Election open thread.

Readers are reporting extremely long voting lines in…

  • Columbia, MO
  • New York, NY
  • Jefferson County and Arapahoe County, CO
  • Austin, TX
  • Bucks County, PA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Benton County AR  (50 precincts that ran out of paper ballots, they can vote electronically, some are leaving due to lines)

If you live in these areas, you will want to plan accordingly.  Report how voting is going in your area in the comments.

Also, if a poll worker or watcher attempts to deny you a ballot, call the National Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

I hope your Tuesday is going better than Mitt Romney's probably will on election day.In place of the usual Tuesday Conversation, it’s an election open thread today.  I’ll be posting relevant links and stories from around the web and chatting in the comments.

Later tonight, Christina and I will be having a watch party at her house (if you’re in or around St. Louis, pop on by).  We’ll both be live-blogging, and it’s entirely possible that some of the other WWJTD contributors will get in on the live-blogging action as well.  Christina has insisted that we watch the coverage on Fox News.  She listens to Fox News radio and must have a deep appreciation for pain.  So I’m going to be filling my blog with rage at that point, I’m sure.  However, if Obama wins, it will be a real treat to watch their heads explode.

I just can't picture myself sleeping with a non-voter.While Nate Silver has Obama at 91.6% to win the election, there are some other things that could come into play.  Voter suppression efforts by the GOP are big this year (because they hate voter fraud sooooo much).  This goes above and beyond the GOP’s willful, continued, and dishonest relationship with Nathan Sproul and extends to the polling stations today.  On election day, especially in Florida and Ohio, the GOP officials have made early voting (which generally favors Democrats) more difficult.  They’ve also ensured longer lines during those times.

People are waiting hours and hours in line to take advantage of early voting, largely because the lines will likely be even longer on election day. And none of this is a coincidence; it is absolutely intentional and planned.

In 2008, record numbers of voters in Ohio and Florida voted early because, in 2004, the lines on election day were so long they often had to spend all day in line. And the majority of those who voted early were voting Democratic, a fact clearly not lost on Republicans. So in both states, Republican-controlled legislatures and governors passed laws to cut back on the number of days for early voting and the length of the hours the polls were open on those days. The inevitable result: Longer lines.

And what do longer lines mean? It means some people aren’t going to be able to vote. People have jobs, kids with babysitters or at daycare, and other responsibilities. The longer the wait to vote, the fewer people are going to be able to cast a ballot. And that helps the Republicans. And they know it. In Florida, both Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist extended the hours that early voting places were open to help ease the problem; Rick Scott is refusing to do so, even when county election clerks have asked permission to remain open.

After cutting the number of early voting days from 14 to 8 — after creating this problem himself — he is refusing to do anything to fix it. Because it’s only a problem if you care about voting rights; if, like Scott, you only care about helping your party, it’s not a problem at all — it’s exactly what you intended. It’s a feature, not a bug.

On election day, is it legal to stand outside a polling place and require people to take a basic civics test before being allowed to vote.So while the polls in Ohio have Obama handily ahead, this may come into play.  Obama’s favored, but it’s not a sure thing.

Fortunately, the election has the potential to be over early.  If Romney loses Florida or Ohio, both of which are in EST, he may as well make his concession call to the President then.  If Romney wins them both, then we’re in for a tight one.

Anyway, I’ll keep bumping this thread all day and keep you all apprised of what’s going on around the web.

10:04am – Here’s a good article on why statisticians like Nate Silver and Sam Wang are more reliable than the political pundits…and why they will hopefully one day replace them.  Beware!  Bayesian math lies within.  Someone alert Richard Carrier:)

10:09am – Nate Frein pointed me to Jason Thibeault’s post on the questionable Ohio voting machine patch.  It’s solid.

So there’s apparently a software patch being installed on voting machines, a patch which has been described in an affidavit filed in an injunction against the action as “unspeakably stupid, excessively complex and insanely risky”. It’s been rolled out to tabulation machines — not the voting machines themselves, but the vote-counting (or “aggregating”) boxes — in 39 counties in Ohio. And it’s being rolled out despite the patch being uncertified, “experimental”, and providing full read/write access to the database, even though the patch’s stated intention is merely providing human-readable reports on the election results during the tabulation phase.

Definitely suspicious.  Obama has a solid lead in the Ohio polls, so it will be interesting to see what transpires here now that eyes are on it.

10:30am – This video, taken by a voter just this morning, who I assume is in Pennsylvania (his account name is centralpavote), is getting a lot of early attention.

As he describes it…

My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.

I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.” and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

If stuff like this starts cropping up in Ohio, get ready for a very nasty, nation-wide fight.

10:52am – Today “watch” groups like True the Vote will be bullying voters.

In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout. . . .

In 2009 and 2010, for example, the group focused on the Houston Congressional district represented by Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democrat. After poring over the records for five months, True the Vote came up with a list of 500 names it considered suspicious and challenged them with election authorities. Officials put these voters on “suspense,” requiring additional proof of address, but in most cases voters had simply changed addresses. That didn’t stop the group from sending dozens of white “poll watchers” to precincts in the district during the 2010 elections, deliberately creating friction with black voters.

The group also “used inaccurate lists to slow down student voting” in Wisconsin. This is part of a much larger strategy, as Elizabeth Drew explains:

[T]he current voting rights issue is . . . a coordinated attempt by a political party to fix the result of a presidential election by restricting the opportunities of members of the opposition party’s constituency—most notably blacks—to exercise a Constitutional right. . . . In the aftermath of the 2004 election, which was characterized in Ohio by lines at voting places in black districts so long as to discourage voters, Ohio Democratic officials made voting times more flexible; after the Republicans took over the state they set out to reverse that.

Iowa, Florida, and Colorado tried to purge the voting rolls of suspected unqualified voters, but their lists turned out to be wildly inaccurate. Florida officials compiled a list of 180,000 people whose qualifications were questioned, but after voting registrars checked (some protesting the unfairness of the purge) only 207, or .0002 percent of the state’s registered voters, were found to be unqualified to vote.

If you are being pestered by these people, notify the DoJ by calling 1-800-253-3931.  Spread the word.

10:56am – This cracked me up.

NPR is reporting that voters in Belmont, Massachusetts were asked to leave the voting line so Mittens can vote without rubbing elbows with the riffraff. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden stood in line with regular folks to cast his ballot at his polling place.

Truly, Romney is a man of the people.

11:23am – Wow.  Rachel Maddow has a great piece about what Obama has accomplished during his presidency.  This is a must-watch.

12:30pm – Via Richard Stage: True the Vote, one of those poll place bullying groups, who operates under the guise of wanting to stop voter fraud, has been barred from polling locations in Franklin County (Columbus, OH).  Why?  Wait for it…for attempting to commit voter fraud.

Yesterday we reported that True the Vote was attempting to place observers at precincts in Central Ohio, focusing on African American districts.  We also noted that there might be some problems with the forms they submitted to the Franklin County Board of Elections (FCBOE).

The FCBOE met today and determined that True the Vote had likely falsified the forms submitted for general election observers. The new observer forms, filed over the past few days by True the Vote representative (and Hilliard Tea Party Member) Jan Loar, used candidate signatures copied from a previous set of forms filed in early October

All but one (Scott Rupert, an independent for U.S. Senate) of the six candidates whose names appeared on the original form had withdrawn permission to use their signatures prior to the submission of today’s forms.   During the BOE meeting Candidate Terri Jamison spoke up to say her name was “forged” on the latest round of forms.

The form for appointing observers reads ‘election falsification is a 5th degree felony’.  Election officials have confirmed that there will be a post-election investigation of True the Vote.

The forms have been rejected unanimously by all members (Rs and Ds) on the board.  True the Vote observers will not be allowed in Franklin County polling locations tomorrow.  Poll monitoring organizations expect they may still be stationed outside of polling locations.

Board member Zachary Manifold told us he was ”amazed that a group that goes to such extreme lengths to claim voting fraud in Ohio would knowingly forge or misuse signatures to try to gain access to Franklin County polling locations.”

According to a news release from the Department of Justice their personnel will monitor the election in Franklin County for Voting Rights Act violations.  The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.

Good fucking riddance.

12:31pm – Chris Matthews has a message for anybody who doesn’t vote: You’re an idiot.

12:49pm – Voting in a state with marriage equality on the ballot (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington)?  Don’t get tricked by confusing wording.  Here’s how you should vote.

Maine: vote YES on 1.  In Maryland, vote FOR question 6.  In Minnesota, vote NO.  In Washington, vote to APPROVE R74.

Via Camille Beredjick over at Friendly Atheist.

1:56pm – Ok, as Andrew Sullivan says, mental health break.  Here’s some politically-themed funny videos.

2:04pm – After Mitt Romney told the whopper of a lie in Ohio about Chrysler sending its jobs to China, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had to send his employees an email explaining that Romney was, frankly, full of shit.

But then Romney doubled down on the lie.  Now Chrysler has given its employees the day off to go out and vote.  It turns out you don’t need god telling you that lying is bad, you just need to realize that being dishonest creates problems in your life that you don’t want.

4:48pm – HO LEE SHIT.  This happened.

In a press release on Monday, Clackamas County spokesperson Tim Heider said that 55-year-old Deanna Swenson had been “relieved of duty immediately after the alleged ballot tampering was discovered.”

Swenson, who was registered as a Republican, was accused of filling in a Republican straight ticket on ballots where voters did not specify a choice.

Contacted by Willamette Week, Swenson tearfully insisted that it was “only the two” ballots that had been altered.

The Oregon Department of Justice began an investigation last week after an elections official reportedly observed ballots being altered.

“At this point, it is unclear how many ballots the employee at issue had access to, or what will be done with those ballots,” the sheriff’s office said on Monday.

Makes you wonder how much of this stuff doesn’t get caught.  I suspect she considers herself a values voter.  Praise the lord.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • baal

    I had a trivial time cost voting today; in and out in under 15 minutes. I used to live in the city and now I’m in an affluent suburb. Presidential elections in the city took 30 min to 1 hour. While not a big difference, I was surprised to see such a difference in staffing and machines given that both locations serve about the same number of people. My sympathy goes out to all of you who have to wait a long time to vote or were effected by Sandy. I could only wish that every State handled elections as well as MN does.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Glad to hear it. Some nutty predictors have Romney somehow winning Minnesota. Not sure how…

  • Jen

    In Minnesota we are voting on two amendments to the state constitution; one to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, the other to require ID to vote. I will be voting “No” on both of these and I hope the majority of my fellow Minnesotans will as well.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Thanks for the tip, Jen! I know Stephanie Zvan had a good bit on this.

  • Adam

    I went to the polls right when they opened. In and out in about 10 minutes.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Where do you live?

      • Adam

        Olive Branch, MS

        • Adam

          Of course, I’m not sure how many people who read your blog are from around here.

  • Nate Frein
  • Grant

    I was in and out of my polling station in Springfield within 15 minutes. I won’t lie that I’m tempted to watch it on Faux News to watch their heads explode too, but I’ll probably watch it on MSNBC or Current TV to get my liberal bias :P

    Looking forward to seeing you this weekend JT!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Ditto, Grant!

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ blotzphoto

    I voted, first time I’ve had a choice of Hamilton County Sheriff in my lifetime. Thankfully we still use fill in the box voting here in Cincy.
    I will be avoiding election results coverage until the polls close in California, Look up Darla on Guild Wars 2, where I will be gleefully blowing things to smithereens instead of listening to talking heads jabber.

  • http://parsleyvictorious.blogspot.com Parsley Victorious

    All this is absolutely wild to me. Up here in Canada, I’ve never had a line to vote. Period. In, tick, out. Literally a matter of seconds. And this was mostly in Toronto, which is about as population dense as Canada gets.

    Lines? To vote? Wow.

    • neatospiderplant

      Yeah. I was really surprised at that too. I’ve never had to wait in line. Although I’m in a smaller town that doesn’t have line ups for anything except the hospital. With the shift I work, I qualify to take time off work to vote on election day. I never need to take any because even if I don’t want to vote over my lunch break, the hour or two they are open after work is more than enough.

    • Ibis3

      I had to wait in line for early voting in the last Federal election, but it was only about three to five minutes. Another time, I had between five and ten minutes to wait in a provincial election.Otherwise, it’s been In, Find the Name on the list, Get the Ballot, Tick, Put the Ballot in the Box… Total time, probably about 2 minutes. I’ve voted in dense urban areas, suburbs, student populated areas, and village/rural areas. I’ve also worked for Elections Canada as a poll clerk, and volunteered for a political party as a scrutineer, and I’ve never seen line ups longer than ten minutes and that was unusual.

      Other strange things about American elections? The whole registration process and emphasis on partisan affiliation. The first sounds complicated and the latter sounds intrusive. Also, the lack of uniformity.

  • unbound

    There was a 90+ minute line at my location at 6:45 am. Managed to find a bubble to jump in later in the morning (20 to 25 minutes), but the line is growing again. Been hammered with robocalls for the past month, so just glad that the phone calls will finally stop.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Where are you in the world?

      • unbound

        Northern Virginia…specifically Loudoun County. I was shocked to see the lines at 6:45 this morning…I’ve always voted early in the morning and never waited for more than a few minutes for the 12 years I’ve lived here.

        The robocalls have left 6 to 8 messages every day for the past month (and another 6 to 8 that don’t leave messages). 3 messages so far today, but hopefully that ends. Over 90% have been Republican, so I guess they were upset that they lost Virginia in the last presidential election.

  • http://www.atlantapolyamory.org/ Jeremy

    I did early voting last Saturday, October 27 in Fayetteville, GA (Atlanta suburb) and had to stand in line over 30 minutes. I can’t imagine what the lines are looking like today.

  • Treefrogie84

    We had about a 10 minute wait to check in in Columbia, Mo this morning. of course, we got there at 6.15 am, and the line was continuing to grow. I’m sure it’s worse by now as the students will have woken up and started moving.
    Friends on facebook are saying over an hour in St. Louis central suburbs this morning, in contrast to most elections when they normally are in and out in less than 5 minutes.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      That’s unfortunate. High density areas, like cities, are generally Democrat heavy. That’s where we’re seeing the long lines. Whereas less population dense rural areas tend to favor Republicans. Boo!

      • http://www.thelosersleague.com The Schwa

        That is a feature, not a bug.

      • Treefrogie84

        We have the I-70 corridor (Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis) that can be reasonably assumed to be reality based. and the rest of the state that still breaks down the same way it did for the civil war. which is also the reason why akins is still a viable candidate.

  • http://spaceghoti.blogspot.com SpaceGhoti

    I voted this morning. It took me about an hour to get through it, because I had to do a provisional ballot (messed up my mail-in ballot) and they weren’t prepared for the number of provisional ballots they had to fill out. But I stuck it out, remained patient with the overworked poll worker and eventually got my ballot in. I have the sticker to show for it.

  • http://skepticalimerick.blogspot.com/ Rich Stage

    JT, you’ll love this: True the Vote barred from Franklin County after forging signatures.


    It was amazingly easy for me to vote in my precinct with a large African-American population because these idiots were banned.

  • http://inaweofeverything.blogspot.com/ Matt Prorok

    Hey JT. Any thoughts on the Ohio Board of Education election? It’s an important thing, since we’ve kinda had some issues in Ohio before, what with people trying to sneak superstition into the science classroom.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      I tried to look into this and didn’t find much, sadly. :(

      • http://inaweofeverything.blogspot.com/ Matt Prorok

        Did some research myself. I forgot it depends on district, but in District 6, where I am, it looks like Kristen McKinley is the right choice.

        “I am aware of the time spent by the current Board debating curriculum issues such as creationism versus evolution. Because the current state of the law is a separation between church and state, debating this subject is whittling away public funds over an issue that has no current place in public schools. I believe that there are far more pressing issues that this Board must address.”

    • http://faehnri.ch/ eric

      Only thing I saw on board of ed was for my district, district 11, was voting between Democratic incumbent Oakar, or conservative Republican Beverly A. Goldstein, who is backed by Ohioans for Educational Freedom “that values freedom to home-educate their Ohio children according to biblical values”.

      • http://inaweofeverything.blogspot.com/ Matt Prorok

        Yeah, I noticed that anyone endorsed by Ohioans for Educational Freedom (which in my case was John P. Stacy) was off the table. Made it easier.

  • Nick Johnson / Remijdio

    In the sub-suburbs of StL (O’Fallon) the line was pretty short at my polling place. Everyone was very civil and fairly quiet as I’m sure most of them felt weary voting for a robot. We got there at about 6:05 and by the time we got through (6:35) the line was barely out the door so I assume a lot of people were there before it opened.

  • Sarah

    I live near Cleveland, OH. There was a healthy turnout but I didn’t have to wait too long (~10 min) because it was well staffed and had a lot of machines. I didn’t have any issues with bullies either, until I got home and my non-voting husband asked who I voted for. I usually vote third party, but JT convinced me to do otherwise.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      That last part made my day. Thank you!

  • pjmaertz

    No problems voting in suburban MN by Minneapolis. There are two awful constitutional amendments on the ballot restricting marriage and voting rights, so I was happy to vote against them. MN should really be considered a model voting state: we consistently have very high voter turnout because you can register same day ( as I did today) and registration only requires a utility bill and a photo ID or someone who is already registered that can vouch for you. Plus we’re the longest consecutive e democrat voting state for the presidential election, because we we’re the only state to go for Mondale in 84. Anyways, awesome day, excited to hear Mittens concession speech and calls from conservative pundits that Mitt was too liberal.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      *high five*

  • Zab

    Voted this morning in Columbus, Ohio. My ballot seemed to go through okay– no issues that I could see. The line was long for A-G voters– they probably waited about 30-45 minutes on average. As my last name begins with an S, I was in an out in about 15 minutes.

  • Stephanie Threadgill

    I voted around 7 this morning in Hazelwood, MO (St. Louis county). Only took about 25 minutes. Small line, maybe 20 or so people. Honestly what took longest was me double checking all of my answers. I was so excited to not have to wait outside in line this time but sad to see such a small turn out. Hopefully it picks up.

  • Rob

    I used Catholic morals to inform my vote today.

    There was a health care proposition that I was planning to vote against (IMHO, it was a stretch in some responsibilities that shouldn’t have happened). Then I heard that the Catholic hospital was against it. Well, guess it’s better than I thought then. For it is.

    Took about an hour to vote this morning. Lines were pretty long, but everything went smoothly.

  • kyshwn

    I went and voted in New Hampshire today. For Obama. First time I’ve ever voted… waited in line for about 5 minutes and then moved onto the line for new voters. Was in and out of there in 20 minutes or so. That was at 7:15 this morning. So glad they have same-day registration.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

    You guys are rocking faces. Keep the information coming.

  • greg1466

    I’m in Bucks County, PA, northern Philadelphia suburbs. I was in line at 6:55 (5 minutes before the polls opened) and was voter #63. Took 20-25 minutes once the doors opened. The line was noticeably longer when I left, so I’m really glad I didn’t wait until after work. I didn’t notice any issues with the machine as shown in the video, though we have a different kind of machine.

    I had thought about making an issue of the photo ID. The recent court ruling said that they could ask for one, but that it wasn’t required. I saw lots of signs and handouts about what kind of ID was acceptable, but I didn’t notice any of them saying that one was not actually required. I thought about making that point when asked, but I was in danger of missing getting my son on his bus, so I just went with it.

  • Kaboobie

    I am in Massachusetts and arrived to vote right after polls opened at 7 am. The initial line had 20-25 people, but I was able to bypass it and go to a separate, shorter line for my district, with only about 5 people. The biggest holdup was the elderly woman checking people in; I had to repeat my address 3 or 4 times before she found it on the list. Still, I was in and out in under 15 min. I voted a straight Democratic ticket and yes on legalizing assisted suicide and medical marijuana.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      We agree on those things. *high five*

      • Kaboobie

        I know, could I be any more stereotypical Massachusetts Liberal? ;)

  • BradC

    No problems voting in Jefferson county, MO, at least for me.
    One one person ahead of me in my alphabetical group, but the line for people who’s last name starts with P to S had 25+ people in it.
    Not sure if they did a lousy job of evenly weighing the groups, or if there was a particularly slow poll worker, or maybe the old lady at the front of the line was trying to pay with expired food stamps.
    My wife who voted several hours after I did said that one line was still extremely long.

  • SparkyB

    I voted for Obama (and Elizabeth Warren for senator) this morning at 9:15 in Somerville, MA. The line was only about 10-15 minutes. Not too bad. However, I think it really just varies by polling place. Several friends of mine in a different part of the same city reported 90 minute lines. One of them tweeted that he saw the Mayor while waiting in line who said he expects an 80% turnout here. If that explains the line it’s probably a good thing.

  • http://hookungfu.blogspot.com Dustin Baker

    Russellville, AR reporting in.

    In and out in under an hour. Lots of Obama support, surprisingly, from the middle-aged and elderly.

  • NikT

    No problems for me voting in Saint Paul, MN. Voted a couple of hours ago, line of about 40 people. Took me about 30 minutes, in and out.

    I voted Democratic/DFL ticket for Federal offices.
    I also voted No on both the anti-gay marriage and voter ID constitutional amendments. It felt really great to finally vote on these things.

  • http://hookungfu.blogspot.com Dustin

    Russellville, AR reporting in.

    In and out in under an hour. No harassment, and there was a surprisingly large amount of public Obama support from the middle aged and elderly crowd.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard


  • RuQu

    The OH software sounds like it just reads in the data and outputs results in CSV. Any fraud there would likely be easy to detect, especially in an investigation that subpoenas the source code. If it’s over 500 lines, writes out to the input files, or seems overly complicated from a simply gets, scanf, add to tracking variables routine then odds are it is doing something fishy and there is prison time in a few people’s future.

    Suspicious? Sure. Likely? No.

    • Pteryxx

      Which is why the software patch includes WRITE capabilities to the voting database it’s supposed to just read and transfer to the new format… Oh wait….

  • Desiree

    I’m in a KC, MO suburb and I remembered how bad the line was 4 years ago so I got to my polling station around 5:45 am and the line was still short. They didn’t have a good system for funneling people once you got indoors but I still managed to get through in 10-15 mins and everyone was being civilized despite the early hour. :)

  • Turumbar

    Voted in SW Clay county, MO. The place was busy but I was in and out in 10 minutes. It sucks that my polling place is a church. Thankfully, they had no cult propaganda displayed as far as I could tell. I actually voted for one Repub (for sheriff).

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ blotzphoto

    My precinct in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati had no lines at 10:00 when I voted. Evidently the crowds were there early and they expect crowds late.
    I even got to vote Green, not for Jill Stein but against the Loathsome and Rubbery Steve Chabot, whom I believe the Democrats have given up on.
    If I were the Greens and I wanted to make a splash, look at your local ballots and see who is running unopposed in 2 years. Get some judgeships , show up on my school board ballot, crack city councils. Don’t waste your time running for President.

  • Rakatosh

    Brookland, Washington DC. About 45 min. No line by the time I left though. There was a ton of early voting in my area though.

  • Talynknight

    It took about 30 minutes when I voted at 7 when the polls opened in Maryland. It definitely felt good to vote yes on question 6 for marriage. Here’s hoping we are one of the first states to legalize equal marriage through voting.

  • Pfinnious J. Whoopie

    Remember today that true believers show their faith not by voting, but by praying. Show your faith, Don’t vote PRAY!!

  • Cunning Pam

    Just got back from voting out west of St. Louis, in redredred Chesterfield. It took me about an hour and a half, the lines were indeed long. I could have been out a bit quicker if I didn’t let a couple of elderly people ahead of me a few times, but I’m able to stand and it didn’t hurt me to spend a few more minutes on my feet. It’s nasty out here as well, raining and cold, so standing outside waiting to get in was no picnic. All in all, though, people seemed to be pretty ok with the wait.

    Not sure where Christina’s pad is, but I’ll hoist a Blue Moon in the general direction of the city tonight in salute!

  • Taneth

    Just finished voting in Fargo, ND here. No lines at all, in and out in about 10 minutes. We don’t have any human rights issues on the ballot this time, but have an animal rights measure, which I have to admit, felt odd voting against.

  • Pteryxx

    For more of the latest and firsthand accounts from voters (or attempted voters), check out #VoterSuppression on Twitter:


  • http://peternothnagle.com Peter N

    Iowa City, Iowa here. The polling place was very busy, but well-staffed — in and out in ten minutes. There was one person hanging around, looking over people’s shoulders, very nosy — must have been a poll-watcher. By her grim expression I’m betting she is a Republican.

  • Amyc

    Just finished voting in Arlington, TX. Really short line. The only problem was the lady didn’t see my name on the list at first so they checked the computer to make sure I was registered. It was an honest mistake and kind of funny.

  • Brad

    I voted! My polling place was a church, but no problems otherwise.

  • trucreep

    White Lake, Michigan

    As always, easy peasy, no line, breezed through double time B]

  • Rob

    Looks like there might be touch screen issues similar to PA in NC (h/t Groklaw)


  • Humanist Misanthrope

    My polling location is in a church. When I went there this morning to cast my ballot, I was greeted by a garish, enormous crucifix with the words “He is risen, Jesus is Lord” on it. Uggh. Goddamn midwest.

    • John Horstman

      I can’t remember off-hand, but isn’t this technically illegal?

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com Matt E

    Ah, the joys of voting in Washington, a vote-by-mail state. I got my ballot in the mail, sat down at the kitchen table, used my laptop to go online to learn a bit more about a couple of the more obscure local issues, put it in the envelope and dropped it in the ballot collection box outside the neighborhood library when I went to pickup some books on hold. This was two weeks ago.

    • Liberated Liberal

      Same in Oregon. It was satisfying.

  • John Horstman

    I voted first thing this morning, shortly after our polls opened at 07:00 CST (07:20). It took about ten minutes; I live in Shorewood, WI, a small, relatively affluent (pretty much entirely middle- to upper-class, with the median in the upper-middle-class) suburb of Milwaukee, WI, and voting is never a problem. There were long lines (outside of the building) at the polling location I passed in Milwaukee (Gordon Park) at 07:30, though the building itself is not large. It’s been raining lightly on and off all day, which has not thrilled me, as it may dissuade some people from standing outside in 40 degree weather to wait to vote.

    • John Horstman

      Oh, yeah, no poll watchers (other than the ones contracted by the village) or UN observers that I noticed, and no issues while I was there. Our congressional district was re-drawn last year, so it was nice to be able to vote for a rep. I actually like instead of Sensenbrenner (though I realize I was basically gerrymandered, lumping our liberal-as-all-hell suburb in with the predominantly Black and overwhelmingly-Democratic north side of the City of Milwaukee instead of the more conservative North Shore area of Milwaukee County).

  • Liberated Liberal

    My mom is an Italian immigrant and became a citizen about 10 years ago. She never voted before this year, and actually registered on her own several weeks ago. The first two years of Obama’s presidency, she was a huge supporter, however, she was a victim to a lot of the Republican rumors/lies about Obama and truly didn’t know who she was going to vote for this time. Thanks, in no small part, to this blog and others on Patheos, I did a tremendous job of talking her into Obama. Rachel Maddow and her amazing pieces did a world of good, too. I’ve never been so informed in my life. She just voted 5 minutes ago!! I’m very proud of her :D. She is a very smart, fair and level-headed woman, but even she succumbed to wall of nonsense that is Republican bullshit. I am very proud to have been able to talk her through all of the issues, truths, lies and more. She was so happy by the end, even though I essentially assaulted her with facts for hours.

    Anyway, keep getting the word out there. You make a difference.

    • Kodie


  • Nate Frein

    Just cast my ballot (MD being solidly blue meant I voted for Stein).

    Took about an hour. The lines stretched outside the elementary school where the booths were set up, so the first ten minutes was out in the cold, but it was worth it. The people running the show were quite polite and everything was running smoothly.

  • DrVanNostrand

    I dropped off my mail-in ballot in person at 2PM in Menlo Park, CA. I had no wait since my ballot was complete, but the line was very short. The wait couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes. California’s ballot propositions are mostly pretty stupid, but this year I was able to vote to end the death penalty and reform the 3 strikes law.

  • Jaketoadie

    Jason has an update on the patch to the voting machines that you may want to replicate here, in case anyone here who was concerned about what was going on there. It sounds like an error in the original report made it sound a lot worse than it actually turned out to be.

  • Chloe

    The idea of people challenging people’s right to vote is so foreign here (Australia). We have compulsory voting (so duh – why would anyone try?), I work for the electoral comission when work is to be had in my area and people tend to abstain by donkey voting. Good luck guys! Fingers crossed for you for Obama.

  • Kodie

    Last time I voted I lived in another state, so I was hoping to get the jump by showing up early. I even hopped in the shower immediately upon waking instead of stalling with a cup or two of coffee.

    It was chaotic but not chaotic. The line outside around the perimeter of the schoolground went quickly and was peaceful. There was one door to get in or out. Not a double door. Once inside, the line came to an unexpected (to me) division among 4 districts. I was put into the longest line. That line was in a narrow hallway that at 8am had doubled back to the entrance. I just don’t see how they sort 4 districts if any district’s line ends back outside the door we come in and from which people leave. I am projecting. For having an election at a school, it seemed to me they might distribute 4 districts in a larger room, like a cafeteria and not a lobby, or tell you what room to report to. 2 of the 4 districts voted out in the open in a small lobby. I am between ages where you need glasses sometimes and don’t need glasses at all, so I kind of wish I had thought to bring my reading glasses to read the ballot. Just not enough room or privacy to think. The “cafe” tables with 4 barriers to vote on a section smaller than the actual 2-page ballot, 3 of them in about a 8×12 space include cop & pen bringer table and scantron machine and its attendant who had to be coached, just made the whole ordeal anxious for me. The other 8×12 space was across a velvet barrier or something, a whole other district voting in the same tight space with their own tables, attendants and machines.

    It reminds me of home – my apartment is 450 square feet, it’s 18×25, and the space where 4 districts in my neighborhood within Boston, Massachusetts was smaller than that. Think 10 people in my apartment at the same time would be crowded and maybe a successful party, but it’s too crowded to vote.