Please vote

Please vote.  Please please please.

I’ve got a little bubble of hope that’s been trying to come out, and I keep pushing it down because I don’t want to be too disappointed.  I can still feel what it tasted like in 2000 when the initial Gore lead disappeared somewhere around midnight, and the sick feeling in my stomach in 1994 as the size of the Republican win became clear.  I’ve been obsessively checking the Post website and Not Larry Sabato, even though neither has anything particularly interesting to say at this point.  While individual polls point in different directions, they’re all within the margin of error.

I’m going to head to bed soon, because I’m getting up early to volunteer at one of the local polling places.  I’m actually volunteering for the Commonwealth Coalition, rather than Webb, because I really don’t think that anyone is going to show up at the polls not knowing who they’re voting for in the Senate race, but I actually think that handing people the full text of Ballot Question 1 might sway some votes.  And then I’m going to vote myself, and then head into work, and then come home and obsess.  If you’re in the area and want to come obsess with me, you’re invited.

I think it’s going to be a long night.  If the Dems lose most of the close Senate races in the East, it could be over early, but otherwise we’re all going to be waiting for the Montana results to come in.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more races were close enought to require a recount.  (The Post suggests that Missouri is the most likely state to have problems.)  So we may not know Wednesday morning who is in control of the Senate.

Hey, Bill Clinton just called me.  Well, sort of.

How about everyone posting tomorrow after they’ve voted and saying what the lines were like, etc?

24 Responses to “Please vote”

  1. kyra Says:

    yes yes! please everyone VOTE! and vote to get the democrats back IN!!!! PLEASE!!!!! i will be taking fluffy to the polls in the morning, after our weekly trip to the chiropractor. and then i will be praying all day.

  2. mrscoulter Says:

    Hey, Bill Clinton called us, too. He’s a busy guy.
    I can’t stand the suspense.

  3. Hilary Perkins Says:

    Hi Elizabeth – I’m in Missouri and there’s no way I won’t vote today. I can’t wait! We’ve just changed over from punch cards to touch screens – the last election was the first time I’d *ever* voted with anything besides a punch card, and I’ve almost never missed a vote since I was 18. So – I’ll report any irregularities. But I suspect in my district (mostly white, middle to upper middle class) there won’t be any problems. It’s the urban core where I worry. However, the GOTV efforts have been strong here – so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
    Hilary

  4. The MOM Says:

    I hit the polls in my little sliver of Fairfax County around 8:30, and there was a 15-20 minute wait. Not too bad — longer than for state rep elections, not nearly as long as the presidential election in 2004. I took my daughter over to the voting machine with me, and explained exactly what each screen meant and what I was doing.
    What has impressed me the most has been the visibility of the Webb campaign over the past few weeks. They were outside the Metro every morning and afternoon the past two weeks (occasionally joined by the Commonwealth Coalition). Today, the Democrats were the ONLY people outside the polling place. I guess the GOP is writing off my precinct. Can’t say that makes me upset.
    Now it’s just time to remind everyone I know to vote and anxiously await the results. It will be a long night, I think.

  5. Mrs. Ewer Says:

    I voted at around 9:30 this morning (my office gives us an hour off at the beginning or end of each Election Day to vote) after a 5 minute wait. In 2004 I stood in line for two hours, which may suggest just how low turnout is.
    I was a little annoyed at the distance of available parking spots from the actual polling room. It seemed like a long walk for the elderly or disabled, and I was glad I wore flats. I was handed both Democrat and Republican Sample Ballots, but voted for Allen and Frank Wolf and in favor of the marriage Amendment, of course. We’re having friends over to watch the returns tonight, and I’m sure we’ll all be glued to the TV.

  6. mayberry Says:

    I’m in a smallish town in Wisconsin and I voted at about 8:30 a.m., which is the tail end of rush hour here. It seemed like there was a small but steady stream of voters–each of the 8 stations was filled, but only 2-3 people were waiting. Unfortunately, I’m just south of a contested House district so I didn’t get to weigh in on that one, but I was able to vote against a marriage amendment and the death penalty and for a local school funding referendum. That felt good.

  7. merseydotes Says:

    I wish I could come hang with the like-minded on election night! This is the worst night of the year for a Democratic wife of a Republican pollster. Sitting with “the firm” as the early results come in, trying not to be too visibly gleeful at our victories or crestfallen at our defeats. FWIW, my husband says it’s going to be a fairly early night, he thinks – though the Senate may be decided late.
    This morning at MacArthur Elementary in Alexandria, we waited about 10-15 minutes, though the A-K line had a MUCH longer wait – at least twice as many people in that line. I would average it out at 20-25 minutes.
    And there were people coming first thing at 7 am when the polls opened (and I was walking the dog) and we still coming in (though a shorter line) when we left at 9:05 am.

  8. jackie Says:

    They won’t start counting absentee ballots till Thursday AM in Maryland, so I don’t think either of our big close races will be decided before Thursday or Friday. My polling place is at the corner of my block (library) so I can just look out my window for lines!
    My husband is at one of the campaign hqs today in the middle of all the craziness. I don’t envy him.

  9. bj Says:

    Voting in Washington State where >60% of voters vote absentee. We put our votes in the mail on Sunday. No lines that way. We have a “leaning democratic” Senate vote that came down to the wire 6 years ago, so voting matters. Because our mail-in votes get counted up to 2+ weeks after the election, if our elections are close, it’ll be drawn out.
    bj

  10. trishka Says:

    no lines here in oregon; we vote by mail-in ballots. which is, imnsho, the absolute best thing ever. our voter turnout as a result is consistently amongst the highest in the nation, if not the highest.
    i wish all states would go to mail-in ballots. it’s really a good system.

  11. Mieke Says:

    On my way to vote now! Bill called me last night too. Busy man.
    XOXOX
    M

  12. Elizabeth Says:

    I voted at about 10 am, after waiting in line about 25 minutes. I was voter #345 in my precinct. A neighbor we passed who was leaving as we were heading in said it took him about an hour. I was sort of concerned, though, that the voting machine was showing the help screen when I got to it — I’m afraid the voter in front of me didn’t succeed in casting his ballot.
    Intellectually, I agree that mail in ballots are a good way to boost turnout. But I would miss the experience of gathering with my neighbors to vote. I’m just that much of a sap, I guess.

  13. trishka Says:

    it seems dailykos agrees with me as well. hee! :)
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/7/13535/4734

  14. W Says:

    Voted about 2 p.m. here in Pa’s 4th district. Big election day for us here as we are really likely to unseat Sen. Santorum, as well as possibly Melissa Hart (R-Pa4th). Plus we’ve got an interesting governor’s race (Democrat Rendel vs. Republican (football player) Swann). No lines at 2 p.m. but there was a steady stream of people in and out. The Dems also have people here going door to door in a “get out the vote” effort. Now I wait and hold my breath.

  15. Megan Says:

    I voted at 7:15 this morning. Bill Clinton “called” me at about 11:00. I hung up on him.

  16. Sarah Says:

    I voted at a Boys & Girls club in Milwaukee. I didn’t wait except for the sucker my son had been promised by a poll worker. I went at 11am. I slid my ballot in as voter 273. (I think that’s for 3 wards combined but it may just be my ward.) It was a much higher number than I have had since 2004.

  17. Anne Says:

    I dropped my ballot of in Oakland, CA just after 8:00 am. It was only volunteers there, no voters. We have permanent absentee voting (vote-by-mail) here in CA, and it’s very popular. I like that it’s an option, but I drop my ballot off in person so my kids can come with me. I feel very strongly that children need to see their parents voting. This could be done around the kitchen table filling out a mail-in ballot, of course, but I’m a sucker for a visit to the polling place.

  18. dave s Says:

    6:30 this morning, Arlington VA. I think the remarkably mean-spirited anti-gay union measure (measure 1, here, and put on the ballot to bring out downstate anti-gay voters) has had a turnout-boosting effect here. I waited ten minutes on line before I even got inside, then another ten minutes before I gave my name and got my voting ticket. I voted a nice, consistent anti-incumbent line, against my incumbent senator (Mister Macaca, to you!) and my incumbent representative (Jim Moran, a drunkard, a thug, and corrupt – but he will be reelected because this is an utterly safe Dem district), against my incumbent County Board member. No on measures 1 and 3, yes on measure 2. Mixed on bonds. And out the door and back home by 715 to get breakfast into the kids before school.
    I don’t want postal voting, I think: I like the ritual of going to the polling place and seeing my neighbors. I’ve been voting there for 20 years. And I am more confident against electoral fraud when people actually have to come out and look the poll judges in the eye.

  19. Ailurophile Says:

    I voted absentee. I sat down with a cup of tea and that thick ol’ Voter Information Pamphlet and marked my ballot in the comfort of my own home, then mailed it in – two weeks ago! No muss, no fuss, no possiblity of tampering with my paper-and-pen ballot.
    Sure, voting in person is all inspirational and neighborly and blahblah, but my own city has a nasty habit of putting my polling place a 15-minute drive from my house instead of a short walk. Mail-in ballots are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  20. Lee Says:

    Am jealous of those of you with tight races. We had numerous local races without a Democrat even running. I was griping about getting my daughter out of bed an hour early when not one of my candidates will even win. However, explaining what we were doing as we rode to the polling place more than made up for it.

  21. whymommy Says:

    Hi, Elizabeth. I met you at Miriam’s book party ages ago and haven’t commented here since, although I do read you frequently. Thanks for all the CR you do!
    I voted this afternoon (DC suburb) at 4. No line except for the sit-down booths. Luckily, they had provided two in my neighborhood, which has a number of elderly people. No kinks, no problems, much better than the primaries.
    Bill didn’t call me … but Rudy G did yesterday! What an odd election cycle this has been.

  22. Jody Says:

    I voted in the pouring rain at 4pm, and was the 641th voter in my precinct. No lines, but I had to pause to let one guy out of his “booth” so I could use the table. We use scantron ballets (fill in the bubble) and then scan them ourselves. Paper trail, instant knowledge of whether the ballet “worked,” and running computer tallies. WHY would you use anything else? I’m baffled.
    No Clinton call for me. Maybe because our Democratic rep was re-elected with 70% of the vote?

  23. Jody Says:

    Oh, yeah! Did you not start hyperventilating when they switched the numbers on Webb and Allen? I could hardly believe a Democrat actually managed to sneak in on top at the end like that. That’s not supposed to happen.
    Now I’m too keyed up to fall asleep, even though I know VA’s not going to finish the count until tomorrow anyway…..

  24. Moxie Says:

    No line when I went in at 1ish in the afternoon in downtown Manhattan. I was #135 at my machine, and my husband was #200-something 5 hours later at the same machine.
    I could lick Eliot Spitzer’s head, I’m so happy he’s our new governor.

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