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Vicarious voting in university halls

IT wasn't quite morning in America, but Edinburgh was doing its best to fill in.

At Edinburgh University's Playfair Library, politicians, businessmen and students, most of whom had been up most of the night but who still looked fresh, gathered for a post-election breakfast in the company of Zoja Bazarnic, Principal Officer of the US Consulate General Edinburgh.

Croissants, coffee and debate about the electoral college were the order of the day. Every student sported an "I voted" sticker.

"We were allowed to email our ballots in," said Rusty Roberson from North Carolina.

"There's nothing like being up at dawn and seeing a line stretching out the door at the polling place," admitted Max Greenberg of Edinburgh University's North American Society. "I missed it. When you put your ballot in the mail it's not the same."

There were Romney voters in the building too.

Eveline Gnabasik, a student of Chinese Studies at Glasgow, said: "Barack Obama had four years to rectify the unemployment rate."

For all the links between Scotland and the US – two Edinburgh University graduates were signatories of the Declaration of Independence – does what happens across the Atlantic matter?

Iain McMillan, chairman of the Scottish North American Business Council, still thinks it does. He said: "Our economic prospects are very closely tied to what happens in the US."

By 10.30am the students were drifting away, many to their beds to catch up on the sleep they'd missed. What was left behind? A few Republican badges. The Democrat ones had all gone. It was Obama's day. Even in Edinburgh.

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