November 6, 2012

GROUND GAME: Paul Caron reports from Ohio: “Wife and I voted in Ohio when polls opened at 6:30 a.m. Campaign worker was there handing out Republican sample ballot. No one was there handing out Democratic sample ballot.”

UPDATE: Craig Hildreth reports from St. Louis: “29 minutes after the polls opened at 6:00 AM and the line is fifty people deep. The good news is I don’t see any broken glass.” Well, that’s a comfort.

And reader Daniel Richwine writes: “I live in a high percentage minority area in New jersey. Normally it takes me 5 minutes to vote. 4 years ago it took 1 and a half hours. Last governors race, 5 minutes. This time it took about 15.”

Reader Charles Gallo writes: “Never before seen a line to vote at 6:30am here on Queens NYC.”

And reader Steve Gregg writes from Vienna, in Northern Virginia: “There are three hundred or more voters here. Another fifty joined the line since I took this photo a minute ago. The line snakes out of the gym, down the hall, down another hall, around the corner, into another gym. I’ve been voting here for ten years and this line has about a hundred more voters than the biggest line I’ve ever seen.” Let’s hope they’re broken-glass voters. Here’s the pic he sent:

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tom Kazazes sent this from Greenwich, CT at 5:45: “This is my third cycle voting at this location and I have never seen a line like this 15 minutes before voting commences. Meaning, who knows, just different than in past in a state which is a ‘lock’ for Obama.” Maybe somebody forgot to turn the key.

And reader Mike Collins writes: “Hello from Arlington VA, where our choice for local races is usually between a Dem and a Green. Anecdote from this morning: in 2008, my wife and I arrived at the polls at 5:30AM and were around 250th in line. Today we arrived at 5:50 and were around 40th in line. Take it for what it’s worth, but I think it’s a hopeful sign re: enthusiasm.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Carter reports from Chicago: “At Instapundit, they show lines in several places. In Chicago at my polling place there wasn’t a long line. I waited five minutes.”

And reader Jacques Vilar sends: “I was in line at my polling place (Gainesville, VA) – at 5:30am with 30 people in line. At 5:45, there were near 100. By the time the doors opened at 6:00, at least 200 people in line. By the time I voted and walked to my car, at least 500 people were in line.”

And Jim Gordon emails: “Here in White House, Tn in Sumner County, 70+ people Were in line before the doors opened at 7. Although this area’s ‘Redness’ is given, I find it encouraging that voters have come out this wet, cold morning to have their say.”

Plus, from reader Jon Prichard: “I’m hoping for ‘breaking dawn’ over twilight today. I always appreciate your ‘Don’t get cocky!’ admonition, but today is the time to go out and get it done, with confidence and high spirits. So I hope to pass along this message: ‘Today, don’t rest easy in the comfort of your echo chamber. Venture into the breach and be a megaphone!’ Thanks for the greatest blog in the world!” Thank me by voting.

Another Chicago voter, Sarah Fredricks, writes: “In my Chicago suburb, there was a line in 2008 when we arrived at 6:30 and it took about 30 minutes to vote. Today, no line and it would have taken 5 minutes, but there was a problem with the voting machine accepting ballots. The poll workers were professional and corrected the matter in a few minutes. There has not been the enthusiasm in Illinois this election cycle, very few Obama signs.”

And reader Doug Deal from Georgia reports “extremely long lines” in his precinct: “I decided to go to the polls first thing today and arrived at 7:05 AM, 5 minutes after they opened. I counted and I was about 120th in line. . . . the people in front of me did have a bit of a certain broken glass look to them. It is a fairly Republican precinct and it looks like that even in a non tossup state the GOP is turning out.”

Pittsburgh reader Roland Hess emails: “Voting in suburban Pittsburgh was easy. Decent line. Our precinct usually goes R, so that says not a lot. Was very disappointed in the lack of broken glass on the bridge between the parking lot and the polls though. It was too easy. After the last four years, I felt like I at least deserved a soundtrack, some slow-mo and a bit of drama as I pulled the lever. While watching election returns I make a point to drink whatever my preferred candidate drinks. So what do I drink tonight? Milk?”

It’s Tullamore Dew for me all the way. Loyalty has its limits.

Reader Mark Ludolph writes: “Reporting from a redish area in Blue Illinois. Longest wait I have ever encountered – an hour+. Not a single close race on the ballot, but huge turnout. Can’t imagine many Obama voters here.”

And reader Eric McErlain emails from Northern Virginia: “Got on line at 6:12, didn’t get out of polling place till almost 7.”

Plus, from Pitsburgh: “Take it for what it’s worth, but there was no line this morning at 8 in East Liberty, a heavily democratic area of Pittsburgh (probably 90+%). Four years ago, there was a 30+ minute line to vote there. Please don’t add my name if you print this, as I work there.” Perhaps one day America can have politics without fear. Easier if Obama loses, I suspect . . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: David Kirkham emails: “Lines are 1 to 1 1/2 hours here in Utah. I have never waited anywhere close to that long. I think the entire state is going to vote for Romney. I predict Romney has very long coat tails in Utah which will help Mia Love unseat Matheson. It will be a tough day for Democrats in Utah (and, I hope, across the USA).”

Jim Ryals writes from Mandeville, Louisiana: “For the first time since we moved to Louisiana we had to stand in line to vote. The volunteers, most of whom have been doing this for years, said they’ve never seen anything like it. One person told me that normally, they would open up at 6 and get their first voter in about 7:15 or so. Today, people were line up into the parking lot when they opened. They got another wave at 7:30 that had people lined up out the doors. This is the most conservative parish in a red state, but if this is any indication, there is big, big momentum for Mitt.”

The redder the area, the longer the lines, it seems. But not always. A reader sends this from deep in the heart of machine-controlled St. Louis where turnout is heavy:

Here in the (heavily-Democrat, machine-controlled) City of St. Louis, the polling places are JAM-PACKED. All that reporting about Obama voters being discouraged and not showing up turns out to be hooey here. Republicans need to show up today and fight them back! Though, reports are that (conservative) St. Louis County polling places are also packed. I suspect many are there to vote in the Senate race, which is VERY heated in Missouri thanks to that idiot Todd Akin. If Obama manages to win Missouri, I think you can thank Todd Akin for that. He gave lackluster Claire all the ammunition she needed to get her base fired up and enthusiastic. Even my incredibly conservative rural family (evangelical Christians all) are waffling on voting for Akin because of the embarrassment of it all.

The other issue many people are citing re: their enthusiasm today? Marriage equality. It’s not on the ballot in Missouri, but nobody believes that Republicans won’t continue to work on oppressing gays; and a vote for Romney is a vote for social cons. (My sample may be skewed because I have so many gay friends, most of whom will disown me if they find out that I cast my Romney vote today.) If the GOP expects support in the future, if they expect to make ANY inroads into the under-35 crowd, they have got to get on board the marriage equality wagon, stop worrying about what everyone is doing in the privacy of their own homes, and just get the government out of the way so the economy can work. But of course, I’m pretty libertarian so I would say that.

If you publish this, don’t use my name because I’m a government employee and I need to keep sucking the taxpayer teat for a few more years, til my law school loans are paid off!

Praying for a Romney victory and a Republican Congress,

Well, we’ll see soon enough.

Meanwhile, reader Dan Koblosh sends this from Redondo Beach, California, one of Los Angeles’ redder areas: “Long line waiting for polling place to open. Can’t wait to vote for Romney and against Gov Moonbeam’s (Brown) tax hikes.”

Here’s a pic he includes:

And from Colorado, Mike Weatherford writes:

Just a bit of anecdotal data on voter turnout here in Colorado Springs, CO. My wife and I voted when we dropped off our youngest child at school, also the polling place. We were number 51 and 53 to vote. There was a line of at least fifteen people down the hall. The last time I voted, I voted at 4:30PM, and was number 120-something. Our district is mostly older families that have lived in the same neighborhood for 20-30 years, and are mostly staunch Republicans or Independents. I expect the number of voters in our district to reach the 200 mark, something I haven’t seen since Clinton won re-election.

Stay tuned. And reader Bob Sanders emails: “Longest line I’ve ever seen, Forward Township, Butler County. North of Pittsburgh. As I was casting my vote I overheard the man across from me talking with the Assistant who was helping him, ‘I don’t give a damn about the instructions, I’m voting straight Republican this time. Where do I click?’”

From reader Matthew Teague, who doesn’t give a location:

Today at the polls I met a “ground glass” voter.

He was in his early 50′s, and as he stood in line he was asking the election workers what documents he needed to vote. He said he hadn’t voted “since they started requiring all this annoying paperwork”. I asked him why he had let such a low hurdle trip him up, and his response is one I will never forget: “I didn’t really have a reason to vote before, everything was going fine and there was no reason to change it… until now”.

I’m hoping for a lot of this. reader Brad Scheidt sends this Oklahoma report:

Voting in South Tulsa County, Oklahoma is like nothing I’ve ever seen – ever. Waits over an hour, limited parking, lines out the door and down the sidewalk, etc. This is an area that will go Romney 3-1 easily. Can you say “enthusiasm”?

Like I said. Diana Sherlock writes: “Am in Studio City/North Hollywood area and never seen lines like this – around the bldg.” I assume that’s an Obama area, though I don’t really know. Jerry Pournelle lives around there. . . .

From Berks County, Pennsylvania, reader Eric Shelton reports:

At 7 am this morning there was already a 65 minute line in 25 degree weather. In 08 this County went 8.5% for Obama, given the number of Republican voters in line and Indys/Dems who freely admitted they were switching their vote this time, Berks isn’t looking good for the Prez.

People seem impressed with Mitt’s intelligence and kindness.

As they should be. From Manhattan, reader Meryl Levavi contrasts government with the private sector:

I went to vote at 9:15 this morning at the polling place on West 70th Street. The lines were moderately long. It took me 35 minutes to vote. A few blocks from Lincoln Center and Zabars the process was amazingly inefficient. Instead of posting a sample ballot or having someone walk the line with instructions the poll workers explained the ballot to each person individually. If I were on a line that length at the Trade Joe’s on 72nd Street and Broadway I would have my groceries packed and be out the door in 10 minutes.

Well, NYC isn’t looking especially efficient lately.

From southern New Hampshire, Nathaniel Jensen reports: “I just voted in Amherst – a staunch republican town of 10,000 in southern NH. Massive turnout at the high school unlike anything I’ve ever seen on election day. I take this to be a very good sign for Romney. May God and the people save our country!”

From Colorado, John Walker emails: “I voted this morning in southwest Weld County, Colorado (a heavily Republican county). I got there at 7:12 and waited 40 minutes to vote. The line was longer when I left than when I went in.”

From Arizona: “Orangewood precinct in NW central Phoenix volunteers told me that *already* more have voted by 10:30 am that voted in either the primary or the last general election.”

John Torbett writes from Santa Monica: “I just voted at my polling place in the Peoples’ Republic of Santa Monica and it took me about 45 minutes to get through the line. In 2004 and 2008, I only had to wait about 5 minutes. The 50 something, gray haired hippie in front of me in line asked how to ‘write in’ a candidate. I don’t know what it means since Obama is supposed to win California by 15% and in my precinct Roseanne Barr will probably get more votes than Romney, but the turnout was heavier than I have ever seen it here.”