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November 4, 2008

Voting-and-nervous-energy thread
Posted by Patrick at 10:05 AM *

For what it’s worth, our polling place—in the north end of Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, heavily Hispanic but with significant black and Anglo populations as well—was, when we voted at about 8:45, more crowded than I’ve ever seen it.

Also, when I woke up this morning, my Twitter feed had more new messages in it than I’ve ever seen stack up in a single night. Nervously talkative much, O my internets?

Discuss.

Comments on Voting-and-nervous-energy thread:
#1 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:16 AM:

I baked an Obamaberry Pie.

I'm not sure if that counts as nervous energy, but it certainly required a lot of energy of some sort. Vegan pie crust is even more of a pain than regular pie crust.

#2 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:21 AM:

I'm somewhat lucky in that Tuesdays are very busy days for me as a rule-- I teach until noon (though we're in a study hall right now, and obviously I'm looking at the computer...), then I'm off to vote and class, then a staff meeting and then class again. I'm hoping that minimizes my spazzing out. I'm commuting an hour each way to my evening class, and will be listening to NPR the whole way there and back. By the time I'm home, it will be about 10pm and I'm looking forward to some celebratory wine at that point. *hopes*

#3 ::: Andrea A. Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:25 AM:

Out here in Nassau County, we didn't even have to wait in a line; in and out in about five minutes, including time for the sweet old lady to find my name to sign in the register. I'm assuming the lines will kick in when all of the Manhattan commuters get home tonight.

I was surprised and pleased to see that the Right to Life party has dropped off the ballot here, and surprised and disappointed to see that the Working Families party, Conservative party, and Republican party fielded most of the same candidates (except, of course, for Obama.) And a little blue to see that the Green party's only candidate up was Nader. Sigh.

Today, to channel all of the nervous fidgeting, I'm going to: work on my NaNo novel; go grocery shopping, bake pumpkin cookies, set up a weather station with my first grader, shred office papers, and fold a bunch of laundry. It's too bad this is probably going to leave me with hours and hours of time to refresh 538.

#4 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:27 AM:

I can't concentrate! I think I'm over-caffeinated! I need to get some work done! I should have planned better and taken the day off! Instead, I'm sitting at my desk spamming ell-jay and pretending to work.

(Yes, that *is* how it sounds inside of my brain right now. Exclamation points and all.)

#5 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:30 AM:

I was voter #152 at quarter to ten. There was about a ten-minute wait, mostly because the people in front of me read verrrrrrrrryyyyy slooooooowwwwwwly. Seriously. Our district has one of those lever-based machines, and you could hear the "click" as the guy in front of me flipped the levers, about one per minute.

I was glad to see the old-school machines there still. Not because I worry about the security of electronic machines, or anything, but because there's something really satisfying about the *thunk* as you pull the lever that records your vote and re-sets the machine.

#6 ::: Ms. Jen ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:31 AM:

I woke up 2 hours before my regular wake up and am now feeling like a little kid before a big party. America is hosting a party! whhhheeeeeeeeee

#7 ::: mina ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:32 AM:

I am also from Sunset Park and at 10am, said polling place was the most crowded I've ever seen. I was the 96th voter in the 33rd district and there are at least 6-8 districts polled at 43rd Street.

I am happy I have to work until 8:15pm or the suspense would kill me!

#8 ::: Andrea A. Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:33 AM:

Chad @5: I love those machines, too. I'm going to be very sad the day I show up to vote and find they've been swapped out.

#9 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:34 AM:

I am wearing my Hawai'ian shirt, because it's hard to get worked up while wearing a Hawai'ian shirt.

I have several friends who are replacing their newsfeeds with puppycams.

I'm a big fan of early voting. We voted at the grocery store. "Oh, look, the polls are open. You go vote now while I keep shopping, and we'll switch when you're done." I predict that early voting (like everything but 'the people didn't want him') will be blamed for John McCain's loss and that there will be a movement to eliminate it.

#10 ::: Linda Daly ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:35 AM:

I'm in a suburb of Philly. The polls were insane. A double line out the door, across a parking lot, and all the way up the street. My time in line was 90 minutes.

#11 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:35 AM:

I'll go vote this afternoon.

I drove past two other polling places on the way in to work and both were incredibly packed. The Baptist Church in Maricopa had no parking left, and cars parked down the road, and a line out to the curb. (I'd guess a hundred people or more.) This was at 5:30ish in the morning, before the polling place opened.

Maricopa is ground zero for the housing crisis -- TNH had a particle a few weeks ago for a New York Times article about the city. I am wondering who's getting the majority of the votes. :-)

Another church, in Phoenix, was also jammed, with no parking left and cars circling the parking lot and a line hundreds deep out the door.

#12 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:41 AM:

I passed a Somerville MA polling place on my way to school around 8 and there was a line that I'd conservatively estimate at 100+ patiently waiting, books and newspapers, dogs and children in hand.

And this is in one of the bluest of the Blue States, too.

#13 ::: [personal effectivenes blog radio spam deleted] ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:43 AM:

[posted from 76.120.215]

#14 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:45 AM:

EEEEEEEEE!!!

Uh, yeah.

#15 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:47 AM:

I'm going to not read the internet until later. I've got real work to do, finally a freaking idea about my research, and it'll just be better for me not to feed the neurosis.

I woke up feeling good this morning -- calm, relaxed, chill. I already voted. Everyone I know already voted. I can't phonebank from work, so I might as well forget it and do some actual work until later in the day, when we have some actual results.

Someone please email me if something dreadful happens and the world explodes, but otherwise, I think I'm about to pop on my headphones, crank up Radio Paradise (which I highly recommend for all types of work), and get to crunching some data.

See y'all on the thread tonight!

#16 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:47 AM:

There was a traffic jam when I got to the town center where I vote, which had less to do with capacity and more to do with the design of the parking area. It did make me happy I live next door and had walked.

It seemed pretty busy when I voted a half hour ago. My district (of 4 that vote there) was the quietest as in I was the only person there in the 5 minutes it took me to check in and vote (the walk to and from took longer). I'm not the best judge, since I usually vote after work, but I had today off and I had another errand to run. My district must be small as I've rarely had to wait.

Aside for the presidential election, all we're voting for here are some local trustees and justices.

I love the old voting machines too, and I'm glad NY hasn't retired them yet.

#17 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:51 AM:

I'm here in the Fairfax section of Northern Virginia. My Voter Registration Card never arrived in the mail, so there was a minor bit of business when I got to the rolls. It turns out I just had to sign an affirmation of identity, and my vote got put in just like everyone else's. (I was temporarily afraid I'd have to cast one of the dreaded provisional ballots)

We had about a half-hour wait. I think a lot of people voted early here... or are students who will vote in the afternoon. There are also a lot of polling places around here - I know of two within a mile.

We had a choice of machine or paper. I picked paper - good old-fashioned scantron. I'm not sure what the machines were like.

#18 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:53 AM:

(#3 Andrea) Nader was the green candidate in New York? Huh, in Arizona it was Cynthia McKinney, and Nader was there without (I think) any party affiliation.

#19 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:54 AM:

I drove past three polling places today on my way in, and they looked pretty crowded. But one of my staff voted at 7 this morning, and she said it didn't take long at all. We had enormous lines for the three days of early voting here in Norman, and reportedly in Oklahoma City as well; but I also heard that the early voting lines in McClain county, a more conservative area, were quite short. Probably a good sign! If ONLY Oklahoma would go blue enough to get rid of our national embarassment of a senator, Inhofe!

#20 ::: Naomi Libicki ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:58 AM:

Let's see, b4uno at 13's made their first post here. And it seems to be barely-relevant copypasta. And they want us to go visit a URL -- but they give us a tinyURL rather than actually telling us where it leads.

I think I won't be doing that, then.

#21 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:58 AM:

Janni @18: It was McKinney for the Greens in Massachusetts, too. I don't think Nader was listed at all, though I did not pay too much attention to the longish list of third-party options.

#22 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:58 AM:

At 7:30 am I walked the dog past my local polling place -- didn't go inside, since they don't allow dogs. If there was a line, it remained inside. But the parking lot was full and there was a steady stream of cars and people. I'm in San Pablo, CA. The only signs one sees are Obama signs and signs for and against the state propositions and the local races.

#23 ::: Andrea A. Phillips ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:03 AM:

Oh, my mistake, I'm conflating two separate things, here -- Nader on the ballot with the Independent party, and the Greens only running one candidate here. But that one candidate is McKinney for president. Sorry!

#24 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:05 AM:

The polls opened at 6AM here in west suburban Joliet IL; I was voter #100 shortly after 7. There was about a five-minute wait, nothing extreme. Usually there's no wait at all, though.

#25 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:07 AM:

#119 at 7:34 (in line for half an hour) --Long line moving quickly. More African-Americans than I've ever seen at this polling place. Now the wait...

#26 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:08 AM:

At 10:30 here outside of Albany, there was no wait at all, but I forgot to look at my number because the nice women working the polls were all cooing over SteelyKid.

I'm home with SteelyKid today, which is demanding enough that I hope my fretting will be minimized. I foresee a lot of cross-stitching tonight, though.

And yes, between a paper ballot and the lovely *clunk* of the old lever machines, there's no contest in which really _feels_ like I've voted.

#27 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:09 AM:

Whoops. #25 there would be in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

#28 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:11 AM:

Naomi Libicki at #20: It took me to some blog radio site. To which I would have to log on, and then listen to a 30-minute radio program, to find out what is important about this election. As if I don't know already. I guess they want to build an audience for their program, and are using the election as a hook, but what a lame way to do it. And I don't know what they say in the program. I'd have to listen to find out if it's malevolent or just further lameness. Got better things to do today.

#29 ::: Lighthill ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:12 AM:

All is not well in my city of Cambridge, MA. Lots of registrations seem to have been lost, or not made it onto the main list. You can see reports here. My name was on the list posted outside the voting place for the last week or so, but hadn't made it on to the official list inside. Fortunately, this mistake had happened to enough people that the workers had received instructions to double-check names against a backup list if they weren't on the new one. (I'm not sure whether the backup list was a copy of the older list, or a new one.) They found my name on the backup list, I was able to cast a vote normally. People who were not on the backup list (or people who were marked as "inactive") were able to fill out some sort of form (looked like a registration, but I didn't get too nosy), show ID, and vote normally, though I see some reports of people having to do provisional ballots elsewhere.

The pollworker told me that she'd heard a problem at the state level (doesn't seem likely, given that I'm not seeing reports of lost names elsewhere in Massachusetts), and that it involved a lost or misplaced CD (entirely possible, given how ineptly people make and operate critical computer systems).

It doesn't seem much like systematic fraud to me: Massachusetts will go blue with or without Cambridge, and there simply aren't enough Republicans in the Commonwealth's election apparatus (much less in Cambridge) to have pulled this off. But I'm pretty angry at the incompetence of whoever screwed this up: anything short of an investigation and a resignation is unacceptable.

#30 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:12 AM:

Just popping in here for a second to say, good luck tonight, America! And sorry about not using quotation marks in that sentence. I'm a punctuation minimalist.

#31 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:12 AM:

If we are nervously chattering (which I certainly am), then we are not the only ones.

Brian Lehrer on our local NPR station (wnyc.org) was having a call-in this morning. A woman out in Queens, originally from Kenya and not a citizen yet, called in and said she was weeping with frustration at not being able to vote.

She went on to say that she spoke with her father back in Kenya last night and he told her that the government there had declared that if Obama wins today, tomorrow will be declared a Kenyan national holiday.

I'm taking my own personal national holiday tomorrow. With luck, I'll be sleeping off an election night joy-drunk. With no luck, maybe I'll just stay in bed until 2012.

#32 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:14 AM:

Voted in a WI college town at the starting bell. About four times the number of people in line as 2004, mostly students. I spent the whole day at the voting center in 2004 and it looks like a significantly higher turnout every time I've been back today.

#33 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:15 AM:

Polls open at 7:00 here, but I have to drive the boy halfway across town to get to his school before 8:00 - so unless he wakes up and is ready to go early I probably will take him to school and then drive back to my polling place before going to work, which means zig-zagging back and forth across town. Bleah. Trying not to look at any election progress reports before I vote; living in Hawaii I've gotten awfully tired of hearing who's elected before we've finished voting.

#34 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:17 AM:

I turned up a few minutes before 9:00, only had to wait an hour and a half. Glad I can walk to my polling place, though, since the parking lot's pretty small. (It's an assisted living facility.)

This is in contrast to the people I know who did early voting "to avoid the lines" and ended up waiting up to 4-6 hours.

#35 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:18 AM:

Not just student voters, here, but election volunteers, too -- working the outside line to be sure people were at the right polling place, taking ID inside... First time I've even handed my ballot registration to someone wearing braces. For which, hallelujah.

#36 ::: Avedaggio ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:23 AM:

At present, my nerves are focused completely on my thesis defense which happens at 2 pm. After that, though, I'll be with the rest of you.

#37 ::: Andy Brazil ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:29 AM:

Ok. Bit worried now: BBC is reporting
"1605 BBC North America editor Justin Webb says: Out and about this morning in Northern Virginia and DC I met all the expected enthusiasm, though no long lines - no signs of people turning up and going away again. But this fact in itself is causing concern among Democrats: where is the turnout, they murmur? Where is the record-breaking surge (I am talking now about Virginia in particular) which could propel Obama to the White House? The answer may well be that the surge came early. Or will come later. Or…
1559 The BBC's Richard Lister in Sarasota I was surprised to find no line outside the polling station nearest me. An official inside said 40 people had been waiting at 6am but it had been quiet since."

This is from their live feed at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7700298.stm
(and times are UK, in case you wondered)

#38 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:30 AM:

I drove past a pair of voting locations on the way to work; both were rapidly filling up with cars before the voting began and people were already standing in the rain under umbrellas.

My wife passed the same way about 30 minutes later and said the polling stations were being slammed with traffic. Local news is now reporting a lull in voting (as usual), but I suspect that this afternoon the rush will hit big time.

In another discussion group on another site, people are writing in their experiences in voting today. Some are saying turnout was low, most are saying it was moderate to extremely heavy. Very few problems are being reported so far.

#39 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:31 AM:

David & I voted at about 9:45 AM at the Bear Ridge Rd. polling place in Pleasantville, NY. There was almost no line, but tired and hungry poll workers who had arrived for work at 5:30 AM said that was new, that there had been 100 people in line at oppening and that things had only just calmed down.

After that I headed over to Grafflin Elementary School in Chappaqua for a parent teacher conference. Hillary Clinton had just voted, and the TV crews were still there. Just after I snapped photos of the TV crews, the school principal came around the corner to see if they were gone yet, looking a little anxious. A TV reporter was being interviewed about her conversation with Hillary as I walked into the school.

#40 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:31 AM:

Left my house at 6:45 under overcast skies to vote down the block at the train station (in northwest Philadelphia). I would have left earlier, but my 6-year-old daughter wanted to come along. The line 10 minutes before opening was longer than I'd ever seen; I was the 69th adult in line by my quick hand-count, and there were nearly 100 in line by the time the doors opened at 7. I think we lost a few people who had to catch the train; I got inside the polling place a little before 8 and was signed in as voter #60. I let my daughter press the green "VOTE" button after I'd selected my candidates and ballot question answers.

There's a new coffeeshop in the station, and folks from the coffeeshop were bringing out cups of coffee and cocoa, and little bits of pastries, to folks waiting in line. A nice gesture.

It looked initially like only 1 machine (out of 2) might be functioning. A court order earlier this week required PA voting stations to provide emergency paper ballots if at least half the machines in a polling place were down. I ran back to my house (leaving my daughter to hold my place) to get our cell phone and look up the voter hotline. But by the time I got back, they said both machines were in use-- I guess it just took a little longer to get the second machine operational.

The line was a bit shorter (but not by much) when I left. If it's like past years, it'll diminish during mid-day, and then lengthen in the evening. (It hasn't gotten as long at night in past elections; this neighborhood seems to get fired up about voting early.) There might be rain later in the day, though, and the only shelter is right around the train station. Maybe I'll bring extra coats and umbrellas after work for folks that might need encouragement to stay in line.

I plan to go down around 9:30 or so to see what the voting machine tapes say. (The polls are scheduled to close at 8, I'm expecting at least half an hour to get the remaining people in line through, and then it takes a while to tabulate the votes, print the official summaries, and post a copy in the window.) The results won't be indicative of the larger election (Mount Airy's one of the most liberal and politically active sections of the city), but it'll still be nice to see all the Obama votes tallied up there.

#41 ::: Stevey-Boy ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:32 AM:

Michael Weholt @ 31: I share here frustration. As a Central PA resident I really think my vote could make a difference. Citizenship can't come soon enough.

Avedaggio @ 36: Good luck this afternoon. Just remember that you know the material better than anyone else.

#42 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:34 AM:

Oh. Regarding party lines on the NYS ballot, I voted straight Working Families ticket (which is to say straight Democratic, but on the WF line.) I was amused to see that the Socialist Workers Party and the Right to Life Party (each of which had only one candidate and not running for the same office) were sharing the same line on the ballot.

#43 ::: Richard Wymarc ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:35 AM:

Last election I got to the polling Station a few minutes after it opened and waited 40 minutes. This year I got to the polling station 45 minutes before it opened and waited 2 hours. At 5:15 the line was a third of the way around the school. When I left it was longer, and there wasn't a parking space to be had for blocks. Everyone was calm, patient and hopeful.

#44 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:40 AM:

My polling place, in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum (which in itself is pretty neat), was more crowded than I and the poll workers had seen before. I arrived around 7:45 and was done at 9:15. The lady I talked to said there were crowds at 6 when the polls opened.

#45 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:45 AM:

We just drove by our polls (returning from an outpatient appointment for our youngest), discarding our plan to drop off my wife and have her walk back after voting. I have never ever seen lines like this.

#46 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:50 AM:

Right now, my brain's radio implant seems to be stuck on Copland's Appalachian Spring. Earlier today, it was Red Pony. Hopefully, by the end of the day, it'll be Our Town and, like the movie, it'll be an awakening from a very bad dream.

#47 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:53 AM:

About half the students in my class this afternoon are involved as poll monitors (no guesses for which candidate). I've given them the afternoon off. The president of the university, bowing to concerted pressure from students, suspended all classes today, in any case. He said something about encouraging civic engagement.

#48 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:57 AM:

I voted this morning on my way into work in the solitary polling place in my dinky little western MA town. Ten minutes in and out: paper ballots, and I wasn't asked to show ID. There were a fair number of people coming in and out (for a town my size) but everything seemed to be running smoothly.

Now I'm sitting at my desk and I keep wanting to just sort of stand up and wildly wave my hands in the air and shout "Aaaaaaaarrrrgggh!" to try to burn off all this horrible, frenetic energy, but it would probably only spook the minions.

#49 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:58 AM:

I already have trouble keeping up here now- how will it be once the Schneier thread starts? And I'm supposed to keep track of some site that has actual results at the same time? It's all so fast!

Jennifer Barber @34, only had to wait an hour and a half.

Err, that sounds kind of weird to me. Only?

#50 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:01 PM:

Serge #46: Appalachian Spring is an excellent earworm.

#51 ::: ConstanceZEdwards ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:05 PM:

Voted last week -- we're on perpetual mail-in ballots here in Colorado. I was glad to get it over with, but yes, the nervous energy has set in -- last week. I'm supposed to be re-writing the first thirty pages of the MS (which does involve convincing the characters that the changes I'm proposing are an excellent idea -- it's what they'd do if they had the chance to go back and change time) and normally, knocking out 30 pages is a breeze. Two days, at most. Not this week.

So I'm cleaning house-- top to bottom. Dust-bunnies, beware. With the radio on NPR and my head not in the game.

#52 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:06 PM:

There was definitely a line in my section of West Hartford when the polls opened at 6, but I was in and out in half an hour. Drove a mobility-impaired friend to HER polling place (across town) afterwards. yay civic duty.

I voted for a Green for Congress, not that he'll get anywhere against the popular and fairly decent incumbent Democrat, and used the Working Families line for a local office. They had nice black felt tips for the scantron sheets. I miss my lever machines, though. Ka-chunk!

I wonder if there's still a Krispy Kreme in the state. I could use a hot delicious doughnut.

#53 ::: Lawrence Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:08 PM:

I went to vote here in suburban Maryland around 11:00, and despite warnings of high turn-out I was still startled by the line. It only took about forty minutes' wait, but the previous record midday wait in the twenty-two years I've lived and voted here was eight minutes.

My wife won't get to vote until she gets home from work, and she's had waits up to an hour in previous years, so I'm dreading what she'll face.

#54 ::: Cynthia ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:11 PM:

I wasn't expecting a line -- this is a very small town indeed -- but when we went to vote this morning, there were OTHER VOTERS! This has never happened before. Either we timed it better this year, to catch the 'crowd', or turnout is in fact, larger. The ladies who volunteer said that the turnout has been 'pretty decent', which makes me smile.

Now, of course, I'm torn between wanting to know what happens and being fearful the ending isn't the ending I want.

#55 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:14 PM:

Hoboken, NJ: I went to my polling place around 7:30 this morning, and there was a line all the way across the block to the street, and down the block almost to the corner (wrapped AROUND the corner by the time I left). So I went to the end of the line.

But a poll worker was there asking people their addresses, and taking people out of the line. Turns out that line was for the OTHER district that votes in that space; my line was only about 10 people. (They haven't fixed the districts since they (different they) built all those huge fancy apartment complexes in the neighboring district, so they had a huge line and we didn't.)

I noticed that the bottleneck wasn't the voting machines; they were standing empty for minutes at a time. The problem was that there were only two books, each three inches thick, of registered voters. They really need to separate the books a little more. I'm going to try to find out who's in charge of that.

Not that it affected me; I sailed through. Btw, I don't mind telling you I voted Obama, Lautenberg, skip, skip, Yes, Yes.

The skips were because Albio Sires is going to win, but doesn't really deserve my vote. Ever hear of him? Neither had I, before he replaced Robert Menendez as our Congressman, after Menendez replaced Corzine in the Senate, after Corzine became Governor, after McGreevey resigned in disgrace (and now attends the church I sing at, with his lover and daughter, and is a great guy).

It's more disturbing that I haven't heard word one about Sires since that time. Not exactly a notable Congressman.

The other skip was a Dem running unopposed. Since we can count on him voting for himself, why bother? Besides, my political junkie friend (I mean, more junkie than me or probably anyone here) told me "write in Mickey Mouse" for his line.

The two questions were a pretty good (but boring) bond issue, and one that would allow (not require, just allow) the legislature to consider a system of appointing judges that wouldn't give the local congressman veto power over them all! So, yeah, I think that's a good thing.

#56 ::: Lighthill ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Re me@#29:

The Cambridge Politics blog has better coverage of this. It seems that the polls are putting the blame to the state for forgetting to deliver one CD out of 4.

#57 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Serge #46:

Shouldn't it segue into Fanfare for the Common Man?

#58 ::: elfwreck ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:18 PM:

Handed in absentee ballot this morning.

We don't mail them anymore, after the one time one got returned. (Stupid post office picked the wrong side of the envelope to deliver to.) But dropping off an absentee ballot on Vote Day takes less than 5 minutes and gets me the nifty "I Voted" sticker.

#59 ::: Jim Hudson ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:21 PM:

(coming out of lurking because this all matters)

#47 at our polling place, arriving right after they opened at 7 AM. Everybody in our village votes, but they were voting early.

I loved seeing the lines at the two University of Wisconsin polling places I passed on the way to work. All college students, 50-100 people long at 7:30 AM. Sad that there are lines, but great to see the people voting.

Wisconsin is expected to hit 91% of registered voters today. Looks to me like that might happen.

#60 ::: Jenett ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:22 PM:

Just heard the first disturbing voting story locally - from a teacher who is in the same precinct as another work colleague. They were something like 2nd and 4th in line early this morning. My colleague had registered at the polls at the primary (and the teacher who told me this had been there then.)

However, this morning, my collegue was not listed as registered. Fortunately, MN has same-day registration, but when he finished registering (again!), he was told he had to go to the back of the (now 200+ person) line, rather than just go on into getting the ballot.

He argued, and they eventually let him vote without waiting in line - and yes, he's in the process of reporting it to the various appropriate places.

My colleague? Is black.

(In my precinct, everyone I saw doing same day registration was passed straight to the table to get a ballot as soon as they were done - but I was relatively early in line, and I think everyone of color before me was already registered, as there was a nice guy with a registered voter list checking people at the door and sending them down to register if they needed to.)

#61 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:23 PM:

Oh! I just made a small contribution of volunteer effort to the livelongnmarry fundraiser! I did a quick beta on a story written for it. Yay!

#62 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:26 PM:

My assistant at work left earlier this morning to go work at the Democratic office as a volunteer. She had wanted to go earlier but our supervisor balked at her using community service leave until he actually read the rules, then he OK'ed it. She called the election office and they literally begged her to come help; she thinks she will be ferrying voters to their polling place (she's got a Land Rover) and was very excited to get a chance to help in this historic election.

Lines are still fairly quiet around here according to the news. It's been raining off and on, but it may have more to do with the fact that nearly 60% of Raleigh's eligible voters took advantage of our early voter program.

I'm SO looking forward to the election results this evening. If Obama wins, I'll be thinking we're finally starting to go in the right direction...

#63 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:26 PM:

Minneapolis (downtown): the lines were longer than I'd ever seen before (or anybody else I talked to, including people who've lived here a lot longer). There were also more filling-out-stations (we use mark sense ballots) than in previous elections. Almost 2 hours from arriving to leaving.

#64 ::: Calluna V. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:26 PM:

Lighthill #29 - I vote in West Roxbury (MA), and even though I checked weeks in advance to make sure I was registered and ready to go at my current address, I turned up this morning to discover that the lists had me as "inactive."

It was irritating, not than catastrophic. I showed ID and was given a ballot. After I voted, I was asked to fill out an affidavit of continued residence AND a voter registration form, both of which I gave to the Warden. I was anxious and irritable about the situation (I am *not* an inactive voter, thankyouverymuch) but was reassured by the fact that they had me vote first and then do the other paperwork, so there wasn't any question of whether my vote would be counted.

It's not just Cambridge, though. At least it was a paper ballot.

#65 ::: Jennifer Pelland ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:27 PM:

I am so grateful I have a dance class tonight from 7:30 to 8:30. That's an hour that I won't be obsessing over the results. The drive home, however, will definitely involve some serious radio flipping. I need to figure out where NPR lives on the Boston dial.

#66 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:36 PM:

Fragano @ 50... It definitely is. Except that it has now been replaced by a new Copland work, thanks to...

joann @ 57... Argh! Now I have visions of Egyptian gods walking around. (If you remember the masquerade at Denver's worldcon of 1981, you might know what I'm referring to.)

#67 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:37 PM:

In Green-Wood Heights, at 9am, the voting lines for each ED were wrapping around multiple hallways in the school. Despite the length, and the amount of time it was taking, everyone seemed pretty cheerful, which was heartening.

(I didn't know that many people lived in this neighborhood!)

#68 ::: Clan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:38 PM:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

There's some nervous energy for you. I'm chewing my nails off. I desperately need an Obama victory. If the Bradley Effect sinks him, I'm going to have to kill all the white people in this country (finishing with myself).

PS- There was one electronic voting machine at my polling place, and they kept asking for volunteers to use it, but no one would. That should make Mr. Schneier happy.

#69 ::: Lighthill ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:40 PM:

Calluna V #64:

Actually, the "inactive voter" thing in Massachusetts is something different. In Cambridge at least, my understanding is that you get listed as "inactive" if you haven't returned a census form this year, regardless of whether you voted.

#70 ::: Holly P. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:41 PM:

Delurking, because I'm going insane -- I'm from Massachusetts, but am currently living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Absentee ballots (my husband's from PA) are in, I'm using our VOIP to phonebank. Agh.

Higgledy piggledy
Electoral stressors
Inspire imbibing
Before ten o'clock

McCain as the President:
Nightmares that surface cause
Psychosomatic
distributive shock

#71 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:43 PM:

I voted around 10am, in a MD suburb.
I heard an Eastern European accented middle aged fellow mention to a promoter for a republican candidate that "I'm not going to vote for the socialist! I came to this country from a Communist country ... mumble mumble..."

So, yeah, it seems the silly slander "he's a socialist" really did cost Barack two votes in a conservative-leaning, wealthy, middle class suburb.

This was all happening at the margin right outside the "no more canvassing" line, so I couldn't very well explain to him, that no, no, really, there are no 'real' Socialists here, and that the two major parties are both conservative by any European standard.*

Voting itself was uneventful, though I shuddered a bit inside when I saw the Diebold logo.

*one has more crazy dumb people, the other more crazy smart people.

#72 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:46 PM:

Janet @ 19 -- I actually sent Rice a fair whack of money, but I'm afraid he doesn't have much hope. Sigh.

Polls here (Seattle) opened at 7am. I arrived at my polling place at 7:23 and had to stand in line about half an hour. Several precincts vote here and there was a much longer line for one of the other precincts. (Capitol HIll -- it doesn't get more liberal than this.) I left right at about 8am, so 40 minutes in all. It was a fairly long paper ballot. I've never seen that many people there and this is a politically active area.

I think I'll go out and run errands now . Meeting up with the Drinking Liberally Group and some sf fans at 4 pm. We may already know by then... Damn this time thing.

MKK

#73 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:48 PM:

I voted two weeks ago, sitting inside a solidly red state, so there's not much for me to do at this point but sit back and wait. My twitchiness is increasing this morning as I drink caffeine, wake up, and get enough brain function to start worrying properly.

I wish I'd volunteered to help at a polling place.

#74 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:49 PM:

I voted last Thursday, at the Board of Elections office in the county courthouse. Busy and crowded, but the wait time was short.

#75 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:53 PM:

California: I mailed my ballot in last week (permanent absentee; my polling place is 100 miles from my workplace) and called the election clerk yesterday to verify it had been received.

So today I got myself to San Jose's Obama field office at 6:07am to do GOTV calls to Ohio.

Now I'm in my own office. And I have to work. Or try to, anyway.

#76 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:54 PM:

Lines is weird. I got up this morning (late this morning, I admit) and went to my polling spot in Medford, MA. Time spent waiting in line: two minutes.

Then I walked 0.8 miles to Davis Square (Somerville, MA) to catch the subway. Line outside the Davis Square polling spot: out the door, down the block, around the corner and keep going. A two hour wait, or so I heard.

#77 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:58 PM:

Back from voting. (NY's Albany County.)

This is in the 'burbs, so only a minimal wait: there were three people ahead of me. (That's still noticeably heavy for what's usually the morning lull.) New York's old-style "ca-CHUNK" mechanical voting machines.

As of 11:30am, my precincts already report 35-40% turnout. We usually run around 70% turnout, so this year is on track to be even higher.


#78 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 12:59 PM:

When I did vote two weeks ago, incidentally, there was a twenty-minute wait. Voting machines constantly full, long line, and this was early afternoon on a college campus well after the lunch rush had ended.

I expected to feel more useless about the whole thing, given how very red state Texas is, and console myself with the thought that at least my votes for more local positions might be relevant. But instead it felt amazingly satisfying to vote for a candidate that I had a stronger opinion on than "lesser of two evils." Sure, my vote for him is utterly irrelevant in the mathematical scheme of things, but that doesn't mean I couldn't care.

#79 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:01 PM:

Jennifer Pelland (#65): 90.9 FM.

#80 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:07 PM:

I'm in a mail-in only county, and hand-delivered my ballot a couple of weeks ago. I got an "I voted" sticker and gave it to a friend who wasn't sure she'd make it to the vote (in return for a promise that she would vote anyhow).

73 percent of the ballots in my county had already been returned yesterday. The country auditor was expecting a 92% turnout by today.

Meanwhile, the Border Patrol did a panel in our county, with the ACLU and local law enforcement. They told us all about the checkpoints that they're running on our quiet peninsula. They can, apparently, run these checkpoints wherever they want, in a 100 mile stretch of land from every US border. Including the coasts. It's called the "border exception" and pretty much invalidates the 4th Amendment.

Freakiest moment in that panel? When one of the BP panelists explained their objectives, and the fifth one was "improving quality of life" for local people. Uh, hullo? I don't want the quality of my life to be "improved" by people conducting random searches at random checkpoints.

Soundtrack for the day: Peace Train.

Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again

#81 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:12 PM:

Okay, voting's done. In my tiny town in the Berkshires, MA, it was busy but no wait.

#82 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:18 PM:

I've been sick (on and off) since Sunday. I'd hoped to work for Obama today, but, after I voted, there wasn't much for me to do up at the office since I have trouble talking or walking. And, I have to force myself to go to choir tonight since we're performing next Sunday.

So, I've been hanging out at home, watching a movie that's much worse than I remember (Legal Eagles), and even looking a Twitter for the first time in nearly six months!

#83 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:19 PM:

Dena #80:

I hope you made vocal objection to that "quality of life" BS.

#84 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:19 PM:

It's raining in Honolulu, but there's a sense that turnout will be much higher than in most recent elections due to Obama's "favorite son" status. Not to mention yes/no on a steel-rail mass transit system, yes/no on a Constitutional Convention and a mayoral race between two candidates who really don't like each other.

#85 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:24 PM:

Back from voting -- 16 minutes from walking out my front door to walking back in. Yay, small communities, even if they are embedded in the middle of vast homogeneous Silicon Valley suburbia/town mix. I even met my across-the-street neighbor coming to the polls as I left.

There were a couple of people walking around outside the 100-foot limits with "No on 8" signs; I think they were going up to the nearest street corner to wave them. I gave them a cheerful "Thank you!"

There actually weren't any lines at all at my precinct, or even any other voters in the room. I checked in, noting that I was voter number 96, and also that my page of the sign-in book listed a substantial majority of the people as "mail-in voter". There was a single touch-screen voting machine in the room, but it had something along the lines of "voting card not activated" on the screen; they handed me a paper ballot and directed me off to one of the three screens to fill it out. And so I did, and put it in the ballot box, and that was that.

Whee!

#86 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:25 PM:

Andy Brazil @37 - Dunno where the BBC is or what exactly they're expecting. Sure, I've only talked to five people in NoVA who've voted, but the shortest line I heard was half an hour, and the longest just over two. (For comparison, I have never waited in line to vote here. The process is: Enter utterly empty polling place, dodging tumbleweeds as necessary. Show ID to the nice bearded lady and get your card. Hand your card to the woman at the next table who says, "pick any machine, they're all free." Vote. Get sticker. Go for pizza!)

#87 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:28 PM:

Still trying to unclench here.

#88 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Jennifer Pelland @ # 65

Boston NPR is WBUR at 90.9 FM

#89 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:33 PM:

Voted at 9:45 in San Francisco, as usual. It's the first time I can remember having to wait in (a very short) line since moving to my neighborhood in 2002, and the counter was up to 240--usually it's in double digits when I vote.

#90 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:33 PM:

I'm so glad I voted early; I now have a headcold the size of the Ryman Auditorium and would be a dangerous plague vector at the polling place.

#91 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:36 PM:

Serge #66: Try for either Rodeo or El Salón México.

#92 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:37 PM:

My conmiseration, fidelio. Get better!

#93 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:43 PM:

fidelio @ 90, my sympathies! Feel better! (I think I had it last week. I may have been a plague vector at my polling place; luckily it wasn't very full.)

(Yes, I'm back for a little bit while I think of the next thing to do.)

#94 ::: jim ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:46 PM:

No lines at my precinct in Alexandria VA just before noon. Four tables with three poll workers each to check ID and mark up the book (some elections there's just two tables with two workers each). Eleven machines (some elections there's just five or six). Twenty minutes to walk there, vote, and walk back.

But I talked to the sticker-giver-outer as I waited for Ellen to finish voting. He said the morning rush had been brutal. Some people had had a ninety minute wait. He was bracing for the 4PM to closing rush. Polls close in VA at 7PM. If the other precincts are like ours, I wouldn't expect them to have finished dealing with everyone in line and be prepared to report until 8 or so.

#95 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:47 PM:

Joann@83 - I couldn't. There were 350 people in the high school stadium, probably about thirty waiting in line to ask questions in the hour and a bit left for Q&A, and I was nowhere near the front of the line.

It was a very effective meeting - we found out that over eight years, twenty-five border patrol people (with two helicopters, highway checkpoints, and K9 support) have stopped a total of fifteen undocumented aliens and seven people on "other charges, mostly narcotics". Including at least one person carrying medical marijuana, with his WA state prescription.

We need change.

#96 ::: handdrummer ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:48 PM:

Central PA.

Just back from voting. At 11am I was number 526 to vote. In 2006, I was number 178 at 4 pm. 2004, around 425 at that same time. This is shaping up to be a VERY high turnout.

All going smoothly in my precinct except for the common error of dividing the alphabet evenly at j/k and expecting even length lines. From the personal experience of years of convention registration work I can tell you that American names are weighted very heavily to the first quarter of the alphabet. Dividing registration at E or even D will get you equal length lines in most groups. As a result, the a-j line had 50 people in it while I, being R surnamed, was behind 3 when I entered the building and voted quickly.

Another pleasant surprise, my county has completed the change back to paper scan ballots since last fall. No more Dieboltian vote swallowers here.


GO OBAMA!

#97 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:48 PM:

Just heading off to deliver my absentee ballot to the polling place. Then off to math class. Nothing like calculus to drive out thoughts of politics! And then, let's see, I really need to buy a raincoat, and this might be a good day to get the last raised bed ready to plant winter vegetables. That ought to get me to about 4:30, which is when my mom goes home, leaving me to wrangle my almost-three-year-old daughter -- an excellent distraction. By the time she goes to bed it ought to be safe to turn on the TV.

#98 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:51 PM:

I'm calm, here in Seattle. It's the eye of the storm--work before and work after, calm during. I sent in my ballot several days ago; my girlfriend is going to the polls today. Obama, I think, will win. I think other things important to me and my people will not, and there will be much to do after this election.

#99 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:51 PM:

Over on Fark.com there are several voting adventure threads going on. More than a few people have posted about going to vote while sick as a dog from the flu or bad cold, but This Was Important so they did it.

From their comments it appears that voter turnout nationwide is much heavier than the polling officials have seen in a long time. I think that's a good sign for the Democratic Party; at least I hope so...

#100 ::: Yatima ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:51 PM:

*twitch* *twitch*

I'mhereonagreencard, Ican'tevenvote

*twitch* *twitch*

#101 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:51 PM:

I voted early in Arizona, and actually had to wait 10 minutes.

But yesterday on my flight home from Calgary I convinced an "undecided" voter who was leaning McCain to vote for Obama. She has a son in Iraq, and I talked to her about how impulsive McCain is, how he likes to gamble, and how dangerous that could be in a commander who had no one above him.

That got to her.

#102 ::: Annie G. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:52 PM:

Another mostly-lurker de-lurking to share my voting story:

My polling place pulls from two very different neighborhoods in Boston: the South End (gentrifying, largely young straight and gay urban professionals) and Roxbury (largely African-American/Latino, working class/urban poor). I arrived between 10:15-10:30 AM, and the line at the polling place was out the door and around the block. In front of me was a (maybe mid-thirties?) African-American woman with her 10(?) year old son. Behind me was an older (maybe 60s? 70s?) Middle Eastern (Muslim) gentleman, with whom I had a very spirited discussion about Islam and Christianity. Another woman, also African-American, also mid-thirties, had to leave after the first 45 minutes because she had to go to work, but said she would come back with her son later. There were a lot of Obama shirts, buttons, etc. in evidence on line while we were waiting, and the local Dems came around with donuts and fliers. We waited on line for 2.5-3 hours until we were finally able to vote. I have never waited that long to vote in my life, but I’m so excited and honored and humbled that I did.

#103 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:53 PM:

I voted by mail last week.

As I entered my building at a certain large software concern, I found that MSNBC was running on the giant projector in the atrium and blasting at full volume.

I did manage to get the volume turned down, but so much for sticking my fingers in my ears and going la-la-la until the results are in.

#104 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:54 PM:

A friend calls this "the most profound fluff piece he's seen all year". Say something nice about the guy you're not voting for.

I don't believe McCain ever wanted to end up here. The man who said "No, no ma'am. He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements" is one I can respect.

I'm a Canadian resident in MA, and this is the first election I've really been frustrated to not be allowed to vote.

#105 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:56 PM:

fidelio #90: Get better soon! Try chicken soup with some pepper.

#106 ::: ScottEM ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:56 PM:

Delurking to note that I live in Colorado and did the early voting thing a couple of weeks ago. Now all that's left is to sit, wait, and hope Obama wins. And try to distract myself.

#107 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:57 PM:

Apologies for wordiness, this is the nervous energy thread after all...

Went to the local polling place (inside the McRae Park building, south Minneapolis, MN) this morning, arrived about 6:40 or so. The line was already snaked most of the way around the inside of the building, and within 10 minutes the line was forming outside the door. Nice crowd, all pleasant. By about 6:55, the line was probably about 40-50 yards long outside. Poll workers were walking around with "unofficial" (apparently they may be different from the "real list") voter lists so you could check to make sure you were registered. According to that list, my wife isn't, even though she voted the last time around, so I texted her to make sure she brings her ID so she can register if she's not on the "official" list. Once they opened the doors, voting took very little time - about 5 minutes or so. Two-sided paper scantron ballots. Gave the poll worker by the scantron machine a small bag of Halloween candy to share with the other poll workers, after asking if they'd want some. Got my "I Voted" sticker and walked out to my car. (I had gotten lucky with a good parking space!) By ~7:10, the line was probably about 80-100 yards long, and growing! Went to the local independent coffee shop (Yay Sisters' Sludge!) and got a celebratory "Rox's Rhino" mocha-like drink, and they were giving an extra punch on their "frequent buyer" card to those who'd voted. That made three punches, as it's already 2-punch Tuesday. Aside from being jittery with excess caffeine (the mocha was *after* my morning mug of dark-roast...) I'm pretty much avoiding the news/web while at work other than this quick check at lunch. I'm an info junkie, if I got onto a good returns site I'd be hooked all day...

No problems voting, no problems reported that I've heard with my self-imposed minimal news exposure. Not going up front where the poor front desk lady is stuck with being in direct line-of-sight of the waiting room's big-screen tuned to CNN or MSNBC or similar.

Dunno if I'll be able to join Mr. Schneier's thread this evening as I'll be home with the family. I certainly won't be checking it from work, as I'd never be able to log off...

#108 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Hah! You wanna to talk "Cute Overload crossed with the Daily Kos"? Here's Cute Overload crossed with the National Review Online!

#109 ::: Zed Lopez ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:02 PM:

I'm a permanent absentee ballot voter, but I always cast my ballot at my polling place. Lines seemed no different from normal.

Besides the presidential election, I'm chiefly jittery over Prop 8 (which would overturn CA's gay marriages.)

#110 ::: Reileen van Kaile ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:02 PM:

Early voted last Thursday; had to wait about an hour and a half, but otherwise no problems that I could see. Now I'm just waiting for the results to come in and trying not to freak out about this election that has somehow turned me from being apathetic into grudgingly-and-cautiously-politically-aware.

@James D. Macdonald, I am ded of teh cute from that link.

#111 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:03 PM:

Voted this morning in a suburb of DC, on the Maryland side. We got there just after the polls opened at 7, and the line was out the front door, across the front of the building and around to the back. We waited at least an hour to vote, and that's never happened before. We usually have a small line indoors, and lots of polling stations to handle the flow so it has always moved fast. Today it was a huge turnout, which is wonderful. Even though this is a solidly Democratic area in a blue state, people turned out to vote.

#112 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:04 PM:

As I walked to the bus stop this morning, one of my neighbors (I presume) was leaving English/Vietnamese "Obama '08 — Change we can believe in" doorhangers on front doors and gates. "Fingers crossed!" I said. "Yes!" he said, with feeling.

A co-worker looked at my "I voted! / ¡Ya voté! / [Chinese characters I can't read]" sticker and asked how the lines were. "I don't know," I said, "I voted a week and a half ago."

I can't quite see the entrance to the courthouse (where the Registrar of Voters is) from the windows here at work — the view gets obstructed half a block away. I keep telling myself that it's not as though I could learn anything useful even if I could see it...

Not fretting. Not fretting. Not fretting.

But definitely going out for a brisk walk at lunchtime to work off some of this energy. And if my walk takes me past the courthouse... I still won't know anything useful. *sigh*

#113 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:08 PM:

Voted just before noon, at Walker H.S. here in Charlottesville, VA. No lines and few voters visible, but the high schoolers were out in full fund-raising mode, which made me sorry I'd brought Taco Bell in case of lines. (I bought a fresh-cooked donut anyway -- yum!)

#114 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:14 PM:

Voted earlier this morning in California. Somewhat more crowded than usual, I had to stand in line for a few minutes. (My usual polling place is never crowded). Oh, and we're back to paper ballots too.

If some of the California initiatives pass (or don't pass) by a single vote, I'll know I made a difference.

#115 ::: Amy ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:16 PM:

This will hardly surprise anyone, but I am struck by the difference in tone of the election coverage on the following mainstream media outlets:

CNN: Excited voters are standing in line to cast their ballots.

BBC: Excited American voters are standing in line to cast their ballots.

FOX: Voting machines are broken all over the country! Someone from the Black Panthers is threatening Philadelphia voters with a nightstick!

I ran into no problems at my suburban St. Louis (MO) polling place.

#116 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Hawaii update: Traffic was light today, so after dropping my son I zipped back to my polling place, where there were very light lines - moving them in and out quickly. (Hawaii is a "safe Dem" state, and roughly 25% of the electorate did early voting this year.) I was done voting by 8:00 am and then off to work.

Hawaii has switched over to optical-scan ballots from our old standby punch-out type (which went into a little sliding lever mechanical punch and had nary a hanging chad.) I liked the old ballots but I'm OK with the optical-scan ballots, for the same reason, that they can be counted by hand should the results be disputed. There was one touch-screen machine but nobody wanted to use it while I was there.

No "I voted" stickers for me, boo-hoo, but I've got a ballot stub. Maybe I'll hit the Starbucks later this a.m. and see if the free coffee rumors are true.

#117 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:18 PM:

I'm working as a Democratic pollwatcher here in MD. It was brutal this morning. Kind of slow now, which is why I can post. It'll start getting brutal again around four or so with the after work rush...

#118 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:21 PM:

I live in a sleepy suburb of San Diego; I mailed my ballot in a bit more than a week ago, but my SO voted in person this morning on her way to work, and reports no line at all. I did have to wait on hold for about half an hour last night when I called the county elections office to confirm that they'd received my ballot, though.

I'm feeling pretty calm. I'll probably look at the news around 10pm tonight, and again in the morning if it's still up in the air.

#119 ::: Paul Harrison ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:22 PM:

Definitely glad I early voted, though I'm sure it's not that bad. In Austin's Travis County, a full half of the electorate voted early.

#120 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:22 PM:

Here in Raleigh the voting has slacked off, but I think the tsunami of voters is going to hit around 4:00. It rained fairly hard this morning when the polls opened, so people going to work may have delayed voting until they left in the evening. If that's their plan, we'll have hours long lines this afternoon...

#121 ::: Stevey-Boy ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:23 PM:

Colin Roald @104: This may be an excellent post-election exercise. Especially as both candidates have made a point of playing the "reach across the aisle" card. Hopefully it will be the Democrats doing the reaching as a purely symbolic gesture.

#122 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:24 PM:

Reports from other staff members here in Oklahoma -- lines of 45 minutes to 1.5 hours at various polling places. And people planning to go to the nearest Starbucks and see if the rumors are true...

#123 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:25 PM:

@109 Apropos of a conversation with my mom a little while ago, I started a chant of "No on 8!" My daughter, a natural-born contrarian who thinks contradicting her parents is the funniest thing in the world, started chanting "Yes on 8!" Luckily she is too young to vote, and I have 15 years to set her straight (as it were) on this issue.

I am on edge about this one.

#124 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:33 PM:

Jennifer Barber @34, only had to wait an hour and a half.

Err, that sounds kind of weird to me. Only?

Granted, at the primary I was in and out within 10 minutes, but the wait for the general election in 2004 was around an hour at the same time of day, so an extra half hour isn't bad.

Especially given the fact that everyone else I know in the Atlanta area has waited longer. A colleague who voted today in a different part of town had a two hour wait; some of those I know who did early voting waited four or even six hours.

They'd rearranged things at my polling place--handed out the forms and did the ID/voter roll checks earlier in the process, and got rid of the bottleneck they usually have right outside the room with the voting machines. It all went rather smoothly--there was one (older, white) guy who was having problems being allowed to vote, but a poll worker was on the phone trying her best to get it straightened out for him. (Something about the computer saying he was at the wrong polling place, but listing the place he was already at when they tried to look up where he ought to go.)

#125 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:41 PM:

Well, I voted on an electronic machine, but I'm not too worried about it, not in New Jersey. McCain/Palin had their challenger, but no one else did (surprising in Hoboken, where usually there's a challenger for every candidate). I felt almost sorry for him, but he was either a) being paid or b) a genuine McCain supporter or c) both, and in any of those cases I don't feel sorry for him!

In other news (via Scalzi), the 'trick' in 'trick or treat!' is normally just a formality; I think I've just seen the best example of an exception to that rule yet: McCain supporter in Detroit.

#126 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:41 PM:

I voted a little while ago and got an "I voted for change!" sticker outside in the parking lot afterwards.

I felt like I was doing the best possible thing for my country. It felt almost like praying.

I pretty much know all the election judges and workers in my district, and they're all really good. There was no line, they had the alpha split into four books so I imagine when there are lines, it's more efficient.

Now on to: starting laundry, starting dishwasher, then getting more done on the current freelance gig I'm doing.

No 'real' TV (if it's on, it will be History, History International, Science Channel, National Geographic or Food Network.

I'm glad it is going to be over soon.

#127 ::: arjuna ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:42 PM:

voted this morning in the mission/castro area of san francisco. half hour to 45 minutes in line and then a quick scratching of lines on the paper ballots for an optical scan. this is my first time voting in this precinct, so i'm not sure if it was more crowded than usual. one thing, though, was that everyone was smiling and pleasant, and it seemed everyone was giddy and excited about voting. i hope that this feeling spreads and is lasting...

#128 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:42 PM:

Here in Indianapolis I walked into my polling place, showed ID, voted, and walked out. Took me a total of about 4 minutes, including looking on the map to try to remember whether I'm district 4 or 5.

#129 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 02:45 PM:

Speaking of nervous energy, I've been refreshing ML every few minutes to see if the Schneier voting commentary thread has started yet. Must find something more constructive to do in between writing .Net memory-mapping code...

#130 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:04 PM:

In Oregon, it's a mixture of anticlimax and anticipation.

Almost everyone has voted, but they don't open the envelopes until today.

* * *

I have a cold too. I've been chugging grapefruit juice. (No, no meds for it to mess with.)

* * *

I'm making cakes tonight, to bring to work tomorrow. Celebration / Consolation cakes.

#131 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:09 PM:

Larry Brennan @103: Same here, at a different campus* of the same Certain Large Software Concern. Luckily I can't hear it from my office - someone must have already complained about the volume before I got in.

*Must not stalk Fluorospherians with the Certain Internal Chat Program at Certain Large Software Concern.


And on a less niche note, I voted absentee near Seattle, so I have no idea what the polling place actually looks like. Hopefully it's less crazy (and even more populated) than the caucus.

#132 ::: Kathryn returning to Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:09 PM:

I've been distracting myself by being almost entirely offline and in another country. I almost, but only almost, paused in the middle of the Hermitage to check out those midnight results from NH.

Because of when I'm flying, I might not know the results until 12 noon on Nov 5: it's going to be a long flight.

#133 ::: Karin ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:10 PM:

Early-voted last Thursday, no problems. So far, local news reports everything going smoothly.

There's also a story about campaign signs and sign-theft. I'm sort of in love with the person who put up a series of signs that reads, Burma-Shave style: "Stolen Signs / No Drama / Still Voting / Barack Obama".

Meanwhile: I've got a bottle of blue curacao left over from my Halloween party. Anyone got any good recipes using the stuff? I figure blue cocktails are probably in order tonight.

#134 ::: Kelley Wegeng ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:11 PM:

Man, why'd it have to be warm and cloudless here, of all places? Illinois doesn't need this stellar weather! Go, Indian Summer, and bless Missouri and Ohio! Go turn a white state light blue instead of smiling upon this fair safe bet!

#135 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:17 PM:

We were at our polling place in West Seattle three minutes before the door opened. Raining, and definitely a line.
The poll workers said it was the busiest they had ever seen it that early in the morning. Usually, one of them said, they wait an hour before the first voter shows up.
All of the booths were filled (about 12), with lines, and people were scattered all over on windowsills, stairs, and on the stage (our polling place is a church auditorium), filling out ballots.
I have never seen such a busy polling place.

#136 ::: harthad ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:19 PM:

My polling site had just opened when I arrived and the line was out the door and around the corner (in the rain, thank goodness for overhangs). Fortunately, things were well organized and the whole process took about 45 minutes. No one seemed to have any difficulties. Most people I saw had their sample ballot in hand, ready to go. Lots of local college kids working the polls, getting in their community service hours. We had plain old pen and paper ballots, which are a welcome change from the poorly-designed electronic voting machines of the past couple years. Yay democracy!

#137 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:19 PM:

Karin, I ran into a page with large pearl tapioca soaked in colored/flavored liquids for use in cocktails and the like. Here's another version of it.

#138 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:20 PM:

Voted in Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, and the wait to get to the polls was longer than any I've ever had -- 2 hours. Even the 2004 election wait was only about an hour.

And my city council member Letitia James came by with cookies and macaroons!

#139 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:20 PM:

#60 Jenett -- what part of MN are you in? In my Burnsville polling place, the same-day folks were being directed to go directly to where the ballots were being handed out (of course they still had to wait in that line)... I'll ask my mother about how her precinct would handle your friend.. She's an election judge in Maple Grove...

#140 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:22 PM:

Ye gods, does everyone have a cold? It's a pandemic! We're doomed!!!

Ahhh, good to get that out of my system.

As our delightful Moderatrix (Moderateuse? Moderatrice?) mentioned upthread, there's something profoundly uneventful about the absentee voting process. The drama of opening the envelope, the suspense of finding a pen that hasn't run out of ink, the climactic application of the stamp...

The feeling of casting this vote, though...It's been a long time since liberal Hoosiers have had any political power on a national scale - and to those of you who scoff at my use of "liberal", I've a leftover Weisswurst from supper, and I'd be delighted to let you know where you can put it. It feels damn good to be excited to vote.

#141 ::: Lost_erizo ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:24 PM:

Andrew @76
The last time I voted in MA (in 2000) it was also in Medford and it was exactly the same - wander into my polling place, saunter directly up to the table, get my ballot, fill it in, wander over to the machine and feed it in. No waiting. Then get the bus to Harvard Square and pass giant lines around the block in Davis Square. I imagine it's only worse this year.

Me? I voted absentee a month ago and am crossing my fingers that the APO actually delivered it to PA and not to Bolivia. The elections office in DelCo refuses to confirm or deny via e-mail so I live in hope.

#142 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:26 PM:

What chad @ #5 said about the CHUNK of those lever-style machines. I miss them. (We now vote on touchscreen machines with no paper trail.)

I voted last week (one hour wait), but as I've been driving around today I've seen people waving Obama signs, people waving McCain signs, and people waving signs for the challenger in the local (nonpartisan) sherrif's race. Obama:McCain ratio is about 3 to 1. Athens is bluer than most of the state, but I think Georgia may be closer than predicted.

I am FULL of nervous energy. Fortunately I have a lot of movement to burn it on: 3 morning hippotherapy sessions, 2 afternoon hippotherapy sessions, then a riding lesson. Plus chauffering kid to rehearsal (no school today, as many of our polling places are schools), shopping and cooking dinner. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzt!

#143 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:30 PM:

I’ve been so sick that at all the many plans I had for this happy election day have evaporated.

My across-the-hall neighbor was waiting when our polling place opened at 6 AM and it took her an hour and a half. But I did vote, post the before-work crowd, before the lunch time surge. I'd have to have been dead not to have voted in this election. It took about a half hour.

Our polling place is at a vocational high school that is all African American and Hispanic African students, teachers and administration. Usually on election days we white and Asian folks, who are the vastly predominate population in this part of our city, don’t even register on their awareness. Today though, very sharply dressed young male students were seated on the steps of one of the school’s doors that opens to the sidewalk that feeds the voters to the polling area. Very softly one asked, “Obama?” We smiled and thumbs-upped. Huge grins spread across their faces and they high-fived, along with “AhIIIte!”

Our precinct was organized and things moved quickly. However the district had put some other precincts into our place, and those lines didn't move so quickly, and some of them were very long. One of the machines malfunctioned. The usual.

The feeling among everyone -- the poll workers, the students, the voters, was so pleasant. People smiling at each other. Many had brought their small children. The new, youngest voters often came in groups of friends. People were patient, but more than this, they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. This part of the city it's fairly safe to believe that most of us are solidly blue, so it's been a long time since we've had anything to be happy about politically, and since 9/11 -- and we are part of the voting area that are just outside of Ground Zero, and we were deeply affected by that, progressively more so. We protested the invasion of Iraq from the gitgo.

Our part of the city is one of the places to which freedmen and women flowed during and post the Civil War, to work in the textile factories and sweat shops that were here. We’re also only blocks east of the old wharfs (which were very busy in those days), and the warehouses serviced by the railroads. Many New York state's people of color had already been working over there. The oldest continuing operating business/building in the city is there, now called the Ear Inn, but was the James Brown House, that serviced the black labor force employed on the docks and the railroads, and provided rooms too. The building we live in was thrown up originally to provide housing for this influx up from the South. All this felt very close to us today.

Our local, the corner french bistro, is owned by an immigrant Egyptian Copt family. The oldest brother hugged me in front of his place. He voted before coming in from New Jersey. "I get off at 5 today. I'm going home. I'm turning the television. I am having a big bottle of scotch sitting next to me, and I am having a party."

Love, C.

#144 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:35 PM:

Waited about 30 minutes. 2004 I had voted early and volunteered on the day of, so can't compare, but certainly far longer than any other election, where I breeze in and breeze out. In a zip code that's apparently about 50% black, 20% white, 12% Asian, 10% hispanic: demographics around 10:45 were about 70% black by my guess, and I saw a pair of South Asians, which cool I didn't know there were any in my immediate neighborhood.

Chatted with a short black grandmother next to me in line; she was thinking about getting her driver's license and I turned her on to City Car Share, which looks even cheaper and more convenient that I remembered.

Screwed up my ballot by confusing Prop 5 (don't screw the drug offenders) with 6 (devote a strict percentage of money to the cops and prison guards), got another without any fuss. So I got to mark the ballot twice for Obama.

A couple No on 8 people were dancing signs around, the only political people there. I gave them the extra No on 8 stickers that I hadn't fully passed out on Sunday. At least one of the No on 8 signs I put in the median near the offramp was still there; the other I didn't pass by.

#145 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:40 PM:

Best wishes to all the sick people. Especially those who went to the polls while sick.

#146 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:43 PM:

Ohright. Proper reporting with specifics and everything. I was in North Oakland. Mood was pleasant. Some young black ladies were super excited as they popped up the stairs out of the church basement; we could hear them yell "We voted! EEeee!" All grin. When I left, the line was down to only about 5 people, all inside. Sunny gorgeous day today after rainy yesterday. Pleased to hear that not much interest down in San Diego. Worried about Prop 8.

#147 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:45 PM:

Crazy - I just talked to my mom, who voted in Montgomery County, MD at about 11 this morning - and had to wait in line! Granted, there were only about 10 people ahead of her, but even back when she worked and had to vote at "crush" times she's never had to wait before.

#148 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:46 PM:

Yatima (#100) and Colin Roald (#104):

Similarly twitchy Canadian on a green card (in Seattle). I couldn't vote in the Canadian elections (since I've been out of the country for more than five years, and have no plans to go back). Of course, that also means that I've been living here in the US for more than five years, and plan to stay here (and I pay taxes), so it'd be nice to have some say. Sigh.

On the plus side, I can (and did) donate money. No prize for guessing who got my cash.

Planning on heading down to Capitol Hill around four pm to get some happy hour drinks and watch the IN and VA returns come in.

#149 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:48 PM:

I voted in a battleground state for the first time this year. It feels far different from voting in, say, CA. Far more important and frightening -- what if my vote didn't go through properly? What if I forgot something? What if it wasn't enough?

#150 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:50 PM:

ADM @ 149.... What if you did everything the way you were supposed to?

#151 ::: Cathy ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:50 PM:

So here in Western NY we're using the lever machines for the last time. Every party had a line, easy to figure out. We had several precints in our fire station, so while the parking lot was crowded, there was no wait inside. The worst part was trying to get in and out of the parking lot, which wasn't designed for this number of people.

#152 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:56 PM:

I was planning to vote when the polls opened, but woke up sick this morning. By the time I was able to walk my daughter three blocks to the polling place in NE Minneapolis, it was close to 8:00.

There was someone at the door, dividing people into registered and not-registered. We were in the registered line (and my last name starts with T), so we had literally no waiting. From what I could tell, the registration line was also moving briskly along.

I still felt woozy, so I sat at a table and my dear child filled in the ballot, following my instructions. Throughout the process, she told EVERYONE in line with us, working the polls, voting, or just standing around that "We're voting for the brown guy 'cause he was born in Hawai'i!" (Waves at Linkmeister.) Considered trying to silence her, decided I didn't have the energy to try.

There were lots of people wearing Obama buttons, and no comments by the poll workers. Dear child was excited that they gave her blueberry muffins and lemonade. She was thrilled that we both got "I voted" stickers. I was thrilled I remembered to get a picture of her putting the ballot into the scantron machine.

Since I'm home sick today, I just got a robocall from Jeff Blodgett, Obama's campaign manager in MN. He said things are tighter than expected, and gave me the address of a local office where I can go RIGHT NOW and volunteer to knock on doors. I'd go, but I'm home because I'm sick. (Thank you Jim Macdonald for the flu pack!) Now I'm wondering if this is real or not.

I'm dancing hula tonight, and then going to my cousin's house. Her husband took tomorrow off, and has set up various electronic media so we can surf the net and watch the returns. They also set up a spare bedroom for us, just in case we end up staying late. I'm anticipating fun.

#153 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 03:56 PM:

They're trying to get everyone out of downtown early, here in Chi, to prepare for the crazy influx of people into Grant Park for Obama's rally tonight. They've fenced off the whole park so you can only get in at Congress street, and a lot of the commuter trains were skipping the near-Grant-Park stops--so people couldn't get over there early, I guess. They're talking about a million people showing up, but the park won't hold them.

It's an absolutely gorgeous day here--clear sky, 70 degrees, and beautiful fall color.

#154 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:02 PM:

Serge@#150 -- Who knows? It just felt so much more important than it has in a while. Maybe it was the idea that my vote actually counts for something, and I didn't want to mess it up? (because, you know, after 28 years of voting, that's totally likely ...)

#155 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Michael, #9: Early voting works against shenanigans in general. From a current CNN story:

People in Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas reported receiving text messages telling Democrats to vote on Wednesday, the day after the election. An e-mail circulated in Arkansas and robocalls in Missouri also told voters they could cast their ballots on Wednesday. One such hoax used a fake news alert from CNN.

Needless to say, any votes cast early are not going to fall prey to that sort of thing, nor to inaccurate "purges of ineligible voters", nor to flat-out intimidation such as lots of people wearing official-looking uniforms hanging around the polling place on Election Day. That sort of thing has been a big part of the Republicans' ground game for 30 years or more; of course they don't want to see it stop working.

IMO, knowingly distributing (or causing to be distributed*) misinformation about polling times or places should itself be a felony offense -- and one which, as a penalty, permanently costs the offender his or her own right to vote. (This is perhaps the only issue where I strongly believe that such a penalty is warranted.)

Lighthill, #29: I agree. Heads should roll.

Avedaggio, #36: Good luck!

Beth, #101: Good for you! That's how to do it -- find the argument that will reach the person you're talking to.

Janet, #123: Does anyone else hear the "No on 8!" chant in their head TTTO the backbeat from Queen's "We Will Rock You"?

Hey, everybody -- let's not forget to keep an eye on Sean Tevis in KS State District 15. He's the guy who ran the xkcd-style fundraising plea a few months back, and I want to see how well it worked for him.

* I added that bit to cover party hacks hiring hapless semi-literates to do the actual dirty work. IMO the convictions should go right up the hierarchy.

#156 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:06 PM:

So today OF ALL DAYS I wake up with a sinus headache. Stupid dry cold and high pressure . . .

I am slowly getting the kids ready to head out the door so they can burn off some of their own nervous energy in McDonald's Play Place while I whimper at the table and hope the Tylenol kicks in. I have resolved not to listen to or read any news until this evening because we aren't going to vote until 99 percent of the polls have closed nationwide.

Also, we can get free flu vaccinations at our polling place today. Is this just an Alaska thing or--?

#157 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:08 PM:

In Glendale, Arizona, just before 9:00 AM, no wait at my polling place, a nearby church. The workers said they'd been busy earlier, but traffic dropped off once people had to go to work. They'll probably be busy again later in the afternoon.

- - - - -

Running errands afterward, I saw several people on a street corner, waving signs. The writing on the signs said "I'M VOTING FOR SARAH".

I wonder what John McCain would think of that, to know that in his own campaign, in his own state, people consider him irrelevant to the Presidential election.

- - - - -

Someone uptopic mentioned that Starbucks would be handing out free coffee today. On the car radio, while running the aforementioned errands, I also heard that Ben & Jerry's ice cream shops would be giving out free ice cream. There happened to be a B&J's next door to one of my stops, but the lady manning the shop said the free ice cream wouldn't be until between 5 and 8 later today.

#158 ::: Jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:08 PM:

San Mateo County, CA:

I voted at 7:30 AM and was out by 7:40; most of that was coping with the voting machine. We have quite cool machines that are dial-operated with detents, so they're friendly to the vision-impaired and don't have parallax errors. (Your vote shows up as a red box on-screen.) They also give you three chances to verify your vote -- two onscreen and one on the paper record. I couldn't be happier.

There was a bit of a crowd at my polling place, by which I mean the tiny parking lot was full and there was a line of 5 people to vote at one precinct. I noticed that on my page of the signature-verification book, over half the voters had already voted by mail.

#159 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:10 PM:

Lee #155 - Maddow did a fantastic rant about that kind of election shenanigans here. The video is also entertaining.

(An extremely minor victory for me this election cycle is seeing a brainy butch dyke rise to prominence on primetime tv. It pales in comparison to what people of color must be feeling, but I still celebrate it.)

#160 ::: Tom Scudder ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:12 PM:

Voted at 6 AMish this morning. Now I'm having a hard time concentrating on work, waiting to head downtown to go to the Grant Park shindig. Need to plaster my jacket up with Obama stickers first, tho.

#161 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:21 PM:

Since getting home from voting, I've gotten a robocall from the "No on 8" campaign with a sound bite from Bill Clinton explicitly opposing it, and a robocall from the "Yes on 8" campaign with an out-of-context sound bite from Obama talking about the definition of marriage.

Can they please stop already? Please?

#162 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:22 PM:

My wife went about an hour ago, and they were merely extremely busy, as opposed to swamped like they were in the morning. They reckoned that by the time she showed up, half the precinct had voted. Turnout is off the scale. I couldn't wait around, so I'm going to have to deal with the evening rush.

This is Maryland's last election on electronic machines; we're going back to punch cards. This will be my fifth election this year; we had three special elections on top of the regular primary and general elections.

#163 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:24 PM:

re 46: For some reason, I've heard Fanfare for the Common Man twice in the last week.

#164 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:25 PM:

Voted a week ago, paper ballot, walk in, no waiting.

The killingz waiting now, oh, I haz it.

#165 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:27 PM:

164 (Albuquerque.)

#166 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:28 PM:

I have a powerful urge to make something, but no attention span to speak of, and no creativity left right now.

Just exhaustion and fear. I want this to be over and done with.

Maybe I'll get the drop spindle out. That doesn't require much creativity.

#167 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Brooks Moses @161, Can they please stop already? Please?

Theoretically, they should stop soon, but now that you mention it, I wonder wether any accidental robocalls will continue for a while after the polls have closed.

#168 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:33 PM:

I voted about 1 o'clock here. There was a very short line of one or two people ahead of us (my boyfriend and I).

My precinct is very rural. I asked how many people had voted ahead of me and they said over two hundred. We have 1100 voters here and they're split almost evenly three ways between Democrat, Republican, and "other."

Last election Bush won here by a large margin. No surprise, there.

Am somewhat surprised that the turnout was that low here by noon. I'll be curious to see how many people, total, vote, by the end of the day.

#169 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:34 PM:

I have been skipping around the internets, reading the stories of people voting, some of them for the first time. I am particularly moved by the stories of parents who are bringing their kids with them, showing them how the process works and letting them know that political participation is an important, necessary, wonderful thing.

I learned politics from my parents. My earliest political memory is of my mother dancing me around the park by the library in March 1953 to celebrate the death of Stalin. I was 6. I remember the 1956 campaign, Eisenhower defeating Stevenson, and how disappointed my parents were. I knew early that I was a Democrat, that unions were good, that Franklin Roosevelt was a great man. My father took me to hear John Kennedy speak. My mother and father gave me a solid liberal foundation; they taught me that the core values of a functional society are justice and compassion. I am so jazzed for these kids, who are discovering political consciousness at such a memorable time.

#170 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:39 PM:

Make do,
Make hay,
Make work,
Make believe,
Make a break for it,
Make pretend,
Make amends,
Make for the hills!
Make the moment,
Make an expression,
Make a face,
Make what you will.

#171 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:42 PM:

From TPM: Accompanied by family members and Joe Lieberman, McCain made an election-day appearance today in CO to give his final stump speech of the campaign.

When this is all over, we gotta do something about Joe Lieberman.

Any suggestions?

#172 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:50 PM:

Lizzy L @171

I really shouldn't be thinking the kind of things your question made me think.

I think I'll go wash a lot of dishes now. Maybe that will be somewhat soothing. Then I'll chop a lot of vegetables. And buy a much-awaited planner for the new year. Walking downtown from here. I need to stomp!

#173 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:51 PM:

Lizzty Lwe gotta do something about Joe Lieberman

I can think of a few rude and crude things to do to him or with him, but I'd be quite happy with a large enough Democratic Majority in the Senate for his colleagues to politely tell him to go bleep himself.

#174 ::: affreca ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:53 PM:

I voted early (Lawrence, KS). I'm tempted to walk past my polling place to see what the lines are like. Reports around town are good turn out, but not long lines. Good news is that more younger people are voting (college town).

Sad I didn't get an "I voted sticker" when I did early voting. I still have my sticker from the primaries (August, post presidential), and I might just put it back on.

#175 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:57 PM:

I just got word from my sister (a harried, self-employed mother of two) that she was able to vote. We were both afraid that if the lines were longer than an hour, she simply wouldn't be able to devote that much of her day to voting. Luckily the line was only forty-five minutes.

(She didn't say exactly when she went but it was definitely after eight-thirty AM. This was Clayton County in Georgia.)

#176 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:02 PM:

Oh, John and Joe, yes they were there,
Stumpin' with each other.
Then they got too close to call,
Now Joe, he plays the mother!

An' it's who'll slash ye next time
Who'll slash ye noo?
The lass who slashed ye last, lad,
She no will slash ye noo.

#177 ::: Dorothy Winsor ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:04 PM:

I voted early here in Iowa, but I drove past my polling place today and the line was long. The weather is gorgeous.

I caucused for Obama way back in January and I hope that now I'll see him elected, but I'm afraid to hope too much.

#178 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:04 PM:

I voted Friday-before-last so I haven't been by a polling place today, though my commute home will take me past my polling place. I'm thinking of taking a different route on the expectation of traffic issues - my polling place has poor parking available and is between a busy corner and a railroad crossing, but my curiosity may drive me to go by anyway.

#179 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:08 PM:

Lizzy @171: we gotta do something about Joe Lieberman. Any suggestions?

All I'd really like to see is for him to lose his committee chairmanship. In turn, of course, he'd no longer caucus with the Democrats (who won't need independents for a majority.*)

* knock wood

#180 ::: jim ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:09 PM:

ADM@149:

This is the first time I've voted in a battleground state, and I've lived here for near on 30 years.

Virginia hasn't voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. This year (touch all kinds of materials) Virginia will vote for a Black Democrat for President. You want symbolism? We don't have to go back to the Civil War.

#181 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:10 PM:

My heart is beginning to sing.

Rain was predicted, but the day dawned clear, the air is crisp, the sun is brilliant. There are polling places tucked into real estate offices. The people electioneering outside the hundred-foot limit are polite and cheerful. I have seen no lines. A hummingbird was hovering near the neighbors' roses (which is odd, because usually they prefer the abundant fuchsia).

I have peeked in at the usual haunts on the Net, and the breath-holding, either from hope or low expectations, is both taut as wire and almost shouting with long-suppressed joy.

My heart is beginning to sing, and its song is by Lennon/McCartney.

#182 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:13 PM:

Ward 3, Augusta, Maine. Polls opened at 7am, Significant Squirrel and I were in line at 7:05 and according to the counting machine were the 47th and 49th voters at that location. Line was about 20 minutes when we got there but moved quickly; we didn't drive past there after work but I imagine it's a zoo.


I refuse to get worked up about this because it didn't work the last two times. I figure by Friday we'll have a pretty good idea of whether we have a functional government or a colossal f*ckup, and that's soon enough for me. (If we don't have a decision by Friday, that's colossal territory as far as I'm concerned. Don't need a repeat of 2000...)

#183 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:16 PM:

Voting report:

I got to my polling place (an elementary school) @ 10:40am. The parking lot was full, but I only had to circle once to find a spot. The voter rolls appear to have ~3,000 people in my precinct (a rough guess based on 4-column printouts with ~35 names per column and 20+ pages). I got inside and had no wait at all to get my ballot or to find an empty privacy booth.

There was only one scanning machine for the entire room, so there was a line of voters waiting to get their completed ballots scanned. I probably waited about 12-15 minutes to get that done, but it was no hardship. Two or three of us chatted away while waiting, and then I was done.

Photos here.

#184 ::: Cat Meadors ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:19 PM:

Well, that was anticlimactic. There were voters there, but I didn't have to wait in line. (Partly because the two women in front of me and the guy behind me were all first-time-in-the-precinct voters and needed voting machine demos, which, ok, is kinda interesting. Anyway, I got to walk around them, so yay!)

On the way in, an Obama supporter ran up and met me at the car with an umbrella and walked me up to the "NO ELECTIONEERING PAST THIS POINT" mark, which was nice. I should have asked her where to get the umbrellas - they were a very pretty blue with "Obama 08" on them, and I need a new one. Anyway. She asked if I wanted a sample Dem ballot, and I said no, and then felt sorta bad, because it's not that I wasn't supporting her guy, it's just that we're only voting for president, governor, and representative, and it's just not nearly complicated enough to need to take a guide in with me. I did not see any R campaigners, which is unusual.

Inside, our book was split into four (usually it's two) and my name didn't fall into any of the sections that had people waiting. Instead of the six senior citizens who've been running the place since I've been voting here, there were lots of young people! Who I'd never seen!

It took less time than usual to find my name (nobody believes me when I spell it, so it generally takes a couple of rounds), I was voter #479, and there were three (3!) machines already taken when I went to pick mine. Was very disappointed that it just displayed as "DEMOCRAT" for president - I found that I actually wanted to see the names on the confirmation page. Not that I don't know who was on the ticket, but, y'know, just psychologically. Seemed odd to me that the D choice was first on all three options - I thought they generally alphabetized them. (And it wasn't alpha by party, because with the G, I, IG, and L parties also on the ballot, R should have been last had that been the case.) Got a sticker (we had a choice of designs this year!) and headed out. Total time - maybe four minutes?

And now it's time for pizza, yay!

#185 ::: Zeynep ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:19 PM:

D. Potter @#181: "Good Day, Sunshine?" "It's Getting Better All the Time?" "Let It Be?"

(My choice would be "Here Comes The Sun," where the lyrics fit oh so very well, but that's by Harrison.)

#186 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:21 PM:

D. Potter @181:

It wouldn't be:

Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun, and I say, It's all right...

Would it?

#187 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:27 PM:

Zeynep @185: SNAP!

#188 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:35 PM:

More reasons to want Lieberman stripped of his chairmanships (one of which is Homeland Security, and as I recall reading somewhere has not held a single oversight meeting since he got the chairman's job).

#189 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:48 PM:

Linkmeister @ 188 - If the Dems get 58 seats in the Senate, and of course Sanders will caucus with the Dems, Lieberman could be #60 and hold the Senate hostage on cloture votes. (Yes - that's one of my nightmares - leaving Holy Joe in a place where he still has influence.)

#190 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:48 PM:

D.Potter @ 181... I'll go for Rodgers & Hammerstein myself.

Oh, what a beautiful morning
Oh, what a beautiful day

#191 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:49 PM:

Well, I have the nervous energy, but I can't vote ... thankfully, my students are as invested in this election as I am, so hopefully they'll be twitchy and distracted too.

We have got good mileage analysing the rhetorical styles of all the major players, though.

#192 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:50 PM:

Lost my last sentence somehow...

But, with a statement like that, it's pretty clear that Leiberman will be caucusing with the GOP real soon.

#193 ::: Valuethinker ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 05:52 PM:

There is great excitement in Kenya tonight, one reads.

A son of Kenya, of Africa, whose father was born within a few hundred miles of Olduvai Gorge, where Lucy, the first human walked. 3 million years later, a son of Africa is again walking with footprints that will change the world.

In this time of darkness, a son of Africa is going to be President of the world’s most powerful country. One almost dares not say it, for fear that some curse will take it away. This is like the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

It has been a long wait, but tomorrow may be a truly great day. There is much peril and many disappointments to come, but this cannot be taken away from us.


Ndio tunaweza.

In Swahili 'Yes, we can'.

Ndio tunaweza, America.

Ndio tunaweza.

Prayin' for ya'.

#194 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:03 PM:

Chris said it took an hour and a half to vote this morning, so I provisioned myself with a book, my iPod, my Nintendo DS, and a bottle of water, only to discover almost no line at 2 PM. (But then, I chose that time deliberately, figuring that there'd be big lines before 9 and after 5, and maybe a smaller lunch-time peak that would be over by 2.)

There was a bit of a wait, as there had been a mixup with the cards used to keep track of who'd voted, the same numbers being used for more than one card. So I had to wait about five or ten minutes, but that was it.

I noticed that there was a pad of forms to be used for challenging voters, and it was still in its shrink-wrap, unopened.

#195 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:38 PM:

Voted in an east-side suburb of Los Angeles at about 11:00 AM. There were four pollworkers behind the table, no one in line at all, and perhaps five or six people voting (out of seven or eight available "booths").

It took perhaps six minutes, total, with two of that used up by the pollworker who couldn't find my name on an alphabetic list, and another minute for me to verify that I had properly "inkavoted" for Obama/Biden and against Props 4 and 8.

I was near tears by the time I got back to my car, which is NOT a reaction I expected to have. But there's so much on the line...

#196 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:52 PM:

I voted two weeks ago here in Austin TX, but I since I was going out anyway for coffee in support of NaNoRevMo, I swung by my usual precinct, just to catch the vibe. Cars lining both sides of the road for several blocks around, at 3:00 pm. I don't recall seeing any cars except right by the school at that time on any other day; the only time like it was this spring's primary caucuses. I'd say major turnout, and in a county that already had literally half of its registered voters going early. The precinct itself has been steadily going bluer over the four years I've been in it, and the current signage is running about 3-1 Obama.

I had an "I voted" sticker, but did something with it very shortly after I got it, after it kept trying to fall off. Starbucks and all were seriously expecting people to hang on to them for up to two weeks?

#198 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:55 PM:

I voted two weeks ago, absentee. I spent the day flying from Vienna to DC, and aside from a brief moment of anxiety around 3 p.m. is was an unstressful way to spend the day.

I sat next to a missionary holding a book titled One Book Stands Alone: The Key to Believing the Bible. I'm surprised the author didn't die of a lethal irony deficiency.

As I was getting off the Metro, two teenage black girls asked me if I'd voted, then who I'd voted for. When I said "Obama", they broke into huge grins and insisted on high-fiving me.

#199 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 06:57 PM:

Just got back from the polls. I was the last person in a line that formed when the polls opened; the person after me was the first who didn't have to wait. Unofficial turnout numbers as of 3 PM were

49% of reg. Democrats
39% of Reps.
34% Other

Total turnout was 43%. They think they're over 60% now.

#200 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:00 PM:

I went to vote as soon as the polls opened at 7:00. The line was longer than I'm used to, but still not terribly long--it took about 20-25 minutes, total.

I've been too nervous to concentrate on anything for long. I did manage to finish a comic strip based on my experience in 2004. I'm hoping tonight will be less hard on my nerves.

#201 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:30 PM:

Midnight GMT, 11am Sydney (Australian Eastern Summer Time) has passed. As the BBC Live Feed "polls are closing in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, Indiana and Virginia", and I'm working hard on trying to do my work here, not to flip too much to the pollwatch windows I have open.

Trying to husband hope.

I foresee – from hindsight – a long & painful campaign to hinder anything good: caltrops, ankle-tangling boleros, tarbabies, smoke, mirrors, skeletons springing from dragon's teeth, you name it. The next four years will be like progress into a blizzard headwind. It'll take firm persistence, eyes on the prize; not a noted characteristic of popular Western culture. That's one of the 'changes' the world needs for any kind of decent future.

Don't stop from celebrating any victory, tho. Last November 24 is still a sweet, sweet memory.

But for now; hope.

#202 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:38 PM:

Don't stop from celebrating any victory, tho. Last November 24 is still a sweet, sweet memory.

But for now; hope.

Hear, hear! Better Government - we did it, you can too! (although I swear, if Rudd doesn't get himself a decent speech-writer soon, I'll clock him!)

#203 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 07:42 PM:

Past Midnight GMT, 11am-odd in Sydney (Australian Eastern Summer Time). As the BBC Live Feed says "polls are closing in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, Indiana and Virginia", & I'm trying hard to do my work here & not flip too much to the pollwatch windows I have open.

Trying to husband hope.

I foresee – from hindsight – a long & painful campaign to hinder anything good: caltrops, ankle-tangling boleros, tarbabies, smoke, mirrors, skeletons springing from dragon's teeth, you name it. The next four years will be like progress into a blizzard headwind. It'll take firm persistence, eyes on the prize; not a noted characteristic of popular Western culture. That's one of the 'changes' the world needs for any kind of decent future.

Don't stop from celebrating any victory, tho. The election last November 24 is still a sweet, sweet memory.

But for now; hope.

#204 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:31 PM:

From the BBC live site:
0117 More bad news for the GOP: Republican Sen Elizabeth Dole - the wife of 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole - has been unseated in North Carolina.

This lady was 'smearing' her opponent, Kay Hagan, for accepting funds from & talking to an atheist group (gasp). A TV ad purported to quote Ms Hagan saying something like "there is no god". Unfortunately Ms Hagan responded by emphasising her Christian works & credentials without defending the rights of people of other faiths, or none.

#205 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:32 PM:

From the BBC live site:
0117 More bad news for the GOP: Republican Sen Elizabeth Dole - the wife of 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole - has been unseated in North Carolina.

This lady was 'smearing' her opponent, Kay Hagan, for accepting funds from & talking to an atheist group (gasp). A TV ad purported to quote Ms Hagan saying something like "there is no god". Unfortunately Ms Hagan responded by emphasising her Christian works & credentials without defending the rights of people of other faiths, or none.

#206 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:46 PM:

Bugger. Sorry about the double post. Just a bit distracted. Also I think our IntarTubez are bit clogged today.

#207 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:03 PM:

My polling place had a half-hour wait when I got there, about 4:30pm. The line was every bit as long when I left, shortly after 5. (Why, yes, I did leave work early, along with several other people who normally are on the later train with me.)

#208 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 11:33 PM:

I voted Saturday, but while taking a DVD to the post office, I drove past the two closest precincts (we have five) and there weren't any lines. If I go by MSNBC's map, Manassas went Democratic for the first time in its history, but I can't find any backup.

#209 ::: Gennis ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2008, 02:06 AM:

I took my five year old with me to vote this morning. He helped fill in the ovals. We were the only ones voting at the time.

A woman came in to talk to the poll workers while we were negotiating whose turn it was to fill in the next spot on the ballot. She was asking if there was anything that could be done to help her disabled husband vote; they'd not gotten an absentee ballot for him for some reason and he couldn't come to the polls. The person she was talking to said that they could get a precinct worker to go to his house. The wife just needed to wait while they got on the phone with someone who could coordinate that. I don't know if there was a happy ending because I had to leave, but I'd had no idea that such a thing was even possible.

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