

Watch the RFE/RL website and Twitter throughout Election Night for updated coverage, and for breaking news in all RFE/RL broadcast regions also follow us on Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.