The trailer of the OVA/LicensedGame hybrid disc shows Elena in an outfit and pose similar to Maka's. As indicated below, both share a voice actor.
She also says Maka's catchphrase as well.
Anime First: Technically the manga was released first, but it's meant as an advertisement for the anime and was overtaken by it in only a couple episodes (the manga being released on a monthly basis with about the same amount of content per release), so the story is anime first.
Reality Subtext: Episode 8 has interference from the Americans due to it being election season. At the time it was broadcast, the American 2012 elections were only six months away.
Schedule Slip: The series skipped airing for a week in June due to a soccer game, and skipped the first two weeks in August due to the 2012 Olympic Games. Because of the delays, the last two episodes aired on November 19, since Zetsuen no Tempest took over the show's timeslot in October.