Election 2008

Vote

I'm thrilled to have just returned from my polling place in NYC, where a win for Obama is virtually assured. The turnout there looked big, the line down the block. We vote the antique way, with a giant metal lever, and I have to say I've never been more satisfied to ring in a vote in my life.

WhAs I mentioned yesterday, we'll be live-blogging today from 2 pm EST on. Please send us tips, photos, links to video, and any interesting photos you take yourselves while out voting today. We’re also piping in the status updates and posts from all the friends of Towleroad Blog on Facebook. (If you’re not our friend yet, today’s a great day to add us. Search for "Towleroad Blog" on Facebook) or find it HERE: Also if you’re on Twitter or Friend Feed, we’ll be picking up comments if you include @tlrd or #tlrd in your message/tweet.

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Comments

  1. I was in line before the polls opened in Michigan this morning. By the time I left there were several hundred people in line. I've been voting since the mid 80's and have never seen such a thing. It moved me to tears.

    Posted by: ML | Nov 4, 2008 9:54:08 AM


  2. GO OBAMA!

    Stop Prop8 and prop2!

    Posted by: KFLO | Nov 4, 2008 9:59:18 AM


  3. Lines were long this morning at my polling station in Virginia, with people extending outside and down the sidewalk -- even a half hour before the polls actually opened. In the rain!

    By the time I finished voting there were easily 400-500 people waiting, in a precinct of only 2100 voters. If numbers keep pace for just a few hours I imagine ours will be reporting by noon.

    No doubt this election will smash previous records for voter turn-out.

    Posted by: sparks | Nov 4, 2008 9:59:51 AM


  4. My partner and I were up at our Tiverton, RI polling location 20 minutes before it opened, and were about 18th in line. By the time we got through, the line was wrapping around the precinct. We use optical scanning ballots here.

    We met a lot of our neighbors in line. All of them were excited to vote for Barack Obama. In the front of the line was a very elderly woman who needed an election assistant to help her with her ballot. She did not know who the people were on the town ballot, what the referendums were (she kept asking questions about them), what side of the ballot she was one, etc... and lo and behold, when she held up her ballot, I saw the line drawn through the "McCain/Palin" arrow. Welcome to the GOP constituents.

    Oh well. God Bless her.

    Rad

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 4, 2008 10:05:40 AM


  5. I live out in the sticks in NY state. No lines for me this morning. I was number 110 around 9:30. I was also very satisfied pulling that lever!

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 4, 2008 10:29:37 AM


  6. I went to my polling place this morning at 9am here in SJ. The election commented after I signed the registration book "Wow, I may fill this whole book today."

    I told her "That's a good thing."

    Posted by: Ed | Nov 4, 2008 10:37:07 AM


  7. I didn't vote because I needed to go to the gym.

    Kidding! Just got back from my town gymnasium in VT. (There is no suspense here, only pride. Obama will win easily.) A beautiful, uncharacteristically warm day. No lines at 9:30 am (one benefit of being a small-town hick), old-fashioned ink in the circle ballots, school kids watching the proceedings from the sidelines. I checked that circle about 10 times to make sure I'd filled in Obama/Biden. Since I've been eligible to vote, I've only voted for one winning president: Bill Clinton. Barack Obama will be the second, and I couldn't be more thrilled at this shift in history.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 4, 2008 10:38:46 AM


  8. I miss the old mechanical machines with the lever. You would select your votes and pull the lever and you could hear the gears grind. It was if the wheels democracy ground slowly forward with the vote.

    Today my district uses electronic voting machines. After you press the "cast vote" button, the overhead lights in the machine go out. That leaves a completely different feeling about voting though it has been quite appropriate for the last 8 years.

    Posted by: Ed | Nov 4, 2008 10:40:53 AM


  9. I got the polling place about 15 minutes after it opened. It was a bit confusing because there were multiple entrances, each leading to a different precinct's voting room. There were probably about 50-60 people in front of me, and it took about a half hour. When I walked out of the building the line was about 2-3 times as long as when I got there.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Nov 4, 2008 10:53:27 AM


  10. I voted in the East Village of Manhattan and there was a palpable feeling of excitement in the room.

    The woman in front brought her 2 kids with her into the voting booth. As she closed the curtain, I heard her say to them "Are you ready to make history?"

    Posted by: Instigator | Nov 4, 2008 10:56:19 AM


  11. While I also have a bit of nostalgia for the old mechanical voting booths, I don't miss them at all. We use optical scanning now in Michigan and it's so much faster and easier. The old machines were always breaking down and there were never enough of them to begin with. And, since I'm 6'6" the booths were far from comfortable. I'd always hit my head on the curtain rod and had to crouch to see the lower half of the ballot.

    Posted by: ML | Nov 4, 2008 10:59:01 AM


  12. Man, I miss those old levers and machines. Agreed, it was a very satisfying tactile experience. We had them growing up in Pittsburgh (I'm not sure they do anymore) but in West Hollywood it's paper ballots and an ink stylus.

    Posted by: Turtle | Nov 4, 2008 11:02:02 AM


  13. Just got back from voting in DC. It took over three hours. Hooray! Although our votes, as the last colony, count for very little, I was moved beyond measure, at the pride and joy in the faces of the Obama voters. They were doing what very few thought they ever would, voting for a man who looked like them.

    I remain cautiously optimistic. This is the first time in over thirty years that I have voted FOR a candidate for President rather than voting against the opponent. What a wonderful feeling. I am also cautiously optimistic about the defeat of Prop 8 in California. Family and friends there are enraged by the Mormon and Catholic churches lecturing them to take away rights from people they love and respect.

    Thanks Andy for keeping your gay brethren informed (and entertained) during this very important election season. Now it is off to do some last minute electioneering!

    Posted by: rudy | Nov 4, 2008 11:03:42 AM


  14. Andy,
    Just found out the No on 8 and Democratic office in Santa Cruz, CA was vandalized last night (windows broken by rocks). The fight goes on! I'm praying that the sensible people of CA will vote No on 8!

    Posted by: Evan | Nov 4, 2008 11:08:19 AM


  15. The line in my neighborhood was not that long--took about an hour. I'd called my supervisor earlier to let her know I'd be late. She said, "so what...when you get here all you do is stay on the Internet blogs all day anyway." Da' neryve of huh!

    It's raining down south--I hope Obama folks still get out. But I heard they have beautiful weather out in the mid-west. I hope that's good for turnout...turnout for Democrats, of course.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 4, 2008 11:12:52 AM


  16. In the UK we still use paper ballots! Just a simple x marks the spot; it feels so good to drop it in the ballot box.

    Anyway I'm in Canada right now wishing I wasn't an atheist so I could pray for an Obama win and a prop 8 defeat!

    Posted by: Alex | Nov 4, 2008 12:03:58 PM


  17. Andy- Thank you and the guys so much for the utterly fantastic coverage of the campaign. You all deserve a medal or something for helping keep the gay community engaged in the election process. It isn't a democracy if people don't vote! You were the go to site for info that really mattered. Best wishes and thanks to you all!

    Posted by: SLMDARIEN | Nov 4, 2008 12:30:40 PM


  18. yeah, i miss the old machines too. since i'm a yeller dog dem, i always got satisfaction by pulling the straight ticket lever, or "jalando la palanca", as we used to say. i derived a kind of physical pleasure from it. it was sort of an in-your-face-repugs gratification. i don't get that from touch screens. and i don't trust them either. they are subject to repug mischief. nevertheless, i voted early and had no problems.

    Posted by: nic | Nov 4, 2008 12:38:51 PM


  19. I live in the heart of "fake America": yhe West Village of Manhattan in NYC. My voting place is the Gay & Lesbian Community Center. Can get much bluer (politically I mean) than that. I've lived here for almost 14 years and this is my third presidential election I have participated in here. There is never a line to vote, especially at the time I voted which was about 11:15am. Well today the line was out the door of the Center and around the corner. I still can't believe it.

    Posted by: David | Nov 4, 2008 12:40:26 PM


  20. I voted @ 10:45 here on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Kerry got 92% of the vote, the highest in the country. It took an hour, the longest ever in my 30 years of voting. It was like a party there. People talking to each other, many brought kids.

    The one word I kept on hearing was 'History'. Even though Obama will win NY hands down, people wanted to be part of it. The most touching was all the old folk in wheel chairs, many being pushed by nurses.

    Another nice note, my brother and his family just moved up from Tampa and they got their absentee ballots too late, they are republicans.

    GO OBAMA!!!

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 4, 2008 1:01:16 PM


  21. Went to cast my vote this morning in Murray Hill (Manhattan) and was happily greeted with a huge line all the way around the block. Everyone was cheerful and the line moved swiftly, getting me into the building and in front of my district’s voting machine in about 35 minutes.

    HOWEVER, once I finally handed over my card and went into the booth to pull the red lever, the entire machine jammed. So there I was, Stevie Wonder's "Signed Sealed Delivered" appropriately playing on my iPod, denied the glorious feeling of that hearty "ker-chunk" as I vote the GOP out of power.

    There was some confusion as the staff seemed a bit taken aback (“not again!” was heard uttered a few times), but an outside observer was on the case immediately (and I was handed a pen and a paper emergency ballot). I'm not going to lie, I'm very upset this happened. I want to be a part of Obama being in office just as much as anyone else and, while this isn't Florida, I still feel a little ill at ease of having my vote on an easily-disposable scrap of paper.

    I called the Department of Justice voter hotline to report the incident and they said they did have people in Manhattan (which was true), but I must say that, for the amount of taxes we pay in NYC, can't we get a flipping voting booth that works once a year? And why does my district only get the one? Breaking down at 9am is going to make for a very long day…

    Very bummed, but still know I did my part (now if only the staff of the board of elections will do theirs).

    Go ‘bama!!!!

    Posted by: ichabod | Nov 4, 2008 1:52:58 PM


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