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Afternoon campaign updates and open thread

Tuesday, Nov 4, 2008 - Posted by Rich Miller

[Comments now closed. Go here for a fresh thread.]

* Post your afternoon voting experiences, your observations of campaigns you may be working, general observations, discuss the news updates, etc., etc. etc. below.

…Adding… Somebody else asked me this earlier today and Marc Ambinder poses the same question on his site: (W)on’t long lines discourage voters voting for a candidate they think is going to lose? Discuss.

That cool Google gadget on the right side of the page appears to automatically refresh itself, so you won’t need to reload the page to see updates. We’ll have live TV coverage later today as well, and that’ll load in a separate window.

* 5:51 PM - Some leaked exit polling numbers. Again, beware….

* 5:46 PM - Exit polling top issue:

Economy 62%
Iraq 10%
Health Care 9%
Terrorism 9%

* 5:36 PM - From CBS: An Associated Press exit poll finds six in 10 voters across the country picked the economy as the most important issue facing the nation. None of four other issues on the list - energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care - was picked by more than one in 10. More state exit poll results are here, but beware not to put too much trust into horse race numbers.

* 4:46 PM - From the Cook County Clerk: Three suburban Cook County precincts that opened up to an hour late this morning will stay open until 8 p.m. Clerk David Orr asked the Cook County Circuit Court to allow the three precincts to stay open an extra hour and the Court agreed. The precincts are: Orland Township, Precinct 60, Parkview Christian Church o Cicero Township, Precinct 32, Woodbine School, 3003 50th Court, Cicero o Evanston Township, Ward 6, Precinct 2, Willard School, 2700 Hurd Ave., Evanston… In all three cases, the delay in opening was due to election judges not reporting for duty. Replacement judges from our suburban on-call pool — 175 were stationed around the suburbs — were dispatched to open the polls as quickly as possible.

* 4:41 PM - Gapers Block at Grank Park: The lines stretches from Congress Pwky and Michigan Avenue in three rows to Harrison.

* 4:34 PM - This is from much earlier today… Poll watchers in Madison County precincts say voter turnout is “very high,” as much as or more than 50 percent in some areas. Bob Hulme of Edwardsville is observing voter activity in several Collinsville precincts and said that on average voters are waiting between a half hour and an hour in line to vote. The precincts he is watching are known to be strong Democratic areas.

* 4:30 PM - Dave in Springfield writes

I voted. And man, the new fill-in the circle ballots are sooooo much better than those expensive and time wasting electronic ballots we used in recent years. They’re even better then the old school punch cards we used to use. I was in and out in 10 minutes and it only took my something like two minutes to vote. Keep it simple, stupid. The only complaint I have now is the writing surface in the voting booths are too low now. I had to hunch over to fill out the ballot. But I’ll still take it over what we had before.

I agree.

* 4:27 PM - Sun-Times Twitter: At Obama rally coffee and hot chocolate $2

* 4:25 PM - Beacon News: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office reports about 90 calls to election hotline. Nothing out of the ordinary among the calls.

* 4:24 PM - I talked to a Democratic state senator a little while ago who said: “I’m starting to think I should’ve been nicer to Barack.”

* 4:23 PM - Man, that’s a long line into Grant Park

* 4:21 PM - McCain campaign conference call audio

* 4:14 PM - I must’ve missed that Joe the Plumber quit his job: Joe the Plumber is short on cash and unemployed but that’s not stopping him from opening a new charitable foundation and penning a book on American values. “I got no financial offers. I am broke,” Joe Wurzelbacher said Monday…

* 4:07 PM - This is just ducky

“I almost missed voting on the Con-Con referendum. After I thought I had completed my voting, I wondered where the Con-Con question was. I even thought it was missing. Then I found it at the very beginning of the ballot, right where I was instructed to ‘Start Voting Here.’

“It was shaded in blue, though, almost like a space for official use only or instructions. My guess is others will miss it too - and not go back looking for it.”
Cate Plys sends me this message:

“Bad news, you DID miss the con-con question. I, too, completed the question in blue at the very beginning - but that was just an example. I realized that when I got to the very bottom and found the real Con-Con question, which I almost didn’t see. Wonder if they did that on purpose? I checked with the election staff and they confirmed that the blue one was just an example. I checked with them because I was afraid filling out the sample one would ruin the ballot.”

* 3:10 pm - I’m gonna go vote. Discuss amongst yourselves.

* 2:39 pm - Via GapersBlock, more election night parties

* 2:20 pm - Official video of Mayor Daley talking about Obama

* 2:02 PM - My dad always said he regretted not checking out the scene during the 1968 Democratic convention. So, it didn’t surprise me when I got an e-mail informing me that he and the Obamalac are driving to Chicago for the rally. I can’t possibly imagine where he’s gonna park that beast.

* 1:54 PM - Grant Park eyewitness: “Have you ever seen a column of ants milling around their one entrance to their ant hole? That’s what it’s like,” David Penn said. “An absolutely incredible amount of people.”

* 1:52 PM - LakeForester: Lake County Clerk Willard Helander predicts voter turnout in the county could reach as high as 85 to 90 percent for Tuesday’s presidential election.

* 1:51 PM - Mark Blumenthal at Ignore leaked exit polls tonight.

* 1:44 PM - Tribune video of Obama’s neighbors…

* 1:42 PM - From an “America’s Voice” press release : The Latino vote is expected to increase from 7.6 million in 2004 to 9.2 million this year and is growing not only in size, but in influence – especially in key battleground states. Efforts such as the We Are America Alliance have registered over 500,000 new citizen votersand mobilized one million to vote in 13 key battleground states.

* 1:40 PM - From a press release: Through last night, SEIU members and staff made 16,137,541 phone calls in battleground states and key races across the country

* 1:35 PM - From the AP: Chicago Board of Elections spokesman James Allen says voters are chatting patiently as they wait in long lines to vote…. He’s encouraging voters to take advantage of an expected lull between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m… Of the city’s more than 2,500 precincts, only seven got a late start _ though all were open by 6:50 a.m.

* Mayor Daley speaks: Daley said an Obama win today would boost Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. But asked what specifically Chicago would get from an Obama administration, Daley urged patience, given the economy. “I know everybody wants something, but we’d better have patience,” Daley said. “I’ve told even mayors, we have to have patience. He is taking over a very difficult, challenging budget.”

* State Rep. Dan Brady on working for McCain in Illinois: “Illinois is Illinois in this particular election,” he says. “I think Sen. McCain is going to do well here in Central Illinois and southern Illinois. But north of (Interstate) 80, we don’t anticipate that much.”

* AG’s office isn’t finding many problems: Natalie Bower, spokesperson for Attorney General Lisa Madigan, says the problems so far have been few and include late opening polls, supply problems and equipment malfunctions.

* Beacon News: Aurora police said they had several calls about electioneering, all of which have been unfounded

* PBS has an iPhone site for election night with live state-by-state results

* Tribune’s election day photos

* Chicagoist: Illinois Woman Uses Coin Flip to Determine Vote…

[Comments now closed. Go here for a fresh thread.]


  1. - Heartless Libertarian - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 1:45 pm:

    That was the dumbest video I have ever seen… I am a democrat, I have always been a democrat, now let’s flip the coin… it’s heads, that means I am voting for Obama. Gimme a break.

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 1:58 pm:

    Depending on your perspective, you’ll either be non-plussed, amused or outraged:

    ABC News Jake Tapper pointed out on his blog that both Bill Ayers and Louis Farrakhan voted at the same Hyde Park precinct this morning as Obama. Of course, I imagine a number of Nobel Prize winners and Chicago School of Economics conservatives did, too.

    I’m of the amused variety. Like the Great Don King said, Only in America, folks.

  3. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:09 pm:

    80-90 percent turnout in Lake County?

    That means a whole lot of Black, Latino, elderly and poor folk, right?

    Kirk cannot survive if the marginal voters vote.

  4. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:13 pm:

    So Latino voters are up by 2 mil. Just wait til Obama pulls a Reagan and grants amnesty to illegals (at least those who have not committed a violent crime/felony). He will secure a dem majority for many, many moons if he does that.

  5. - Chambananon - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:15 pm:

    So, normally I abhor Fox News — I personally tend toward conservative viewpoints in a lot of ways, but I like to do it based on facts, and not inane rhetoric…

    Anyhow, I found the recent Fox affiliate report out of Philly interesting — apparently two Black Panthers, one holding a nightstick, were outside a polling place; the cops were called and escorted the baton-wielding gentleman away from the site, while the second Panther turned out to be a registered poll watcher, as well as resident of the building where the poll was conducted.

    Anyone running into any nightstick brandishing today in good ole Chi-town?

  6. - Captain Flume - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:20 pm:

    If this presidential election shows us anything, it is that the voters do not a woman anywhere near the presidency unles she is married to one.

  7. - DzNts - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:24 pm:

    The only thing missing from the Black Panther story was an image of Forrest Gump and Jenny… “Sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party”.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:31 pm:

    CF, that was pretty a goofy generality, don’t you think? Two women does not a trend make, and one hasn’t even lost yet.

  9. - Bill - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:33 pm:

    Call me if Dad needs a ticket. He’ll have to park that thing in Greektown and walk.

  10. - DzNts - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:36 pm:

    I’m with Rich. 18 million people voted for Hillary and she lost for more factors than just her gender. It wasn’t that she was a woman; it’s that she was Hillary. More people will vote for McCain because of Palin, signifying a strong willingness to elect a woman to serve in the White House, not just live in it.

  11. - Greg - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:40 pm:

    On the one hand, I would think that long lines filter out less energetic voters (bad for McCain). But on the other hand, I’d expect long lines to occur more often in areas of dense population and those experiencing much greater than usual turnout (ie, Obama areas.) These two factors might net out, so long as the former isn’t extreme…

  12. - Chicago Drummer - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:41 pm:

    I voted in Evanston this morning….showed up at 6:30 am and there were about 40 people in line at the senior residence that serves as our local polling place. Two guys were outside right at the entrance (and just barely the required distance from the polling place) handing out Democratic sample ballots.

    I waited roughly an hour to vote.

  13. - Another Limo Liberal - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:46 pm:

    Well not quite a limousine, but a big Cadillac anyway.

  14. - Phil Collins - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:48 pm:

    Carl, according to the 2000 Census, these are the Lake Co. ethnic percentages: White, 80%; Hispanic, 14%; Black, 7%; and Asian, 4%. The voter turnout, in Lake Co., might be high without negatively affecting Rep. Kirk.

  15. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:54 pm:

    I hate Obama’s policies, but I love the Obamalac. They should let him drive it right up to the stage in Grant Park. Tell him it’s OK, Rich. :)

  16. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 2:58 pm:

    I lived and worked in Lake County for a couple years. My observation about the North Shore (which includes both Cook and Lake) is that there’s a bunch of housing for people who aren’t rich.

    I also worked a big apartment complex for Duckworth in 2006.

    The people that don’t vote would vote overwhelmingly Democratic, if they were motivated to vote.

    And for whatever reason, Obama speaks to these people. How’s the motivation of the GOP base, Phil?

  17. - Captain Flume - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:01 pm:

    == Two women does not a trend make, and one hasn’t even lost yet. ==

    Not yet. But wait.

    And in the 20th century for pres or v-p I guess Geraldine Ferraro makes three women, and Shirley Chisolm makes four, and Margaret Chase Smith makes five, and Bella Abzug makes six, Patricia Schroeder makes seven, Ellen McCormack makes eight . . .

  18. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:02 pm:

    Rich, long lines aren’t distributed equally.

    The suspicion of Democrats who mistrust the voting process is that Republican election supervisors distribute the voting machines so that overwhelmingly Dem precincts have long lines to discourage voting.

    If everybody had to wait in line, my guess is that McCain voters are less motivated this election cycle. But the concern is that long lines aren’t a defect, but a feature, to be used by partisan election officials to make it harder for the wrong people to vote.

  19. - Kevin Fanning - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:09 pm:

    I voted at 9 am at Snyder Hall in Champaign. While I overheard an election judge saying that lines everywhere else in the city were very long, I had a quick walk through. Most of the other students must not have been up yet….

  20. - Devil - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:14 pm:

    It’s been said elsewhere and is worth repeating here because it’s so appropriate, but the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘evidence’.

  21. - Another Citizen - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:26 pm:

    I think it a tired old canard to blame long lines in minority polling locations on GOP election officials.
    This simple doesn’t bear out as fact since every cook county location is under Dem control.
    The reason for long lines is innappropriately trained personnel, big precinct operations that get the vote out, and frankly, lowest-cost bidder voting equipment. Cook County buys junky machines.

  22. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:29 pm:

    I voted about a 1/2 hr ago. I lost my voter’s reg card so I didn’t know my precinct; they had to look it up. My downstairs neighbor was one of the judges. There was no line. There was only 1 touch screen. I did my voting the old fashioned way. It is way too humid and warm outside. I miss that buzz at the polling place when there are more people voting. Maybe it’s the weather but everyone seemed to move slowly.

  23. - Big Mama T - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:46 pm:

    I walked in, no line and wasn’t even asked for an ID. No wait at all and I live in a major democrat leaning area.

  24. - Mark Johnson - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:55 pm:


    It’s State Rep Dan Brady not Bill.

  25. - Gregory Tejeda - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 3:59 pm:

    When I was handed the card that I needed to insert into the touch-screen device so I could cast my ballot Tuesday, I was also handed a blue sheet of paper telling – both in English and en Español – the proper wording for the portion of the ballot related to whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention.

    Not that many people around me were too concerned about the issue. Most of the people I witnessed in my polling place (which doubles as a Lutheran church the rest of the year) barely glanced at the sheet.

    The man ahead of me in line to get a ballot literally crumpled his up and tossed it into a trashcan before voting – without even reading it.

    So how does this lack of concern about the issue play out? Did people vote out of ignorance, moving on to the issue (U.S. president) they really care about? In short, this portion of the ballot has the potential to have less thought put into it than all those judges.


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 4:01 pm:

    ===the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘evidence’. ===

    Actually, the plural of anecdote is not data.

    Personal, factual anecdotes can be evidence.

  27. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 4:27 pm:

    Rich, it seems that Frank Watson may be a long lost Stroger. If he would only appoint a relative, the 3rd seal would be broken

  28. - He makes Ryan look like a Saint - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 4:40 pm:

    I voted at 9:30 this mornng in Springfield, they said they were over 50% in all the 5 pcts. in the building. That is incredible. They are figuring over 80% turnout here in town.

    I may be wrong, but I think you are going to see a LOT of Republicans finally getting out to vote this election. If it is like this throughout the country, it may be a long time before we find out who wins this thing.

  29. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 4:42 pm:


    It’s a little late for Rickey to be trying to patch it up with Obama, don’t you think?

  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 4:44 pm:

    I didn’t talk to Rickey.

  31. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 4:51 pm:

    the new fill-in the circle ballots are sooooo much better than those expensive and time wasting electronic ballots we used in recent years.

    Who can dare to use such unfair machines? Surely it’s voter suppression at it’s worst?


  32. - Bookworm - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 5:21 pm:

    Voted in Springfield (one of the Capital Township precincts) around 9:30 a.m. No problems, no waiting at all (but then I did avoid the rush hours). Four booths, about half a dozen people there at the time.

    Fill-in-the-circle ballot was not a problem for me; I much prefer it to the touch screen. (Perhaps the fact that I’ve taken lots of fill-in-the-circle achievement and college entrance tests in my life makes it easier for me to handle.)

    That done, I spent the rest of the day running errands and enjoying the sunshine while hubby was at work and daughter was at school. I had a much longer wait at the oil change place than at the polls :)

  33. - Dan S. a Voter and Cubs Fan - Tuesday, Nov 4, 08 @ 5:51 pm:

    My Wife and I voted at aprox. 4:45 PM in Springfield precinct 133. No wait, the blue con-con info was given with the ballot and we were out in 10 minutes or so. Overheard one election judge state the the turn out in our precinct was in the 90 something %. And yes Rich I made sure and double checked that I voted YES for the con-con, so did the Mrs.

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