How did your voting go? – UPDATED


Polling, by William Hogarth Via Cat at Brits at their Best who writes:

Polling (1754) by William Hogarth. Long lines then, too, even though not all men and no women could vote. Voting is the only reliable poll – unless voters have been pressured or votes have been stolen.

In 1872, PM William Gladstone introduced the secret ballot. Previously men had to mount a platform in full view of their neighbours and announce their choice of candidate to the officer who recorded it in the poll book. Some men were told how to vote. Others were punished when they did not support their employer’s candidate.

You know why the secret ballot is important – you want to cast your ballot without intimidation. It’s no one’s business but your own how you vote.

In the 1840s the Chartists launched their million-man movement for voting rights, including a secret ballot for every voter.

The first secret ballots were introduced in Australia in 1856. In the United States the secret ballot became known as the Australian ballot.

Read more on the importance of secret ballots (which Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Read and Mr. Obama would abolish for the unions, should they win the WH and the Congress) here.

The New Republic: why the exit polls must be ignored

UPDATE: I’ve been updating anecdotes and stories throughout the post, so read down!

Obama thanks the “gracious” press for covering him more protectively and positively than any presidential candidate has ever been covered in history. He managed not to flip them off as he did it.

Yes, I said my prayers this morning, and yes they were for the best outcome for the nation, and the will of God to prevail – but really my prayer was, “let our nation manage a peaceful transition of power no matter what the outcome, and let attempts at deceit come to naught, within our polling places and our media. How sad a prayer was that?

No reasonable person should feel giddy or good about this voting twice crap.

Michelle Malkin has a story
that Black Panthers are intimidating voters in Pennsylvania:

“We will be at the polls in the cities and counties in many states to ensure that the enemy does not sabotage the black vote, which was won through the blood of the martyrs of our people,” he said.

Oh, brother. Roll your eyes at that and go vote. Don’t let anyone intimidate you with rhetoric. And don’t fall for illusions.

Hmmmm…okay, I can see where some might think that intimidating. That’s a National Black Panther Party patch that fellow with the stick is wearing. It’s meant to be intimidating. But go vote. Stand up for your right to vote. Ace says CNN is not reporting on this. Are you surprised? I’m not.

Instapundit reminds everyone to pay no attention to the talking heads and the exit polls which were wrong in 2004, in any case.

I can’t believe I ever voted for this putz: I voted several times for Chuck Schumer. Shame on me. If you like alternative media, if you’re a fan, better get your fill while you can, because this smarm-meister (listen to his tones) is promising their demise if Obama gets in. So much for free speech.

Meanwhile: riot gear in Ohio. Sheesh.

Deacon Greg, who until recently worked in the CBS Newsroom remembers how it used to be on election nights. He seems quite glad to be saying goodbye to all that. He’s now working for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania
: In a long post best read with a cup of coffee in hand, Sean Malstrom, about whom I know nothing, writes:

“…the storm will revolve around Pennsylvania.”

Looks like it: In PA GOP board of elections people are being tossed out of polling places…apparently because they’re GOP.

To paraphrase Roy Schieder in Jaws: “We’re gonna need bigger prayers!”

Remember this about Pennsylvania:

…in Pennsylvania, a former State Supreme Court Justice says she is “not confident we can get a fair election” in the state come November.”

Some thoughts from Siggy:

The Leftists today would have you reject everything that preceded their ascendancy. They want the trophy wife and care little for those whose ideas facilitated their rise. They openly admit their revulsion for those who blazed the trail and who now are in the way of their exercising their lustful desires for power and self gratification. For them, it is not enough that Hillary Clinton be rejected. She must be vilified and painted ugly as well.

I’ve got the radio on and Limbaugh is suggesting that the press will pull a “Panhandle” on Pennsylvania tonight and call it too early for Obama. Hmmm…I’d wait to say that.

A few anecdotes: my polling place was packed. I always vote around 10 AM, and usually I walk in and walk right out with no waiting. This morning there was waiting at ever poll and table – I’ve never seen such a turnout in 16 years. How was it by you?

From me email: “My co-worker, who is African American, says the polls at his neighborhood were packed, and everyone was singing hymns and spirituals.”

That’s actually sort of neat…I like the idea of people singing hymns and spirituals as they’re waiting to vote. Except you know…where’s that separation of church and state thing? ;-)

Gayle had an encounter with a “pissant lawyer”

On the radio I heard Curtis Sliwa
talking to a caller from somewhere above Manhattan – near Yonkers, I think – and apparently there was a power outage last night and people began asserting that the outage was a conspiracy to prevent people from voting for Obama. So…seems like there is a little pilot light of suspicion and doubt already flickering and ready to meet a gas leak. Great. Just great.

Kathryn Jean Lopez has an anecdote about phone callers

James Pethokoukis writes: a McCain source who is not generally an optimist says things are breaking hard for McCain in the battleground states.

As I get more anecdotes, I’ll share them. I’m going to go have a look around the net and see what I can bring back. If you’re looking for a good round – up, Pajamas Media has a great – constantly updated – one. Check back later!

More Anecdotes: 19 registered voters, 21 votes; thanks, ACORN!

Instapundit has some email excerpts from voters

Email from a student:

“I didn’t vote for Obama, but I don’t feel safe whether he wins or loses. If he loses, the city is going to erupt. If he wins, I think it will anyway. We have to pray for McCain and Obama, that they’re safe, and that whoever wins leads with wisdom and does not get killed by the weird outside influence I feel like is hanging over this whole election. I don’t think either of these men are bad men, but I think there is a third hand in this, influencing things.”

Hmmmm…I think I’ll try to write a post for calmness.

Pursuing Holiness witnessed voters bellyaching about being disenfranchised while standing at the wrong polling place.

God bless Hillary: the rules still don’t apply to her as she politics right by a polling booth. You gotta love the old girl.

Jon Podhoretz says 2008 may be a replay of 2000, because it was so much fun the first time.

Two videos I mean to embed yesterday and forgot.

This one because it makes me uncomfortable:

And this one because I admit I have a little crush on him…

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • steve lowe

    Eerily easy – no wait, out in 5 minutes. Early voting in NC may have played a role. They say that 40% voted early. The local press in anticipating a democrat victory and can hardly contain their glee. Oh boy….

  • tim maguire

    I’m really surprised at all the stories about long lines at the polls. How is it possible that they’re this unprepared? Because when you get right down to it, for all the turnout stories, it’s only going to be up maybe 10% over 2004. Not 2X, not 3X as you might think to look around, but about 10%

    So these lines are not the result of turnout, they are the result of incompetance.

  • Bridey

    I walked over before polls opened and was fairly near the head of the line, then waited about half an hour once voting began. Everyone was calm, patient, and cheerful in this ethnically mixed and heavily Democratic part of the city. Much quiet talk on cell phones, but no singing :)

    (I have a little crush on him too — he’s adorable!)

  • newton

    I voted early here in TX, two weeks ago.

    My husband went last Tuesday to the county courthouse to vote. He saw a good bunch of precint workers outnumbering him. The nice ladies there took care of our Little Fig while he voted.

    We both took our stand at different dates.

    But, singing spirituals as you go to the polls… may be nice, but something is creepy about this. Is it possible that America is thinking of “making history” and “redeeming itself” today, when in reality the people are making the worst mistake of their national lives? Hard to tell…

  • gawaine

    I got in line at 5:10 this morning here in Prince William County, Virginia. I was 12th in line. (10 of the twelve were Obama voters, the other two were quiet). By 5:30, there were another 30 behind me. By 6, there were well over a hundred people, and the parking lot was full (as was the grassy lawns where people made their own parking spaces rather than walk from somewhere that was actually a place to park). Once they opened the doors, it only took fifteen minutes. The person who handed me a Republican sample ballet at 5:30 this morning is walking around my neighborhood right now, canvassing for voters.

    Traffic on the way to work was better than it usually is, I was in the door before 7:15 (normally, leaving at 6:15 gives me a 90 minute commute, while leaving at 5:30 gives me a 30 minute commute).

    We don’t have early voting in Virginia, we have “in person absentee voting.” On the honor system, you’re not supposed to use it unless you’re eligible for absentee voting – which includes anyone with a long commute, with small children, with disabilities, etc. My wife is on crutches, she voted on Saturday with minimal wait (because they moved her to the front of the two hour line when they saw that she couldn’t stand).

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  • alexandrag

    Voted absentee. Done last week. Today, I am trying to stay focused on prayer, especially that people will be honest and not cheat.

    Here is a short prayer: “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praises will be on my lips.”

    Here is an even shorter one: “Lord have mercy.”

    Thanks, Anchoress, for creating a neat online community.

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  • http://hootsbuddy.blogspot.com Hootsbuddy

    I have no memory of any election in my life without widespread sighing and head-shaking afterward about the apathy of the electorate. “Isn’t it a shame,” the line went, “that so many people are qualified to vote don’t even bother to exercise that right.”

    Comes now an election which has energized the electorate in a way no one imagined possible. And what do I hear now? Railing and complaining about all kinds of other stuff, ALL of which derives from the sheer magnitude of the event. It’s like complaining about the confetti at a parade or the noise of a fireworks display.

    Is there fraud?
    D’oh…
    When was their not? Why did Huey Long say he wanted to be buried in Louisiana so he could remain active in politics?

    Oh, wait… I did see a bus full of ACORN people on the way somewhere pretending to be the Dallas Cowboys.

    C’mon, folks. Jump in and enjoy the water.

    It’s time to divert a lot of really negative energy into efforts to solve serious problems, starting with how best to heal the bleeding wounds that have so polarized the country.

    Today I took down all the Obama stuff on the sidebar to my blog, and after today, the electoral map will also be gone. That included the links to the costs of the war in Iraq, statistics tracking civilian deaths in that place. All that stuff is still part of reality It hasn’t gone away, but between now and the next midterm elections those who are so energized today will be tempted to go back into their cocoons next week. They need to keep their batteries charged and get ready to be put shoulders to the wheel, noses to the grindstone and all that.

    The public persona of Barack Obama until today has been all smiles and positive energy. (And how long since thousands of Europeans got excited about an American politician and were waving American flags?) But now that the campaign to get elected is past, the REAL campaign gets underway, a campaign to aim the energy of that effort in a constructive direction.

    A few people have said it (including the man himself, in so many words) but his next move will be an exercise in tough love. And it won’t all be aimed at those who have chosen to be his political opponents.

    Watch and see. This man’s first 100 days will not be like any we have seen before. And lots of people celebrating today will start to resent him like a team hates the coach. But by the end of a couple of years I expect him to have put together a very impressive win record. And hopefully the team will start showing a better attitude.

    And if he and his team haven’t performed as you like, THEN is the time to start complaining again. I appeal to those with spittle on their shirts from frothing so badly. Chill, please, at least for a year or two, and try to give the new coach a fair shot.

    If by then you don’t see what you like, go back in the next election and throw the bums out. Until then: lead, follow or get out of the way.

  • Piano Girl

    Once hubby got home from the drs. office this morning, we headed over to vote around 11:30. The line was so long…easily 200+ people…so we went to buy apples and then to the grocery store. When we made a second try, the line was only 1/4 as long as before. I let him out and parked the car. A couple of young kids were watching out for people who appeared handicapped, and hubby’s cane got us in to vote without standing in the long line. Still, there were enough people in the “handicapped section” that it took nearly 30 min. from the time we got there until we were done. I’ve never seen so many people in all the years I’ve voted there.

    One little “glitch”…when I looked over my ballot before approving it, the person I wanted for the congressional race was not the person whose name had been checked off. I was VERY careful to click on Steve Hudson’s name rather than Chris Van Hollen’s name, so I had to go back and delete his name and re-check Hudson’s name. Probably won’t make a difference, but at least I can sleep tonight knowing I at least tried.

  • http://sthubertsrosary.com/default.aspx ShanaSFO

    Quite a long line in our precinct as there were not enough machines. When asked why, one of the ladies at the poll said that the county ordered more machines expecting a bigger turnout, and they are sitting at the county courthouse. Why? Some idiot didn’t ‘sign for them’ on the right form so there they stay. We stood in line for an hour.

    The lady instructing us in the use of the touch machines (we just got them for the primaries so no one is used to them) told us that we had to watch our selection carefully and call her immediately if we saw that the candidate we voted for on the screen wasn’t the same one as printed out on the ticket-tape to the left as we touched the screen. Said that ‘was happening on a few of the machines’. A few? There were only three!

  • http://theanchoressonline.com TheAnchoress

    I think Obama’s first 100 days – should he win – will be dictated by what happens in the Congress. If the Dems sweep as they hope, he’ll have nothing to prevent him from turning the country hard left. If he has to deal with a divided congress, it will slow him down for a while.

    I’m surprised you can be so cavalier about voter fraud and intimidation, though. I think standing around with a nightstick as people are going in to vote is pretty damn bad.

  • Acer Palmatum
  • http://www.therextras.com Barbara

    I early voted in Texas last week.

    Today I am following inspiration from you, A. – fasted this morning and attended Communion service at noon (apparently our priests are on retreat this week).

    I feel pensive, which prompts me to pray, which is probably a good thing.

    Thank you for your blog, A. You serve us all and Him.

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  • http://rightwingnation.com rightwingprof

    I worked the polls here in Pennsylvania this morning. My report is here.

  • http://jlbussey.typepad.com/ce jlbussey

    Voted last week. Not that it’ll make any different here in western Washington, but I tried. At least I’m not in one of the corrupt counties, so I know it’ll get counted anyway.

    Hopefully the fraud and intimidation will be reported by enough common people with cell cameras and such that it’ll start making an impression on the electorate. I doubt it, but there’s always hope…

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    Voted about 12:30 — zero line, went directly to the check-in table, got new-style fill-in-the-circle paper ballot, voted against Dear Leader, voted against all the (Dem) incumbents, and voted “no” (again) on each of the never-ending, bankrupt-us-all, bond measures — and was out in about five minutes. Observed a poll worker “helping” some old woman fill in her ballot, and overhearing her tell the woman what the Democratic vote was in each section. Yeah, this is a clean election all right.

    Then went to Eucharistic Adoration for a while and entrusted it all to Him. And perhaps, given that things are about to be bad, really bad, we should remember that that is where we should place our trust, not in men, not in false prophets and false Messiahs, but in the One — the real One — who is Truth.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    By the way, for those superior moral purists who have been pontificating in the Catholic blogosphere about voting third-party, here in Virginia, we do not vote for McCain or for Obama, technically — and it says it right there on the ballot — we are voting for the Electors who are pledged to a given candidate.

    I don’t know if it makes a difference to the holier-than-thous who refuse to cast a vote that will substantively do something to actually help to defeat Obama, but such a system does allow them to keep their hands clean of voting “McCain,” rather than voting third-party and, thus, doing NOTHING to help defeat Obama.

  • oddball

    My Dear Anchoress,

    I voted with all 4 kids (school’s out today-must be bright idea of the Teacher’s union) at 9:20 here in PITAchusetts. Lots of folks coming in and out, but a short line.

    I did vote for a Dem for state Rep, but that’s because he was more Conservative than his Unenrolled opponent.

    Jeff Beatty seems a nice guy, but he doesn’t have a prayer against John Kerry, but he has my vote, at least.

    The kids and I went hiking afterwards-a Beautiful day!

    Have a Blessed day. oddball

  • http://www.palepage.com Tracey Lord

    No wait at all in my extremely left-leaning, “No-on-Prop-8″ (traditional marriage) neighborhood.

    All the booths were taken, though, so I was told to “pull up a chair and fill out my secret ballot.”

    So that was awesome.

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