Today is election day in America. Here’s how it is being reported by some of the newspapers from across the United States.
The NY Times reports After epic campaign, voters go to the polls. “Voters began lining up before dawn at polling locations up and down the East Coast, in what election officials said was an unusually high level of turnout.”
“Mr. Obama cast his ballot at the Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School in Chicago with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia, at 7:36 a.m. local time. ‘I voted,’ he announced to a few dozen people standing in the gym who snapped photos of him with their cell phone cameras.” NY Times
The Washington Post reports Americans cast ballots across the country. “Isolated problems were reported in several states, mostly minor malfunctions that were not expected to disrupt the process… More than 29 million Americans locked in their choices during early and absentee voting, relieving some of the pressure on election officials. Still, roughly 100 million voters are predicted to show up at the polls today, in many cases facing voting machines they have never used before.”
The LA Times reports a Historic vote underway across America. “By 8 a.m., monitors from Election Protection Coalition, a private group of Democratic watchdogs, were reporting long lines and malfunctioning voting machines in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio and lost ballots at precincts in Florida’s capital, Tallahassee… But at most polling places there was an upbeat mood as voters happily endured long lines, many with lattes in their hands, reading newspapers and smiling.”
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Heavy early voting points to likely record turnout. “Voters in Greater Cincinnati who are planning to cast ballots after they get off work this afternoon should expect long lines at the polls. Elections officials say voters were standing in line as polling stations opened in the region at 6:30 a.m. Sometimes the polls never opened… Some polls that were open were overwhelmed… Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said that there are no major problems in the state.”
The News & Observer in Raleigh reports that Voters brave drizzle and small glitches. “A dreary rain today met voters heading to the polls… Wake elections officials were taking paper towels to voting places to keep voting booths dry after a soggy ballot jammed an optical scanner at a downtown Raleigh precinct. Water had dripped onto the ballot from an umbrella that a voter had placed on the voting booth, Wake Elections Director Cherie Poucher said. After that incident, precinct officials kept other voters’ completed ballots in a bin until a replacement machine arrived, Poucher said.”
In Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Problems at the polls: Voting issues caused by weather, human error. “Nancy Rodrigues, secretary of the board of elections, this afternoon called the turnout ‘phenomenal’ and noted that some polls opened with 500 people in line… She said officials have received many reports of issues at the polls, but ‘the reality is we have not seen a pattern of widespread problems.’ There have been some allegations of voter suppression in Richmond, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake — that people outside the polls are “pouncing” on voters headed inside to ask about how they’re voting.”
The Indianapolis Star reports Indiana voters head to the polls. “The removal of two Republican election workers from a Warren Township polling site – for using improper methods to challenge voters’ rights to cast a ballot – has prompted local Republican Party leaders to issue a statement of regret.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Voting lines shorter than many expected. “The long lines for advance voting in Georgia last week generally gave way to an orderly procession through metro Atlanta polling stations Tuesday. Elections officials said waits averaged less than one hour in most precincts. But voting rights groups received hundreds of calls reporting scattered problems across the state, and officials warned of possible long lines later in the afternoon.”
The Miami Herald reports the Polls are busy across Florida, and a few glitches have been reported. “Voters waited between one and three hours in most spots, but the lines are shorter Tuesday than they were during the two-week early-voting period… About one of every four registered voters in Miami-Dade, Broward and statewide cast their ballots early, and many others voted absentee. That is helping to keep Election Day waits at a minimum despite an expected 80 percent turnout.”
The Oregonian reports Democrats outpace Republicans in Oregon voting. “By Monday afternoon, 1,365,831 ballots had been returned, amounting to 63 percent of Oregon’s 2,166,019 registered voters. For Republicans, the most worrisome sign was a lag in turnout compared with Democrats. About 70 percent of Oregon Democrats voted compared with 64 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of nonaffiliated voters. Democrats outnumber Republicans statewide by nearly 240,000 voters.”
The Missoulian reports Election emotional for some. “Rod Murphy got a tear in his eye when he voted Tuesday morning. Like others casting their ballots on a soggy gray morning, Murphy felt like he was doing something historic as he cast his ballot for Barack Obama. ‘I’m pleased that we’ve finally gotten to the voting, and I’m excited about the prospects,’ said Murphy… Lines also developed very quickly at the Missoula County Courthouse, where people were both voting and registering to vote. A handful of people waiting to register said they finally realized that this was an election where their vote really mattered.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Problems, glitches surface at area polls. “Reports of technical problems have, so far, outnumbered those of electioneering. But those are starting to come in, too.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Heavy Election Day turnout continues. “Western Pennsylvania voters flocked to the polls in what could turn out to be record numbers today, with long lines reported well before the 7 a.m. voting start and the steady turnout continuing through mid-day… Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin arrived back in Pittsburgh at 3:30 after last night’s Monday Night Football victory over Washington, went to the office, and about three hours later joined the queue.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Philly turnout: “It’s big. Real big.” “The turnout stunned election officials in many areas. ‘This is big. Real big,’ said election judge Lowell Webb… Webb said he had worked 35 years as an election official and had never seen a turnout of this magnitude… Precincts across the city told much the same story.”
The Detroit Free Press reports Voters report polling problems. “Voting difficulties, from malfunctioning ballot scanners to inept poll workers, are being reported at polling places in numerous Michigan municipalities… The problems at some polling places are resulting in long lines, some lasting two hours, causing some voters to leave without casting a ballot.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Great weather, few glitches for morning voters. “Glitches and frustrations – malfunctioning ballot counters and a speed play by day-of voter registrants – were reported in several locations. Early reports suggest tempers did not rise as quickly as the temperature, which approached an election-day record shortly after noon… An older gentleman voting 11:40 a.m. at Wilson Elementary School in Wauwatosa bragged that he had been married for 56 years, then asked if he could cast a ballot for his wife, who was unable to travel to the poll. The diplomatic response: ‘This is not Chicago, sir.'”
“I think I voted.” That slogan certainly inspires confidence that every vote cast will be counted, doesn’t it?
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Mayor Daley basks in Election Day glow. “Fully expecting an Obama landslide, Daley turned his attention to what it would mean for Chicago. ‘This is the first time since John F. Kennedy that a president has come from an urban community. You don’t have to sit there and educate him about … urban problems. He has the knowledge already. What a difference,’ Daley said.”
The Pioneer Press in St. Paul reports Minnesotans casting their votes amid power outages, lines. “Despite a power outage in St. Paul, voters are casting their ballots in what could be a record turnout. By midday, lines at some polling places had dwindled compared with the crush of voters when polls opened at 7 a.m. As of early afternoon, no widespread problems had been reported. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie… hopes Minnesota will challenge the state record of nearly 83 percent turnout in 1956.”
The Denver Post reports Some snags, but voters persist. “Problems with touch-screen voting machines slowed voting in some Denver precincts early this morning, but paper ballots and a little persistence kept the lines moving and election day attitudes light… Gil Wall began voting in 1960, and never misses an election. ‘I’ve been accused of voting for Obama because he’s African-American,’ Wall said, amused. ‘Well, I’ve been voting for white folks since 1960. I like his ideas. Even if he only pulls half of them off, he’s way ahead.'”
Four at Four continues with the Bushes battle against Cheney to protect two vast areas of the Pacific Ocean, bombing in Baghdad, the bailout, diesel that grows on trees, and a bonus look back over the election campaign.