Election 5,000 miles away has local connection — At least one reporter gets it.

Update: I made an error in using the term “of Brazilian descent” when discussing the Census Bureau data. The number cited below are those born in Brazil. To be clear, the Census Bureau does not ask a persons residency status.

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World

Part 1

Here’s to Boston.Com for understanding that an important election 5,000 miles away has an important local angle.

Today (10/3) Brazilians went to the polls to elect a successor to the highly popular Lula. In Brazil about 95% of the 132 eligible voters went to the polls. (Voting is mandatory.)

And Brazilians overseas also got into the act. Local polling stations were set up in Paris and Tokyo. (I know this because Brazilian media reported it.)

And in Framingham, Mass.

Megan McKee filed a story about how the voting was going in Framingham:

Brazilians flock to the polls in Framingham for presidential election

Was it really that difficult for her to do that story?

I doubt it. All it took was paying attention to what was going on in her LOCAL area.

And suddenly she has a LOCAL story with a significant INTERNATIONAL angle. Or an international story with a local angle. (Take your pick.)

Bottom line is that Ms. McKee should be congratulated for seeing something in her area that other reporters in their areas have not seen.

Hers is the only — yes, ONLY — story I have seen so far about Brazilians voting in the United States.

Now, she did base her estimate on how many Brazilians in New England on the word of one of the Brazilian parties. She could have gone to the Census Bureau for a more unbiased account.

The 2009 American Survey shows that in Massachusetts, there are 69, 122 people born in Brazil. of Brazilian origin. Of that number. 78% are 18 or older, and therefore eligible to vote. (If they are Brazilian citizens.)

Nationwide there are 359,149 people who were born in Brazil of Brazilian descent and 75.7% are 18 or older.

BTW, statistically the number of those of Brazilian descent in Virginia is so low that the Census Bureau does not count them.

Part 2

The really sad part about this story, however, are the hateful and ignorant comments made to the article. These two are a good sampling of many of the comments made against people exercising their right to vote.

Besides being bigoted, these folks show a complete lack of understanding what is going on.

It is because of the ignorance of people like this that it is so much more important that LOCAL reporters find the GLOBAL story in LOCAL events.

truthnaturally wrote:

This should NOT be allowed. Americans (the real tru ones) have fought life and limb for the rights to vote and along comes this bunch of bubble butts and they get to vote in two….its not right, if you are here in America, whats the point of making changes in your own country (dont say family) I dont get to vote in your country! If want to change your countries politics, stop raping mine and go back.

10/3/2010 5:48 PM EDT

DisinterestedObserver wrote:

Hopefully, the Town of Framingham is making sure the Brazilian government is paying the utilities, double time rate overtime costs of the custodial staff and police details, and any other miscellaneous costs plus a hefty markup to allow a foreign election to be held at an American high school. There should be absolutely no costs associated with this election that aren’t billed to and paid for the Brazilian government. Also, is INS there to check if the Brazilian voter are legal US residents? Finally, why should American citizens be inconvenienced by a 1 mile traffic backup?

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