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November 4, 2008

Live From The Balsams 2—Electric Boogaloo
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:14 AM * 94 comments

Ten months and four days ago Making Light scooped CNN when we reported the results of the New Hampshire Primary, live from this room. Now we’re back with the first report on the first-in-the-nation election results, as they’re being announced.

Here are those results:


  • Barack Hussein Obama/Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr. (Democratic): 15
  • John Sidney McCain, III/Sarah Louise Heath Palin (Republican): 6
  • Robert Laurence “Bob” Barr, Jr./Wayne Allyn Root (Libertarian): 0
  • Ralph Nader/Matthew Edward “Matt” Gonzales (Independent): 0
  • George David Joseph Phillies/Christopher “Chris” Bennett (Boston Tea): 0
Not on the ballot but running as write-ins:
  • Charles Obadiah “Chuck” Baldwin (Constitution): 0
  • Cynthia Ann McKinney/Rosa Alicia Clemente (Green): 0
  • Frank James Moore/Susan Marilyn Block (no party affiliation): 0


  • John H. Lynch (incumbent) (D): 15
  • Joseph D. “Joe” Kenney (R): 3
  • Susan M. Newell (L): 1

U.S. Senator

  • Jeanne Shaheen (D): 12
  • John Sununu (incumbent) (R): 6
  • Kenneth E. “Ken” Blevens (L): 2

Representative in Congress (District 2)

  • Paul W. Hodes (incumbent) (D): 12
  • Jennifer M. Horn (R): 7
  • Chester L. Lapointe, II (L): 1

Reporting live from The Balsams in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, this is Jim Macdonald for Making Light.
Comments on Live From The Balsams 2--Electric Boogaloo:
#1 ::: Laura Runkle ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Let us hear it for the folks on the ground. Nothing on CNN or Google, so we were ready to pack it in, when I remembered Making Light, and "Cellphone Jim" MacDonald.

Thank you.

#2 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:38 AM:

Thank you, Jim! Excellent turnout, looks like.

#3 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:39 AM:

Looks like it's a good start for Election Day. (Cake's in the oven. I'm getting hungry, because it smells so good!)

#4 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:47 AM:

Hey, go Shaheen.

#5 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:07 AM:

There were about twelve reporters per voter. The folks who'd come from farthest were the Chinese cable TV guys.

Against the back wall stood six tripod-mounted TV cameras. Two guys with shoulder-mounted cameras were closer in.

CNN got their version posted at 12:19. Go Making Light!

What was funny was afterward, after this post was up, when I was chatting with my friend Sonya (who runs a little B&B on East Colebrook Road) watching the wire-service guys running around calling "Any voters over there?"

For those interested, there are four registered Republicans, five registered Democrats, and twelve Independents in Dixville Notch.

Before the thing started I watched one of the reporters practicing his stand-up, about how this was going to show how the Independent vote would break in New Hampshire. Then he and his camera man went into the Ballot Room to film.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Polls close in the rest of the state at 7:00 pm.

#6 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:08 AM:

And so it begins.

Personally, I mailed my vote today, so it's likely not to even be opened by the time the national race is decided.

That's ok though, I don't really need to be the one that puts him in the white house. Also, there's a bunch of important local stuff on it too.

#7 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:17 AM:

I feel like the horse race has started, with the announcer yelling "Aaaaaannnndddd they're off!!"

Thanks for the update. I'm going to be completely distracted for the next 36 hours.

#8 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:23 AM:

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight says there's no predictive relationship between Dixville Notch and the rest of the country, but, he says, "Still, you'd rather be up 15-6 than down, wouldn't you?"

#9 ::: Elaine ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:27 AM:

Jack just told me to go to bed, so good night all.

#10 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:50 AM:

Hart's Location results are in, too, according to what I presume is their official website.

Obama 17, McCain 10, and 2 for Ron Paul as a write-in. No tallies on the other races yet.

#11 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:06 AM:

The time stamp on Matthew Borghese's Dixville Notch article for AHN shows 12:12am EST.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:16 AM:

Jim, didn't you hit "publish" as soon as they announced the numbers?

#13 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:17 AM:

AHN shows 12:12am EST.

They didn't stay around for the announcement of the governor's race or the congressional races.

#14 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:20 AM:

Man, I think I'm going to be up until I can vote at 7 AM, Central Time. It's going to be a long day and, I hope, an exciting one!

#15 ::: Tom Barclay ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:29 AM:

Bravo, Jim! Another triumph of citizen journalism!

15 to 6; I like the sound of that.

#16 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:34 AM:

The Boston Tea Party?

How did I not hear about this before?

#17 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:38 AM:

Is the Boston Tea Party like the Pail and Shovel Party?

Never mind, I'm going to listen to Mr. Hentges, who is lecturing me by instant message to go to sleep. He's right; I have to get up and vote in the morning. Whee!

#18 ::: Edie ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:43 AM:

Thank you for such expeditious reporting!

#19 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:46 AM:

Jim, didn't you hit "publish" as soon as they announced the numbers?

Yep. As soon as all the results were announced.

#20 ::: Wakboth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:17 AM:

Looks like a good start; go, Americans!

And yes, Boston Tea is just about the best party name I've ever heard.

#21 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:20 AM:

Thanks, Jim.

I am now going to try to ignore TV and internet punditry, and concentrate on NaNoWriMo.

It's furry '30s pulp fiction.

My hero has just pitched a Nazi white rabbit called "Harvey" out of a speeding train.

Don't worry, I shall get around to the romance.

And the soft-boiled eggs.

(Well, how do you plan on staying sane?}

"You must remember this..." (link to YouTube) "Hearts full of passion, jealousy, and hate."

There are still things it feels good to weep over.

#22 ::: Audrey ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:53 AM:

For what it's worth, here's a vote from Johannesburg, South Africa. Viva Barack Obama, viva! Oh and viva ML too, the best website in the universe. I always read but never comment, so this is a first. Hi there :-)

#23 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:05 AM:

Welcome, Audrey!

I should be long asleep, but the excitement of voting in the morning is keeping me awake. I'll just have a little wine, I think, that'll help take the edge off....

#24 ::: Audrey ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:23 AM:

Peter, I couldn't sleep last night either... it's 11:25am for us now, and I still can't sleep. Not even going to try. This election has a whole planet on the edge of its seat. Maybe I'll take a little glass of something now too - chin chin

#25 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:51 AM:

Unlurking to post a really disgusting story from California, where a family are suppressing their daughter's vote. I bet she was intending to vote No on 8.

#26 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:57 AM:

Couldn't sleep either. Tried. Gave up after a while.

Gonna go vote as soon as the polls are open....

#27 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:14 AM:

You know ... all us insomniacs and early-morning voters might want to swing by and join up for phone banking from home! I dropped in looking for a place that I could go and volunteer to phone bank this afternoon, and very easily found that not only can I phone bank right in my own state, but they'll even direct me to phone banking in places like Ohio, Florida, Virginia or Missouri!

Sign up now and start calling right after you vote!

#28 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:30 AM:

I think lack of sleep made me unclear: I mean to say, they will be having me make calls from my home. They give me a script and the numbers and off I go! Time to make those free-long-distance cell phone minutes useful!

#29 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:32 AM:

We're going to vote, then I'm going up to do some work for Obama. I might not be up for poll watching though; I've been fighting a crappy cold for the last few days. I think there's still data entry to do.

#30 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:39 AM:

It's raining here in NC; people are hoping that doesn't keep the voters at home, but since Obama is leading by a large majority from early voting already, I'm of two minds on this.

Drove past two polling areas this morning coming to work; both had people lined up with umbrellas even though they didn't start voting until 6:30 am. Looks like it's going to be a long day for the poll area workers.

Side note: my assistant has apparently decided to work at the downtown Raleigh election office on her own vacation time this morning. She's not in yet and is usually here by now (we start work at 6:30). She had sent me an email last night saying the department supervisor was unwilling to overrule my manager on whether she could use community leave time to volunteer for election day work, but she said she wouldn't decide for sure until this morning if she'd still do it.

#31 ::: fdeblauwe ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:45 AM:

"While we await good tidings—knock on wood!—I am posting some Flickr related pics that I found appealing, interesting, neat, cute... If you 're out there busting your chops for the GOTV effort: thank you! Yes We Can!"
Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 blog

#32 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:57 AM:

Good luck everybody. I'm now going away from all media until tomorrow morning, Greenwich Mean Time. Because I can't find a couch at work to hide behind.

#33 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:07 AM:


Got to my polling place 10 minutes before it was to open at 6am. There were already 50 people in line before me.

They aren't kidding about the lines, folks. Get there early and plan on waiting for as long as it takes. If you are voting in New York, figure out your Election District number before you go to the polling place. You will still have to wait to get into the polling place, but once you are in the room you might be able to spot and go directly to your Election District's machine. Might save you 10 or 15 minutes.

#34 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:11 AM:

Polls open in about an hour here in MN. I'm going to get into some real clothes and head over to my polling place. With any luck, I'll return and get in a nap before I start calling folks to GOTV!

#35 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:14 AM:

I voted an hour ago here in NJ. (Burlington city, ward 3, district 1) In the past, I've gotten there at 5:55 (polls open at 6) and been the only one there when the polls open, though there's usually a few other voters in line by the time I get all the way through the process and am leaving. This year I planned to get there earlier, but still only got there at 5:53, and wound up being the third one in line. There were five of us in line when the polls opened.

Of those five, two were first-time voters, and three were African-American; normally, the people I see voting at that hour are all as white as me despite the district I'm in being about 20% A-A. (And I wasn't the youngest one in line at 6 am; normally I'm the youngest by at least 20 years)

#36 ::: Andy Brazil ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:24 AM:

Good luck America.
We're crossing our fingers and hoping. Non-stop coverage on all UK channels tonight from poll close New York onwards. Not planning on getting much sleep.

#37 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:26 AM:

Is the Boston Tea Party like the Pail and Shovel Party?

Wow, blast from the past.

It figures that denizens of Making Light would be familiar with Pail and Shovel. Been a while since I've heard somebody else raise their name.

[I lived in Madison during their reign]

#38 ::: Tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:36 AM:

Is the Boston Tea Party like the Pail and Shovel Party?

Is the Pail and Shovel Party like the Stick and Bucket Dance?

(Back to NaNoWriMo for me too.)

Good luck America, anyway.

#39 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:45 AM:

OK, I've got my lucky socks on -- Louise knitted me some fine socks the color of Canadian Shield rocks -- and am brewing a thermos of wild berry tisane (thanks, Jo!) to be fortified with honey and a shot of lemon, so I'll have Canadian Content keeping me warm inside and out. I'm wearing shoes from one of my Black Phoenix pals and a shirt that I bought on a retreat trip with my several-years-gone-and-much-missed friend and circle-sister Sharon Bishop, with a black Goddess on the front and the legend "A Glimpse of the Creation Mother." Juan's taking a shower, and then off we go to the polls a few blocks from here.

I'm fired up. I'm ready.

#40 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:47 AM:

Lis, Pail and Shovel declared war on everybody in the Big Ten except for the University of Minnesota, because the fallout patterns were wrong. So what they did was...

... oops, gotta go vote. I'll come back and tell you the rest later. It involves alcohol and high offices, or something like that.

#41 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:51 AM:

Dear voters, as you go to the polls, please remember rule one of going anywhere: go to the toilet before you leave the house.

I'm almost envious of you all; voting in my bindery at night, on an absentee ballot, was not as staggering as what you guys on-site are doing (and have been since early voting started).

#43 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:18 AM:

Wah! Starbucks was going to give free coffee to people who came in and said they voted today, but it turns out that's a felony.

#44 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:27 AM:

Reports are coming in to local Raleigh radio and TV stations of ballots too wet to be read by the machines, ballots being delivered late to voting stations, and voting stations being opened late.

Lines are already forming in some of the stations, but overall everything's going smoothly; the remarkable early voting turnout appears to have helped mitigate the huge crush that normally happens.

BTW, my jerk boss apologized to my engineer assistant this morning. It seems he did not read the newly updated policy on community leave that specifically authorized volunteering for elections, but of course now my assistant (she did come in this morning) isn't sure she will be able to volunteer at the election office.

#45 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:32 AM:

Back from voting! There were 85 people in line at my polling place when the polls opened. I was voter #6, though I was not #6 in line. Perhaps because I'd looked up my sample ballot a couple of days before and have been memorizing who to vote for and where they are on the ballot ever since. It was all there, just as I remembered.

When I left, the line wasn't any shorter, but some of that may be due to the polling place being fairly cramped for space. People were in good spirits, though, and the sun was just coming up.

#46 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:37 AM:

Yay! Guam goes blue!!!

(except I don't think they've got any electoral votes) :(

#47 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:51 AM:

In one of my Usenet groups, a regular poster sees the sinister hand of ACORN in a report that Dixville Notch, NH, had 110% turnout. It turns out he added wrong. Still, I expect Drudge to run with the 110% figure, and the mainstream media will be calling it a scandal by mid-morning.

I was somewhat surprised to get a message from the Obama camp today: a reminder to vote. Up to now, it's been all McCain, Palin, McCain, Rick Davis, and so on, bombarding my Yahoo! account. Maybe they figure someone with "Yahoo" in the address must be likely to vote for their ticket.

#48 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:53 AM:


Lines for my voting area were non-existent - but the apartment complex and immediate surroundings are filled with two types of people - retirees, and young professionals, both of whom are either Not Up Yet, or Already About (and will vote later, if at all). The other two voting areas had a line already at 7(mumble) in the morning - this is a remote suburb well-equipped with polling locations.

So I took a look at the new-fangled gol-durned digital scanny machines (which do, according to a friend who is working as a pollworker today, save the paper ballots for future reference and recounts, and do not, in fact, suck donut-eaters who vote for the wrong person into a disposal grinder...), and said goodbye to my old friend, the Sequoia mechanical machine.

#49 ::: RMKrist/PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:53 AM:

I heard about the NH vote this morning on the news (NY1). Great going NH folk.

I voted this morning before going to work... I pulled the lever at 6:55 A.M. for Obama and Biden. This year there was a flutter in my stomach and sense of importance that isn't usually there. Because my housing complex has its own poling center, it took about 10 minutes to get in and out. On the bus to work though, I saw long lines in Manhattan, lines that were going around the block. This is unusual. NYC, at least, was using the old voting machines.

#50 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:03 AM:

I miss the old voting machines. I liked that once you pulled the lever that closed the curtain, it was just you and your opinions on who you wanted to vote for.

Flipping the little levers and watching the X appear beside your choice of candidate was tangible proof of your decision, as was the big "thunk" when you pulled the lever that registered all your votes.

Filling out a paper ballot in a little two sided kiosk and feeding it in an optical reader just doesn't have the same feeling to me. It still counts, though!

Reports are coming in from all over of long lines and heavier than usual voter participation, in addition to the extraordinary early voter turnout. Let's hope that the youth vote turns out for once!

#51 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:13 AM:

Purple Girl -
This is unusual. NYC, at least, was using the old voting machines.

My understanding is that this year New York has both in most districts - there were a couple of the new ones, and the normal rack of older ones (the green light-weight ones, not the huge black cast iron ones(?) that I started with, oh so long ago) in my polling place.

Next election, we get to see if the scanny machines are reliable or not....

#52 ::: Jenett ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:13 AM:

I voted before work (Minnesota). I got there at 6:35, to find about 30 people waiting. By 6:45, there were 70 people there, and spilling out the door. At 7, the line was well out the door and down the sidewalk.

Everyone was very efficient and pleasant, and I was out of there around 7:20, having been the 37th ballot cast in the precinct.

#53 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:22 AM:

I got to my polling place at 7:15 and the line was already out the door. (And I was lucky -- the other precinct that polls there had a much longer line.) I haven't seen it that long before.

Like Daniel Martin @#35, I noticed more younger voters (usually I'm the youngest one there!) and more minority voters.

#54 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:25 AM:

I think it's funny that we had the optical scanners when I moved to VA, then they switched to computers (dial-and-button where I am, touchscreen in other parts of the state), and now everyone's going to optical. Shoulda just stuck with what we had. (Out of the two pre-work voters in my office, one had a choice of touchscreen or paper ballot, the other was paper only. I'm going after work, and will choose paper if it's an option.)

#55 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:29 AM:

Got to the polls in DC (Ward 3, upper NW) at 6:50. Humongous lines. I've been voting here since '78 and I've never seen anything like it. Still and all, I was done and out by 7:30.

Since the outcome here is a foregone conclusion (we're 90% Democrats), I can only assume people think it's important to rack up the popular vote. Go for it!

#56 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:31 AM:

Back from voting! There was quite a line. I was 130th in my precinct, and Juan was (I think) 146th. Given that there are about 900 people in our precinct, that's a pretty good turnout for the first hour.

Now to look up the Pail and Shovel links so I can respond to Lis with that story....

#57 ::: RMKrist/PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:40 AM:

Scott Taylor -- I didn't see any of the new machines at my polling place. There were the usual old green lever machines. There was a sign that they had a Ballot Marking Device on site, but I think that's for disabled people. That is new this year.

John L -- Yeah, I like pulling levers too and seeing the "X" fall into the box.

#58 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:45 AM:

OK. The Pail and Shovel Party were a bunch of inspired lunatics who successfully ran for student government office at the University of Wisconsin back in the day. One of their platform planks, I was told, was changing the climate of Madison to a more benevolent semi-tropical sort. Which they made a darned good try at, too. They also promised to bring the Statue of Liberty to Madison, too. Again, they delivered.

Why were they called the Pail and Shovel Party? Because they suggested that student service fees be converted to pennies, and that students be given pails and shovels and told to go at it. There was, at that point, considerable dissatisfaction among some students with what the fees were going for, but as I was not a UW student, I can't say who had the right of it, In any case, the Pail and Shovel Party got into office and kept it for long enough to do some truly memorable pranks.

One of the things they did was declare war on the rest of the Big Ten. They did this intending to lose; it was their cunning plan then to ask for reparations. We at the U of M (University of Minnesota) heard that they went down to Iowa with the declaration of war and left some student government officers there locked in a closet or something. We heard the Pail and Shovelers phoned on their way out of town to make sure somebody let them out, though.) They decided they shouldn't declare war on us, though, because as they informed us by letter, the fallout patterns were wrong. Instead, they sent us a bribe -- one of their legendary checks for a million dollars, made out on a UW student government official bank check, which I myself saw -- and asked us to keep diplomatic relations open.

Well, what could we do when faced with such a major political crisis? We did the only sensible thing: got our student body president (Sue Gjemse) tipsy, and had her sign a paper making a certain unnamed person Ambassador Plenipotentiary from the U of M to the UW. (I think that part was really Jamie's fault. Wonder what he's up to these days....)

We did dither about cashing the check, but decided we didn't want to embarrass them, especially after they were so nice and all.

I wonder if I still have that ambassadorial authorization around here somewhere.

Ah, those were the days.

#59 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:57 AM:

I was the first person in line at the polling station, and my vote (an old-fashioned paper one) was the first cast in my precinct.

#60 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:59 AM:

We got to our polling station just after they opened at 7, and the line was out the door and around the building. It took just about an hour to get into the voting area, five minutes to pass through the confirmation stage, and no time at all to make our historic votes for Obama/Biden.

Tonight we'll be watching the closing of the polls and hoping all goes well.

#61 ::: Peter Hentges ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:03 AM:

I have made 42 GOTV calls so far. 25 to Ohio residents, the rest to Obama supporters in MN. The Obama web site makes it crazy easy to set yourself up to make these calls and gives you a good script with information about the person's polling place if they have it. So I'm lying in bed in my jammies making calls for change! (I'd finish off a cool 50, but my phone appears to have needed a break.)

#62 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:08 AM:

Lila @ 43
Starbucks isn't the only one rewarding voters.
Ben & Jerry's scoop shops will give away has free ice cream tonight from 5 - 8 pm.
Krispy Kreme is handing out free donuts, Chick-Fil-A... even a sex toy store is offering... toys.

[I compiled a list of giveaways on my blog last night, sadly, few of them are in my area]

Now, many of these (though not Starbucks or Ben & Jerry's) require customers to show an "I Voted" sticker.

I have never gotten a sticker at my polling place.
So I'm wondering whether that's something specific to our precinct, our city, county, or state (Massachusetts).
So, do you get stickers when you vote?

PS: Regarding turnout, I voted @ about the same time as I did in 2006 (before work). Then, mine was the 111th ballot dropped in the scanner. This year, #233, meaning over twice the turnout. [And over thrice the turnout of the February primary, where I was #84.]

#63 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:08 AM:

First! Way to go, Serge!!

I slept okay last night but woke at 5:30 am, totally wired, no need for coffee.

I voted by mail, so I don't have to stand in line today. I am very curious to see what the lines in the local polling places are like. I considered phonebanking today, but I called Ohio all last weekend, and by Monday a lot of people were just hanging up the phone, and the ones I did manage to reach were totally sick of getting calls. If they don't know who they're voting for by now, the hell with it, let 'em toss a coin.

The polls just opened in California. Go Obama!

We're going to win this thing.

#64 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:15 AM:

The name of the Boston Tea presidential candidate sounds awfully familiar, though I can't think why. Maybe it will come to me.

I didn't have to wait to vote at my precinct, but I went after I figured the morning rush would be over, and in any case our ballot was devoid of excitement except for the ballot questions - Obama, Kerry, and Tierney are certain to win, and none of the other races was even contested.

#65 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:16 AM:

Lis, we get stickers here in Minnesota. Round ones, red with white lettering. They say "I Voted."

#66 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:18 AM:

Elise @ 58

Oh, I remember the Pail & Shovel party.
I was still young, but we lived in Madison for their antics.
Once I moved to New England, I discovered few locals heard of them, so I'm usually the one having to explain their backstory.
Of course, I've only heard some of their exploits, and never heard about your tale.
Somebody (possibly somebody in the party) really ought to write the definitive history of their administration. I believe one of them "grew up" to become one of the founders of MST3K.

[PS: Though out of date and out-of-print, Neil Steinberg's book If at all possible, involve a cow is a fun history of college pranks, including a chapter on the Pail and Shovel party.]

#67 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:19 AM:

Obviously, I posted too soon.

While googling, I found a Pail and Shovel Party archive site

#68 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:22 AM:

George Phillies. Duh. Although in fact his name was familiar to me from his gaming rather than his SF activities.

#69 ::: Audrey ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:23 AM:

Suspense is killing me here! I am half excited and half terrified and completely distracted. Have told my dogs and family that if they want supper they must forage for it because I cannot possibly be expected to concentrate on cooking. No fingernails left, bald patches on head from pulling at hair, bloodshot eyes from still no sleep, floors worn down from pacing... have bought some condensed milk and salty crackers and pickles and will be having a midnight feast shortly. I will not sleep, no, I will not.

#70 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:59 AM:

Voted. Arrived at polling place 6:45 am, to find a line most of the way down the hall of the high school. It took an hour and a half to get to the desk to sign the book, and I opted out of voting on the machine when I discovered I could fill out a scanable ballot.

Good news -- they scan/count the paper ballots before they load the data from the touch-screen machines.

Whole process took about 2 hours, and the line waiting to get in to vote was as long when I left as it was when I arrived.

#71 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:00 AM:

According to NPR this morning, Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's decided to avoid the felony* issue and just give free coffee and ice cream to anyone. However, Krispy Kreme was still holding firm and only rewarding voters. Zoo Atlanta is offering half off admission today if one adult in the party is wearing the sticker.

*Giving people free stuff to get them to vote. Or not to vote.

#72 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:00 AM:

At my north-central Phoenix precinct (very Republican, judging by the campaign signs in the neighborhood*, though our Democratic state representative and her husband the Congressional candidate live in the same precinct, right around the corner** from us) I arrived an hour after the polls opened and was vote #70. There was little waiting, and a few belated early ballots were dropped off while I was there.

Ma Connors and the daughter both voted early by mail: Ma can't stand in line long, and the daughter lives in New Zealand.

I am tempted to go down to Dem HQ for the party's party tonight, but I have school, so it'll be late-night Olbermann and the web for us.

* including a homemade McCain/Palin one, with big photos taped to it. I was tempted to do a midnight run and replace the Palin picture with Tina Fey and see if anyone noticed, but I never got around to doing it, besides which tampering with campaign signs is illegal here in AZ.

** by Phoenix standards, anyway.

#73 ::: mdh ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:17 AM:

This news was the last thing I heard from the BBC as I drifted off to sleep last night. 15 to 6. A rockslide.

#74 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:32 AM:

That was my reaction--Boston Tea Party? How did I not know this existed sooner?

#75 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:57 AM:

John, #50: I miss them too, for the same reasons you cite. The booths we use in Houston don't have a curtain to pull, and that bothers me a lot; OTOH, the voting screen is nearly horizontal and would be blocked by the voter's body from most viewing angles, so I guess it's not that much of a privacy risk. But it used to make such a satisfying THUNK when you pulled that last lever...

Serge, #59: Congratulations! Given what people have been posting, to have been first in line was a notable feat.

#76 ::: Shawn ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:03 PM:

Voted at my normal time on my way into work. Still have the old-fashioned (and very, very satisfying) lever machines here in Albany, NY. I'm normally somewhere between the 60th & 70th voter in my ward. Toady I was 109th, and had to wait to vote, the first time that's ever happened (and there were three people in line behind me at my ward's machine, again, a first.) Many, many more people waiting to vote at the other machines, as well. Was very gratifying to see such interest being taken in this election.

#77 ::: Laurel ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:24 PM:

I voted early with my aunt, who got a little confused by all of the people and the lines, but the poll workers were wonderfully sweet and helpful! I was also delighted by the sight of a little airplane towing a VOTE OBAMA TODAY sign - that's one old-fashioned get-out-the-vote technique that I'm glad hasn't gone extinct yet.

#78 ::: Charlie Dodgson ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:29 PM:

For the curious, here's a link to the official web site of the Boston Tea Party, with links to their (extremely brief) platform, (slightly longer) program for government over the next few years, and a campaign ad on the front page, a few blog posts down...

#79 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:41 PM:

elise @ 65: Lis, we get stickers here in Minnesota. Round ones, red with white lettering. They say "I Voted."

Ours in SF are similar, but also say it in Spanish and Chinese. A nice touch, I think.

#80 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:05 PM:

The last time Dixville Notch went to a Democrat, I hadn't been born.

I am (legally) old enough to be President.

#81 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:58 PM:

I'm in Oregon, so Election day here is somewhat anticlimactic for most of us. I filled in my ballot from the comfort of my own home a week and a half ago, and dropped it off at the county election headquarters the next day. I did spend some time this weekend knocking on the doors of people who were not some timely, however. As of yesterday late afternoon, the state says that 63% of ballots had been returned - with that number comprised on 70% of the Democratic ballots and only 55% of the Republican ones, or something like that. (And only 50% of Independents).

#82 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:17 PM:

I'm not sure in wich thread to ask this- if, late at night, Obama would have a safe majority in the Electoral College, but in some states that he wouldn't need, the results would be controversial because of fishy things going on- should his campaign try everything legal to win these states, or not?

#83 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:46 PM:

elise #65: In Jawjuh, there are round stickers with an image of a peach, with leaves, saying in black letters, 'I'm a Georgia Voter'.

#84 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:47 PM:

should his campaign try everything legal to win these states,

Yes, because honesty counts. Democracy is important.

And following the strings to who's pulling them could yield some very interesting information.

#85 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:50 PM:

Slack is rewarded. As is, presumably, living in a relatively small town.

Voted at 10:30 AM, and it took me about 15 minutes.

(Normally I take Election day as a vacation day/holiday. This year, not working, so not an issue. )

#86 ::: Karen ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:02 PM:

I voted before work this morning at 8:30. No line, in and out in 5 minutes (although the parking lot was crowded. I think they had enough machines and a good rate of flow.) Lis, I'm in Massachusetts and I got a nice 'I voted' sticker; the people in the next town over didn't, so it must be a town thing.

#87 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:32 PM:

#25: She voted.

#88 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Seth @87, good to hear- details?

#89 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:37 PM:

#42, #71: The companies that were told rewarding voters was a felony switched to letting everybody in on the promotion (except for a few smaller ones that just canceled it). Krispy Kreme changed to a promotion where the victim (have you tasted those things?) just had to say some special words (the name of the promotion, which includes "voting", but I forgot the details) to get a free doughnut.

#90 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:40 PM:

Raphael @88:

Details here.

#91 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:42 PM:

#88 Raphael: On the original pointed-at site, she joined the conversation. In between driving her siblings to school and returning home, she went to the polls.

#92 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:43 PM:


#93 ::: movie fan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:53 PM:

it's awesome that there has been this "problem" of long lines all over... people taking a greater interest in public issues is always a good thing

#94 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:20 PM:

Purple Girl, #49, Virginia has touch-screens but will be changing to the paper/optical scanners.

NBC just called the race for Obama!

Cat, #54, here in Manassas we had the lever machines until we got the touch screens a few years ago.

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