US voters elect Obama

Senator Barack Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, has been elected the first African-American president of the U.S., news organizations declared late Tuesday night. Obama seems to have reached the necessary 270 electoral votes to become president in an election featuring what could be historic turnout, although the results are not yet official.

Assuming the Electoral College makes it official when it votes on Dec. 15, Obama, 47, will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. Obama worked as a community organizer and civil rights lawyer before serving three terms in the Illinois State Senate. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004 and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Michelle, live in Chicago's Hyde Park area and have two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

Obama hasn't talked a lot about tech issues during the 2008 presidential campaign, but he did put out a a year ago. During a debate with rival candidate John McCain in September, Obama called for the U.S. government to focus on rolling out broadband to the parts of the country that don't yet have it.

Obama was talking about priorities that shouldn't be cut even though the U.S. economy is lagging. "I also think that we're going to have to rebuild our infrastructure, which is falling behind, our roads, our bridges, but also broadband lines that reach into rural communities," Obama said.

Obama's broadband goal is to help people connect with each other and to resources, Reed Hundt, a former chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and an Obama tech adviser, said last week. Obama promises a new kind of governing, where ideas can come from the "bottom up," not just the top down, Hundt said.

"The real commitment is to have our entire democracy include absolutely everyone," he said. "When we say universal broadband, what we mean is universal community."