Election Day

Get out and vote!

And send me pictures, youtube clips or stories of your experiences at the polls. I’ll be updating the site all day with your experiences and other election day stories.

Update:

I’m headed out to vote for the elitist, unpatriotic, foreign, anti-semitic, mind controllin’, baby killin’, Karl Marx lovin’, antichrist bein’, flag lapel boycottin’, grandma murderin’, terrorist lovin’, devil worshippin’, Muslin lovechild of Malcom X!

And then, dinner! Consider this an open thread until I return from my civic duty…. and fried seafood plate.

More Election Day Stuff

LA Burdick in Harvard Square is selling chocolates heavy in favor of Obama. (Ok, this isn’t surprising.)

Nate wakes up to some interesting fliers in his lobby:

I thought you’d get a kick out of the massive amount of stupid I received in my lobby this morning. The person who put this stack of fliers probably hoped a history buff like myself was not the first out of the building today. I kept a couple for posterity and threw the rest out.

And Justin mailed his absentee ballot in:

Here are a few pics of my absentee ballot from Kentucky. I received it here in Japan about a month ago, so it’s not so much election day related, but it’s still electiontastic. Also, remind me to tell you about how humorously difficult it is to talk about the big “election” in a country where they can’t tell the difference between “r” and “l.” My classes lately are as comfortable as episodes of the British Office.

Voting Reports

I’m going after work but I see a lot of other Cynics have already headed out to the polls.

From Bob McCown:

About 6:45 I went over to the school where we vote. Line was about 100-150 people. One of the local guys that is running for rep was there, I chatted with him a bit. He came door-to-door a couple weeks ago and I talked with him then for about 10 minutes too. Seems genuine, but what do I know?

7:01 by my cellphone they says “Polls Open” and I had a ballot in-hand by 7:03.

This is the first election in a LONG time that I’ve felt good about voting in, and felt empowered over the various ballot questions, and the people running for office.

They didn’t have any “I voted” stickers, though.

From Miss Cellania:

I’m heading out to the polling place right now. It was really crowded when I took the kids to school; I’m hoping it will ease up after people go to work. My new polling place is a Catholic church, with 4,000 crosses planted on the lawn to protest legal abortion. They do that every fall, but I never knew it was an poll location until I moved to my new neighborhood.

From Trace:

I tried to vote and will have to go back later. At least 200 people in line at 7:45am and when I gave up waiting (because I had to go to work), I found out the reason for the backup. The “optical scanner” for my precinct was down. While I was waiting, I had a brainstorm, there should be some sort of VIP system in the works. I vote EVERY election (not just presidential ones) and there is NEVER this kind of turnout. I think consistent voters should get credits for voting on the “less important” elections.

From MDK:

Planned to get up at 5 (didn’t quite pan out). Ended up getting in line in Alexandria Va. as the polls opened at 6 am. Lots of people were already in line so I was not able to cast my ballot until around 8ish. by the time I left the line was still pretty long, hopefully that belies high turnout in the area.

From Flaming Atheist:

It was a dark and stormy night, a shot rang out….oh wait, different story. I voted over a week ago thanks to Oregon having all voting by mail/drop off ballot. So there was no crowd at the library drop box as I swung through on my way to work last week.

From Andrea:

I got in line in northern NYC this morning at 5:45am and had only to wait about an extra 5 minutes when the doors opened at 6am. I went home to news reports at 7am that there were lines in some areas of NYC 2 blocks long. The local news reporter (NY1) said his wife thought she could get there at 7am and be out quick but ended up waiting for an hour (on the upper west side). They were both originally from Canada and this is their first election as US citizens.

From Seth:

I swung by around 8:15 and there were about 20 people in line. I went to the bank instead. I’m heading back there right now! Northeastern SC aka the Upstate.

From Err:

i showed up at about 7am and there was a short wait (10-15 min) but when i was all done and leaving the line went out the door and up the sidewalk. not incredibly long but way more people than i saw for the kerry/bush showdown.

From King Taco:

Awww, I think my comment got filtered out because I cursed. But yeah, I voted early today. Polls were open when I arrived at about 7 AM, waiting in line to get my slip of authority to vote, then waited in line to vote. Saw several people leave due to time constraints. Voted Obama but was SORELY tempted to vote Nader. Was out by 8:30.

Even my grandmother, who was recently widowed, voted Obama. Marking this the first time this house-hold has voted democrat.

From Meg:

The layout was horrible at my polling center and there were only six voting booths. The line was already across the parking lot before 6:00. I really hope the crowds don’t discourage voters because there is one thing that I noticed all Americans have in common: impatience.

From The Critic:

Voting in my neighborhood is at the school where The Littlest Critic goes, in the room where they have extended care before and after the official school day. Today, with all the people coming into the building, classes are canceled. Since we walk to school every day (we live that close), I walked to go vote while TLC was asleep and The Wife was waking up and getting dressed.

It was a beautiful day and cars lined all the streets radiating out from the school. I walked with a big smile on my face, happy to be voting and happy to be voting for Obama. I didn’t see a line outside which made me happy and sad. I wanted a huge line to show that people were jazzed up to vote, but I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.

When I walked in the door, I saw something different about this election. Usually, I can walk right in, give them my ID and get my ballot in five minutes tops. In 2004, I had to stand in line for ten minutes before I got to the table to get my ballot. The line today stretched all the way out the door and down the hall near to the end. I stood in line with happy joking people laughing and excited, and it took me forty five minutes just to get in the door of the room where we vote.

Inside, it was packed. Since we’ve dumped the touch screen machines, we were back to fill in the bubble optical scan ballots. People were crammed into the room working on every available surface. In one corner, a man wearing a suit and tie stood with a clipboard (I’m assuming he was one of the many lawyers there to advise on election law and to stop any potential challenges from GOP idiots out to disrupt voting). I managed to snag one of the little voting booths, but others were at tables, filling out ballots on top of computer monitors, against walls, standing and using clipboards or stiff pieces of cardboard.

From Erin:

I got to the polling place right around 7am this morning. Luckily, there was no wait for my precint. The others were packed though. I was actually voting right next to my next door neighbor who is very vocal about being a McCain supporter. I voted touchscreen. The majority of people were still using paper ballots, which I find funny because I think the touchscreen voting is way more convenient. After I voted I went home for a bit before jetting off to work. Watched the news and got to see Barack and Michele voting at their Kenwood polling place with their daughters in tow. Would’ve been awesome to be there when that was happening. Oh well, I have the rally to look forward to tonight!!

From LL:

I just got back from voting and experienced the largest number of cars at the parking lot I’ve ever seen for voting. However I still was able to walk right up and get a ballot (we’re efficient in NH). Still the turnout looks bigger than normal. I am hopeful for a record.

My daughter noticed there was no one from the McCain camp holding signs and talking to voters, but there were about 5 people grouped around an Obama sign. We’re in a town that votes predominantly Republican, so this was a shock. A pleasant shock.

I am cautiously optimistic of an Obama victory.

From JB:

I got to the polling station at 10 to 7, and there was a line out the door, and no available parking spaces. It moved pretty quickly, however, and by the time I got out at 7:15, I was the 95th ballot cast.

More reports in the comments.

Ten Reasons Why You Should Ignore Exit Polls

From FiveThirtyEight:

1. Exit polls have a much larger intrinsic margin for error than regular polls. This is because of what are known as cluster sampling techniques. Exit polls are not conducted at all precincts, but only at some fraction thereof. Although these precincts are selected at random and are supposed to be reflective of their states as a whole, this introduces another opportunity for error to occur (say, for instance, that a particular precinct has been canvassed especially heavily by one of the campaigns). This makes the margins for error somewhere between 50-90% higher than they would be for comparable telephone surveys.

2. Exit polls have consistently overstated the Democratic share of the vote. Many of you will recall this happening in 2004, when leaked exit polls suggested that John Kerry would have a much better day than he actually had. But this phenomenon was hardly unique to 2004. In 2000, for instance, exit polls had Al Gore winning states like Alabama and Georgia (!). If you go back and watch The War Room, you’ll find George Stephanopolous and James Carville gloating over exit polls showing Bill Clinton winning states like Indiana and Texas, which of course he did not win.