OCEAN BEACH, CA. [Times are Pacific]
6:50 pm PST : With Ohio – 20 electoral votes – and New Mexico – 5 votes, Obama now has a projected total of 200 electoral votes. California will go for him with our 55 votes, so will Washington with 11; that’s 266 – Obama only needs 270 electoral votes to win. Hawaii – where Barack grew up – has 4. That’s it.
6:23pm – MSNBC has projected that OHIO will go to Obama – this is big.
5:40 PST: New projections: Electoral College – Obama 103 vs 58 for McCain
Popular vote: Obama 50% vs 49% for McCain
Alabama – McCain – 9 EV
Georgia – McCain –
South Carolina – McCain – 8 EV
White working class voters are voting for Barack Obama.
5:16: Here are MSNBC’s projections:
the most important news is that Pennsylvania is projected for Obama, with its 21 Electoral Votes.
Illinois – Obama – 21 EV
New Jersey – Obama – 21 EV
Massachusetts – Obama – 12 EV
Maryland – Obama – 10 EV
Connecticut – Obama – 7 EV
New Hampshire – Obama – 4 EV
Maine – Obama – 4 EV
Delaware – Obama – 3 EV
District of Columbia – Obama – 3 EV
Oklahoma – McCain – 7
Tennessee – McCain – 11 EV
MSNBC PROJECTION: TOTAL ELECTORAL VOTE TO DATE: Obama: 103 vs McCain with 34 Electoral Votes – this above list does not total these numbers,
CAUTION: Obama has still not taken a ‘red’ state.
I’ve Never Seen it This Busy, It’s Really Encouraging!
That’s what a poll worker in the little city of Lemon Grove told me this afternoon when I asked him how things had been going there today.
I drove down to vote after work wondering if the lines would be long like I had heard they were all over the country. I’ve never had to wait long there before but I was prepared. Prepared to talk to my neighbors that I don’t get to see often, had a snack in my purse and good attitude.
As I pulled up to the signal near the fire station where the folks in my area vote, I could see the parking lot was pretty empty, but I get off work earlier than most folks. I pulled in, parked near the door and was in the door. There were only a couple of people ahead of me and I listened to the workers talk about the expected rush that would come in an hour or so, saying that the line would be shut down at 8:00 but that anyone who was already in line would get to vote.
After signing my name I was given my ballot, a large sheet of paper with printing on both sides and a fat black marker. Hmm, I thought, no hanging chads! I was in and out of there in no time, my “I Voted” sticker on my blouse. Now I’m here with the rest of you, practically holding my breath…..
4:47pm: It’s looking like Virginia certainly could be the ‘trouble’ state of this election, like Florida was. Go here.
4:35pm: Remember Cindy Sheehan’s run for Nancy Pelosi’s seat in the House? Well, apparently, she’s faring well, but her volunteers are getting harassed by poll workers and police. – go here.
4:17pm: the first calls: Kentucky is called for McCain – 52% vs 47% for Obama; Vermont is called for Obama. Neither of these are surprises.
MSNBC has predicted a sweep for the Democrats in the House of Representatives, with 261 for them, and 174 seats kept by the Republicans. They also say the new Virginia governor is Democrat Mark Warner – that’s a good sign.
3:59pm: Here are the first exit poll numbers – they are very unreliable:
The head to head exit polls just were sent to the Huffington Post by a Democratic source. These are traditionally unreliable and should be taken with a grain of salt (see: Kerry’s winning margins in 2004). For what it’s worth, they project a big night for Obama in several of the key swing states.
The states looking good for Obama:
Florida: 52 percent to 44 percent
Iowa: 52 percent to 48 percent
Missouri: 52 percent to 48 percent
North Carolina: 52 percent to 48 percent
New Hampshire: 57 percent to 43 percent
Nevada: 55 percent to 45 percent
Pennsylvania: 57 percent to 42 percent
Ohio: 54 percent to 45 percent
Wisconsin: 58 percent to 42 percent
Indiana: 52 percent to 48 percent
New Mexico: 56 percent to 43 percent
Minnesota: 60 percent to 39 percent
Michigan: 60 percent to 39 percent
The states where McCain is leading in exit polls:
Georgia: 51 percent to 47 percent
West Virginia: 45 percent to 55 percent
Again, as a point of caution, here is what Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said about exit polls in an interview today with the Huffington Post: “The biggest problem with exit polls is… we do know that young voters are much more likely to do an exit survey and seniors are much less likely to do an exit poll,” he said. “So exit polls are heavily waited to young people, which normal bias favors Democrats especially this year.”
3:54: In a few minutes, polls close in Vermont, South Carolina and Virginia –
3:50 pm: with 2% of precincts reporting: in Kentucky, it’s 68% McCain and 31% Obama, whereas in Indiana it’s 50% Obama and 49% McCain. Indiana has not gone Democrat in a Presidential election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964,
3:33 pm : First numbers are coming in from New Hampshire and Indiana – with 1% of the precincts reporting, New Hampshire is breaking 67% Obama to 33% McCain, while in Indiana with 1% of precincts, it’s 55% for Obama and 43% for McCain.
2:59: Here are some thoughts about two key states whose polls are closing soon:
- If Obama carries either Georgia or Indiana, look for a big Democratic night all around.
- Any reliable poll has to include results from Gary, a city with a huge African-American population;
- if McCain carries Virginia, Indiana and Georgia, plan to stay up a little later.
- In this year’s primary, ten nuns were turned away from the polls because of the state’s new voter ID law. They had drivers’ licenses, but being in their 80s and 90s, they’d let their licenses expire.
- 566,000 registered voters in that state don’t have the ID required to vote. Most are racial minorities, the very elderly and first-time voters; that is, Obama voters.
- Senate race, pitting Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell against Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford, a businessman and U.S. Army veteran, is a crucial contest in the fight for filibuster-proof control of the Upper Chamber. McConnell has a 5.7 percent advantage;
2:45pm – CNN reported on certain findings in recent exit polls. Of those polled, 62% said the economy is the main issue; 10% said Iraq; 9% said terrorism, and 9% said health care. Of those who said Iraq was the main issue, 63% voted for Obama.
2:36: Still lots of gray clouds here at the beach in San Diego, but at least the rain has let up so people can stand in voting lines without getting wet – although we need the rain so badly. Michelle, my daughter dropped by, wearing ‘I voted’ sticker on her sweater. She’s a firm Obama supporter. With coffee cops in hand, we watched the 2:00 Election Update on MSNBC with Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Eugene Robinson, and that ol’racist Pat Buchanan. Here’s some of the points and comments that they made: this is indeed an historic turnout of American voters, the biggest since 1960, and that the election is a key step in the struggle against racism that began 400 years ago (Olbermann and Robinson); the country is dealing with a broken economic system, a broken election system, and we’re in a moment of tension and anxiety (Maddow); no state that John Kerry took in 2004 is in danger of going Republican (Buchanan); and finally, that with an Obama administration, the country will see a needed reinvestment in government structure, like health care and energy (Matthews).
2:30 : Some polls close in half an hour.
2:00pm: The Nation (magazine & online site) just reported that voting is so high in Virginia – a key battleground – that the state board of elections is predicting an insane 75% turnout.
1:54 pm : SignOnSanDiego reports that San Diego County voters are not having too many problems voting, despite the rain. One of the biggest problems has been the placement of ‘Yes on 8’ signs at polling places.
The majority of votes across the county are being cast by hand this Election Day anyway, in large part due to widespread glitches in the electronic voting machines San Diego County used in 2004 and again in 2006.
While much of the voting was apparently going smoothly, voters reported a variety of concerns. Most notably were complaints that an orchestrated campaign in support of Proposition 8, the proposed ban on same-sex marriage, appeared to be under way at numerous polling places. Election laws prohibit campaigning within 100 feet of any polling place.
Stephanie Colter, a teacher from Bay Park, said someone had placed Yes on 8 signs outside her polling place at the First Baptist Church in Bay Park, right next to the signs directing voters inside.
“They’re all over the parking lot,” Colter said. “I’m really upset. They shouldn’t be a polling place if they want to do that.”
Signs in support of Proposition 8 were reportedly placed at precincts in Rancho Bernardo and in Bonita. Officials at the Registrar of Voters Office said they had also received complaints about Yes on 8 signs being placed too close to polling places.
Registrar Deborah Seiler said at midday that turnout was brisk and she was pleased with how election workers and volunteers were responding to the high volume of voters.
“We have some sporadic, anecdotal cases of electioneering, with people trying to campaign too close to polling places, but all in all things are going really well,” Seiler said
Go here for the report.
1:47 pm – Gray clouds again. Took a break for lunch. HuffPost is reporting that MSNBC continually is giving out some wrong poll closing info. Go here for that report. First polls close in less than 2 hours.
12:13 pm – The sun is out here in San Diego. Meanwhile, clouds are forming over Virginia. The Raw Story says Election monitors call for extension of Virginia voting hours. Go here for that post.
11:57: Daily Kos reports on problems in Virginia:
Early reports indicate that Virginia may be the state plagued by voting issues this time around.
At one precinct in Richmond’s north end, hundreds of people encircled a branch library by 6 a.m., the scheduled opening of the polls. But the line grew for another 25 minutes before the poll workers opened the doors. They said the librarian who had a key to the polling place had overslept. […]
In Chesapeake, approximately 1,000 voters stood in line to vote, and some people reported malfunctioning machines.
Pollard said paper ballots were brought into one polling place in Henrico County, in suburban Richmond. In Petersburg, the wrong machines were delivered to a polling place.
Pollard said reports of optical scanning machines not recording votes were likely the result of the wet weather.
And it gets worse:
At George Mason University in Fairfax, Provost Peter N. Stevens wrote in a campus e-mail that a hacker had entered a message into the university system stating the Election Day had been rescheduled.
There are also reports that Virginia voters are receiving deceptive phone calls telling them to go to the wrong polling place.
Meanwhile, there is already an effort underway to seek to extend voting hours in Virginia by two hours. More on that story as it develops.
11:51: The online Slate has this to report about problems for today:
Florida: Via Ourvotelive.org, voters showed up to the polls in Tallahassee only to find … no ballots! A rehab center for elderly residents never received absentee ballots. And reports of broken optical-scanning machines are pouring in from Tallahassee, Tampa, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.
Michigan: Wired reported yesterday that optical scanners manufactured by Election Systems & Software failed pre-election tests—producing different results for the same ballots. Today, there are major machine malfunctions all across the state. According to the Detroit Free Press, complaints from voters in 13 different cities—including Detroit, Grosse Pointe Woods, and Battle Creek—had already come in by 11 a.m.
Pennsylvania: Republican poll watchers have been tossed out of a half-dozen polling stations in Philadelphia. Also in Philadelphia, machines in multiple polling places are out of order or never arrived.
11:45: The Los Angeles Times is reporting long lines around the country. In spite of large numbers of people who voted early in Ohio, early reports show lines are long and the swing state could see voter turnout as high as 80 percent, the LA Times reports.
Lines began forming outside polling places more than an hour before the polls opened at 6:30 a.m. A line of at least 50 people waited to cast their ballots at a polling location inside a car dealership in the Columbus suburb of Grove City.
Some counties are also seeing voting machine malfunctions and mistakes with paper ballots. According to the Times, two precincts received the wrong ballots and some voters, used to touch-screen voting, were confused by a return to paper ballots.
11:43: About an hour ago, AlterNet reported on snafus around the country:
The nation’s largest election protection hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE issued this mid-day report, Eastern Standard Time, about voting machine issues.
As of 12:30pm, Election Protection has received over 41,000 calls to the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline since the phones opened at 5:30am this morning.
Voters in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area have experienced numerous problems trying to cast ballots this morning. We have preliminary reports of voters being turned away from the polls for incomplete registrations and instances of the statewide problem of broken optical scan machines in some two dozen polling locations all across the state.
Voters are reporting massive voting machine malfunctions across the state resulting in long lines and discouraged voters leaving lines without casting a ballot. In many cases, poll workers are asking voters to cast their ballot on paper and they will tally them later. Some voters are being asked to vote on paper using magic markers.
There were multiple reports of swapped poll books (voter lists for a given precinct at the wrong location) in Kansas City, MO. This issue has been resolved.
To review the hotline’s state-by-state analysis, click here.
11:37a.m. Dirty tricks are reported in California – this from Calitics:
We’ve heard some scattered stories today. As dkirk notes in comments on the last thread, Yes on 8 is apparently using Barack Obama’s voice in a robocall:
Male Voice: Here are Barack Obama’s own words on Gay Marriage. –Then play recording of Obama response to question during debates–.Male Voice:(Paraphrased) – Proposition 8 defines marriage as between one man and one woman, as you heard Barack Obama state. Remember to vote Yes on Prop 8.
Obama has repeatedly announced his opposition to Prop. 8. I don’t really like his splitting of the baby, that he personally opposes same-sex marriage but opposes divisive and discriminatory initiatives like Prop. 8, but let it be known that it’s the furthest any Presidential candidate has been willing to go in American history, particularly the fact that he has lent his image to ads.
The other dirty trick is reported by TPM Muckraker:
This is a message for (um) all people (um) in Pasadena. The (um) place for (uh) people in Pasadena is for you to vote at Jackie Robinson on Wednesday the 5th, November 5th. The (uh) ballot can be delivered on November 5th at Jackie Robinson.
Today is November 4th.
There’s audio at the link. I’m bet you dollars to donuts that this comes from Yes on 8. Just a hunch. Pasadena is a pretty liberal city, and huge turnout obviously could be the difference in a lot of these races.
11:32: Election results start in 3 hours and 28 minutes.
11:29: AfterDowningStreet has this to say:
Former Vice President, and the man elected president in November 2000, Al Gore was asked on the radio this morning about a letter that Gore Vidal and many others have sent to presidential candidate Barack Obama urging him not to concede a stolen election.
(Read and add your name to the letter here:
Al Gore, like the rest of us, hopes it doesn’t come to that but discusses his memory of what happened eight years ago. Above all he stresses the need to get out and vote today in huge numbers.
(Listen to the clip of his interview with Nicole Sandler here:
11:24: Check this out from MSNBC: Early election glitches include electronic voting machines faulty in N.J.; wet ballots in Virginia
11:14: Here’s a comment from South Florida: Report from South Florida: Republicans at it again…..lines are long due to fact that many polling places only have 1 registration verifyer even though there are 20+ voting booths. A 100 person line takes 1.5 hours due to this problem.
11:08 – I am reading other live bloggers – particularly those on Huffingtonpost. Virginia voters are not having any widespread problems yet with voting machines. Long lines to vote are reported.
10:30 a.m. The rain has stopped in the beach, but the gray clouds maintain their posturing. I voted at my precinct. It had been moved to the Sacred Heart church instead of the usual place, the Methodist church across the street. Definitely a good sign of more people than usual voting. There was no wait when I went inside, although there was a short one soon after. Most of the voting cubicles were taken, and one of the young poll workers told me that she thought about 150 people had already voted at this site. That’s great. The only electioneering I saw was a bunch of young men and women holding up ‘No on 8’ signs- on the street corners next to both churches – they were definitely the legal distance. My daughter called to wish me a ‘happy election day’ – she was on her way to school and then to work – and had not voted yet. There are no allowances made for people to vote if they’re working or going to school or both in this state. Why not vote on the weekends – when most are not working or at school. A friend told me that in Las Vegas they can vote at the malls. This is my daughter’s first presidential election – I told her she’ll remember this for the rest of her life – and will be telling her grandkids about it.
9: 36 a.m.On election day, it’s raining in San Diego – of all days – of course, we need it. The rain is welcoming in a new era for our country – it is cleansing the air and hopefully the airwaves. Here at OB Rag blog, we’ll be live blogging all day – this historic day – November 4th. Finally, the longest presidential campaign in American history comes to a close. Or will it?
RECENT POLLS – some recent polls of ‘likely voters’:
- USA Today / Gallup – 11 point lead for Obama over McCain (53% vs. 42%); largest lead that Obama has had since March, and it’s widening;
- Wall Street Journal – Obama has an 8 point lead and the vote is tightening (51% vs 43%);
- Washington Post / ABC News – 9 point lead between Obama and McCain (53% vs 44%)
- FOX News – 7 point difference (50% vs. 43%)
- CBS News – 9 points between Obama and McCain ( 51% vs 42%)