Climate What was voting like where you live? by Joe Romm Nov 4, 2008 9:13am Share 0 Tweet 0 Comment Tell me about the lines, the voting machines, the mood. I will be live-blogging this and need all the material I can get! Share 0 Tweet 0 Comment 24 Responses to What was voting like where you live? AB says: November 4, 2008 at 10:10 am I have not voted yet, but my wife called from line–she was there when the poles opened at 7am. She has never had to stand in line in our precinct in the morning like this. Out the door, across the parking lot, and back again. This is in Des Moines, Iowa, where the Obama landslide first began! Jason Delso says: November 4, 2008 at 10:15 am Where: Tarrant County, TX (in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area) and a VERY red district thanks to Tom Delay’s gerrymandering….) They had one e-voting machine at my polling place, but most of us were using paper ballots, which we fed into an electronic counting machine on our way out. Very quick, in and out, everyone very nice. There was a line about 20 people long when they opened at 7am, but each of the two tables was processing a voter every two minutes or so (mostly quicker) and there were no real delays at all. Tom Kimmerer says: November 4, 2008 at 10:34 am Joe – In Lexington, KY, my polling place had lines at least 2x as long as usual. Very neighborly during the hour wait – lots of folks chatting, getting to know their neighbors, but everyone studiously avoiding talking politics. fw says: November 4, 2008 at 10:49 am I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a heavily Democratic district. I arrived at the polling station at 6:27 AM. I was the 9th person in line. The polls opened on time at 7:00 AM sharp, and by the time they did, I would estimate there were approximately 75 people in line behind me. I left the polling station at 7:16 AM, and the machine into which I fed my ballot said that I was the 22nd voter to do so. (So apparently I voted much slower than some folks if I was #9 coming in and #22 going out.) When I left the polling station I saw that the line had doubled approximately. I would estimate there were about 150 people in line as I left. That all happened in 49 minutes (6:27 to 7:16 AM). There was, in fact, a party atmosphere in the line, even at that hour of the morning. The line was buzzing, chatty, lots of laughter. John McCormick says: November 4, 2008 at 11:34 am I live in Northern Virginia. Voting was a long line moving fast. Process was flawless. Experience: priceless. I have waited my entire voting life to have this opportunity to vote for someone who does not look like me but sees things the way I do. John McCormick Kim says: November 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm I got in line at my polling place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn at 6:30 this morning and the gymnasium was jam packed. I’ve never seen it that crowded before. There was a buzz in the room; people were excited. The lines moved quickly, and it only took me an hour. Voting machines were working well, but there was a lot of confusion about which line to get in. hapa says: November 4, 2008 at 12:06 pm out in the moderate-politics bedroom reaches of san francisco there was a line at the door when they opened. people were talking happily and you could feel the hum of their anticipation. we had 46 (forty-six) choices to make so we were voting on tables and walls right from the start. it was a kick! john says: November 4, 2008 at 12:26 pm Report form Montgomery county Maryland — Polling place Wooton H.S. “Biggest turnout in my experience, by far” – Poll worker who’s been doing this at the same place for more than 30 years. Two hour wait since polls opened. Economy the biggest issue, according to High school students, was the economy, with Iraq second, the Supreme Court third. I was the only one who mentioned global warming as the issue 1. The people who were manning the Republican Table just outside the restricted area were closing up shop at about 10 as I passed — apparently due to lack of interest. There is one good legacy form the Bush years — he’s showed everyone that it is important to vote. alex says: November 4, 2008 at 12:31 pm The real agenda of this blog is becoming clear! (i.e. haven’t heard much about boring old global warming for a while…) Doug Hunt says: November 4, 2008 at 12:31 pm Early voting was very heavy with nearly 1/2 of registered voters completing their ballots early. Short — 15 minute — lines today. In conversations with those in line. Obama supporters seemed most willing to talk about their presidential preference while most voters would not talk about their preferences. Most who would talk were concerned about climate change and wanted whoever was elected to take concrete action and said they were willing to pay more for energy to make it happen. And this in Tennessee! All that would talk were concerned about the machines mis-recording their votes and all were glad the state had passed a paper trail law for the next election. llewelly says: November 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm Lines were short (1-2 voters) at both of the polling locations I went to. (I went to the right location first. A poll worker misread my address and confused me about where I was supposed to vote. So I detoured to the wrong location and then back to the right location before voting. Poll worker offered heart-felt apologies.) Poll workers seemed to think a lot of people had voted early. Paper ballots were available in large stacks. However there was only one booth for paper ballots. 4 booths for virtual ballots. llewelly says: November 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm Forgot to say I live in Utah, where the presidential election is nearly irrelevant, and neither senate seat is up for re-election. Richard C says: November 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK. Haven’t seen a queue all day. What are you guys getting so excited about? Dano says: November 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm I kept my carbon footprint very low and did the mail-in ballot in Colo.; while running errands right across the street last week, I dropped off my ballot at the Clerk’s office and enjoyed the many people dropping off their ballots. No idea why everyone isn’t on the Oregon model. Gonna be a historic day nonetheless! Best, D Rob says: November 4, 2008 at 3:05 pm I did early voting in Boulder CO. It was really quick and easy because CU-Boulder set up early voting on campus. Took about 20min with my bluebook in hand. I heard turnout this morning was low but I also read in the Denver Post that nearly 65% of registered voters in CO already voted. Sean says: November 4, 2008 at 3:12 pm Walked to my polling place in Ann Arbor, MI. Arrived at 7am (when the polls opened). Had to wait in line for about an hour and 15 minutes. Everyone in line pretty much kept to themselves. Justin says: November 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm Voting went quite quickly in Muncie, IN. An election official there told me that by 1PM they were well above a 50% turnout, with 5 more hours to go. Odd though, my wife was told by a supporter hovering outside the precinct that she wouldn’t be allowed to vote because she had an Obama shirt on – which wasn’t true. I hope that wasn’t a wide spread problem. Tamara says: November 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm Montgomery County, MD, Silver Spring area. My husband voted at 7 a.m. and waited for about 45 minutes with everyone else that was trying to vote before work (he works in downtown DC and couldn’t make it back to our precinct at lunch.) I voted with the kids at about 11, several little boys my older one knew were there (I showed him the sign outside the voting area and carefully explained that he was not to discuss the election while inside the building). We waited fifteen or twenty minutes, while my two year old campaigned cheerfully. Fortunately, telling everyone in line to vote for her “Vote for me! I’m Rosalie!” was not a violation, as she is not on the ballot. People were pleasant and cheerful, the voting machine confirmed my votes correctly (though with a touch screen, who knows what was really recorded), and as we left, Rosalie confided in the campaign workers stationed outside that she wanted Banana to win. susan says: November 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm Voted in Newton, Massachusetts, blue state central. Popped out of bed and got to the polls at 6:30 and was the seventh on line. Over the next half hour people poured in and the lines snaked all through little Zervas Elementary School. Nice buzz of anticipation as it’s a pretty homogeneous group with a clearly desired outcome. My husband who went to get out the vote in swing-state New Hampshire couldn’t find anyone to drag to the polls. “They all removed their doorbells,” he said. t dude says: November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm From North Attleboro, Massachusetts: I tried to find a low flow window of time and went in at 9:30 a.m. It was packed. People and cars were pouring in. Luckily it was at a local high school and in their gym. Lots of room, workers and booths made things move fast. My impressions: Everyone seemed energized but calm and determined. Everyone was gonna set things right by voting. Nancy says: November 4, 2008 at 5:40 pm I voted in San Mateo, CA. I’ve never had to wait before, but today I had to wait about 15 minutes in the middle of the morning. There are several precincts voting in the same small room, so it seemed busy. We have very well organized voting system in our county, so I had no worries about my vote counting. We have paper trails for our electronic voting machines. David B. Benson says: November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm All but two counties in the State of Washington use mail-in ballots. Well, you can carry your ballot to the County Auditor’s office if you want to; many towns are set up so one can drop the ballot at the city hall. The news today indicates that about 1/2 of the expected ballots had already been turned in before today. lisa says: November 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm Anchorage, Alaska I was relieved and disappointed to find no line at 9:00 am when I voted. I am hoping that is either because they are all planning on voting after work or they voted early. My friend spent an hour in line on Saturday voting early. Sam says: November 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm No line at all at 125th St. and Broadway Manhattan.