With interest running high, Norwegian media have been packed with news of the US presidential campaign and election in recent weeks. On Tuesday evening, thousands of Norwegians were expected to take part in valgvaker, potentially all-night gatherings that would run until a winner is announced.
The biggest of them was being organized in Oslo by the US Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce, Republicans Abroad Norway and Democrats Abroad Norway. It was being held at the Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, where the rector is a transplanted American, and it was promoting solidarity instead of the divisiveness of the election campaign.
“Together we will celebrate the conclusion of this marathon US election cycle,” the chamber wrote in its welcome message to those attending. “Regardless of who wins the presidency and congressional control, we will never forget where we witnessed the unfolding of these historic events – together.”
Several student organizations were also organizing a gathering at Chateau Neuf, near the University of Oslo’s campus. It was to feature debates and a concert, with events getting underway at 7pm.
Other valgvaker were planned at the Grünerløkka Brygghus, at Pokalen near Mathallen in the Vulkan area of Oslo, at Kulturhuset at Youngstorget and in many cities and towns around the country, with debates on American politics, Norwegian foreign policy and big screen broadcasts of Norwegian TV coverage. The first voting results from the US were expected to start flowing just after midnight and run into the early morning hours.