Election Day 2008: Hour One

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bo Lipari, executive director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting speaks about voting problems--and what voters can do about them--in New York and elsewhere.

Bob Hennelly, WNYC reporter, talks about the races in New Jersey--and why he thinks the Garden State is at a generational crossroads.

Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, reporter for Feet in 2 Worlds and the Polish Daily News, joins us live from a polling site in Greenpoint.

Check out the Feet in 2 Worlds twitter feed

Elizabeth Fiedler, news reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia, talks to us live from a polling site in North Philadelphia.

Fred Echols, All Things Considered Host WVTF, Virginia Public Radio, joins us to break down what's happening in Virginia. Throughout the show we'll be taking your voting stories from all over the New York Region. How did it feel to vote? Comment below with your experience!And: is watching the returns an event for you? Where do you watch?


Fred Echols, Elizabeth Fiedler, Bob Hennelly, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska and Bo Lipari

Comments [172]

Amy from Manhattan

Don't know if anyone is still reading this, but I just played the segment back. I didn't hear it live because I was answering Voter Helpline calls at the Common Cause/NYPIRG offices. So it was great to hear Brian give the number on his show!

Most of the calls were from voters either trying to find out if they were registered or wanting to know their polling place. I see some of the comments above are about ill-trained poll workers; from what the organizers told us during the training, there were not only many 1st-time voters but many 1st-time poll workers, & some of them were hired close to Election Day as it became clear how heavy the turnout would be & didn't get as good training as they should have. Anyone who called the Helpline w/a complaint has already had the info forwarded to the Board of Elections & to Election Protection.

A lot of people who registered close to the deadline weren't in the printed voter lists or even on the Board of Elections website, but their votes on provisional ballots will be counted once their status is confirmed.

Nov. 06 2008 01:14 AM
Valerie from Long Island City QNS

I vote at PS 234 on 29th Street in Astoria/LIC. Also the first time I've had to wait more than 5 minutes in nearly 20 years of voting. As I said to the pollworker, I'll gladly wait in line if that means people are voting. I'm an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, voting has always been a cherished priviledge for me. I'm so proud of my fellow Americans!

Nov. 04 2008 04:22 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

A follow up to my other post... are there any touch screen voting machines in the city? Maybe I misheard the guy on the phone.

Nov. 04 2008 03:40 PM
Xan from Brooklyn NY

Even though I've been voting at the same location for the last 10 years, my name was not on the registered voter list when I showed up at the poll this morning in Williamsburg Brooklyn. When I complained the worker in charge said "So sue us" and walked off.

Nov. 04 2008 03:23 PM
Rachel F. from UES New York, NY

WHY are the people working the voting areas SO disorganized?? Every year, it never gets better! It seems obvious that there should be some sort of meeting beforehand where they all get answers to the following voting questions: Where do I GET in line? At my voting site on e. 83rd, people were forever forwarded to someone else who knew the answer ("I don't know where that line is, ask that man...I don't know where that district's line is, try to ask him"). No one was outside to help. Argh! And I am sure it's happening all over, with more chaos.

Nov. 04 2008 03:13 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Don’t know if anyone is still reading these (just got to my computer), but I voted at 6:45AM at IS 88 in southern Park Slope/Northern Sunset Park. There’s never more than a half dozen or so people there when I vote in the morning… today, lines to the door. I told them what ED I was in, but then sent me to another. Then, when I ignored the poll worker and went to my correct ED, they told me and my neighbor the machine was busted and we had to fill out provisional ballots. They didn’t have us sign the voter roll as I thought was required and on my way out I overheard a guy on his mobile saying the touch-screen machine didn’t register his vote, so they told him to use the lever machine. All this and only 45 minutes in

Nov. 04 2008 02:58 PM
Angela from Harlem, NY

I arrived at my polling station at 6:15AM. It was more crowded than usual, but still moved smoothly. I cast my vote for Obama with a smile on my face. For the first time in 20 years, I cast my vote FOR a candidate, rather than AGAINST a candidate and it felt great! As an African American woman, I'm so excited by the opportunity to elect a qualified person of color who I hope will bring grace, dignity and accountability back to the White House. Win or lose, history will be made and I'm thrilled to see it happen in my lifetime.

Nov. 04 2008 02:14 PM
Lauren Kelly from NYC

I just waited two and a half hours to vote in the District # 12 at the Children's Museum on Lafayette St, SoHo, NYC. Only one of the seven poll workers showed up for work and therefore they could only use one of the two polling machines on-site. Police had been called into help and were helping to run the polling station.

Multiple calls to the news and voter hotlines provided no media coverage and no extra workers.

Disgraceful scene!

Nov. 04 2008 01:48 PM
Cathy from Inwood, Long Island

I met a first time voter (for Obama) this morning....I said to her, You should be proud of yourself for voting. She was an older woman... Then, I added, I'm also voting for Obama and I've been voting for a long time!!!

I actually teared up as I pulled the lever inside the voting booth.... it's a very emotional and historical election and I'm proud to be part of it!!!

Nov. 04 2008 01:33 PM

Thank you RBC, I am actually disappointed in myself for not seeing it. Thanks again.

Nov. 04 2008 01:22 PM
hastings from Soho

First of all, as if they knew me, my Obama text message reminder to vote didn't buzz until 11:30am. How thoughtful.

Voted soon thereafter at Broome St - probably 10th in line - easy breezy. Signed my name in the big book of life of my almost 30 years voting in good ol' NYC with a guy who's name had underneath "Republican Inspector." I said that I thought his nametag would say "Registrar" - to which he said, "you can call me anything, as long as you don't call me late for dinner." I thought that was sweet, given I was wearing an Obama tshirt.

I went in the booth and flipped happily while playing on my kazoo (I kid you not), "Happy Days Are Here Again." The most fun I've ever had in a booth, I told the lady assigning booths.

Two blocks away 100 people were in line at the Children's Museum of Art. Some of our poll workers went over there to help since lines were so disproportionate.

Nov. 04 2008 01:20 PM
Lila from williamsburg, brooklyn

voting was a breeze. half a block away at PS 18 with no line at 12 noon. i did however, walk around the block quite a few times as there were no signs and construction scaffolding made it impossible to see the address or tell it was a school.

322 union ave., brooklyn

$5 suggested

-live music
-presidential cocktails
-candidate arm wrestling
-poll results projected on the big screen!
-face painting
-polaroid photo booth
-lots of homemade snacks!

Nov. 04 2008 12:51 PM
Dan Icolari from St. George, Staten Island

Profile: My neighborhood, St. George, which is closest to the ferry and therefore to Manhattan, is probably the most urban and diverse of any on Staten Island.

On my way to Curtis High School, my polling place, I met a neighbor who told me he'd waited an hour to vote. By the time I got there, there were perhaps 40 people in line ahead of me; it probably took about 15 minutes to complete the entire process.

No problems at all.

Nov. 04 2008 12:51 PM

To licnyc:

I figured that many people missed the Amendment - it was on the lower right side if you were using the old, clunky machines. If you didn't vote for that, its ok - your votes for the other races will still count.

Actually its perfectly fine for you to go to the booth and not vote for a particular election line. I personally didn't pick any candidate for my Congressional District - I had no clue who the Republican was and I'm tired of the incombent who's been there for like 30 years.

Nov. 04 2008 12:44 PM
Nina from East Village

My voting place is Sirovich on East 12th Street in the East Village. I myself did not have any problems.

However, I hate to say it, but what a joke. Broken machines, total disorganization, workers who appeared not to care. I could've voted 10 times & no one would've noticed that I hadn't signed in. I said something to one of the workers and he replied, "It wouldn't matter, because you would just be voting for someone else." Excuse me? That doesn't matter? The NY Board of Elections is a disaster.

Thank god NY isn't a swing state.

It's awesome that so many people are voting. I had to wait for about an hour or so. I've never seen anything like it. In fact, I've never seen more than 4 people at my voting place before. No exaggeration. But then it's also depressing. This is how many people routinely do not vote. Had they voted in 2000, we might've been spared the last 8 years of Bush 2. & people think their vote doesn't make a difference. Maybe now they'll see that it can make a difference. Together we make a difference.

The Board of Elections should always be prepared for this kind of turnout, despite people's usual lameness.

WHY is Election Day not a national holiday?

I do have mixed feelings about it, though... There are people who don't know who Biden is or who Cheney is.... I mean, do we really want people who are THAT ignorant to vote?! I know the answer to that. But isn't it utterly depressing? I want to live in a democracy of informed people.

Nov. 04 2008 12:30 PM
Ro from SoHo

I am a newly minted US citizen and this is my first general election. (Voted in the democratic primary.)

Some old friends called me from England last night to make sure I was voting for Obama today, telling me in serious and deep tones. 'You're voting for all of us over here.' Quite a responsibility! This is definitely a global election.

Thank you Mr. Lehrer and all the team at WNYC for excellent coverage of this very, very important election.

Nov. 04 2008 12:19 PM
Liz from Glen Cove

My easy voting experience today, contrasts greatly with my first vote in 1980. I was voting in the lobby of my Brooklyn apartment building. I stepped in the booth, pulled the lever to close the curtain, and the curtain only partly closed. So I pulled the lever again. The poll monitor asked why I was done so soon, and I told him I just wanted to redraw the curtain. He explained that once you pull the lever the second time, your vote is cast.

So, in my very first election -- I voted for NO ONE>

Nov. 04 2008 11:58 AM
62express from WNYC Radio

Deep dish pizza doesn't fit in with our dietary requirements but, pineapple does - which we are serving as desert with friends tonight. The Champagne is chilling!

Nov. 04 2008 11:55 AM
Liz from Glen Cove

My husband and I brought our six year-old son with us. There was no wait. My son was excited to come into the booth with me to see see how the voting is done. It was very exciting for both of us!

We are invited to an Obama Poll Watch party tonight, and are already invited to an Obama victory party on Saturday!

My nails will be bitten to the quick this evening.

Nov. 04 2008 11:55 AM

My wife and I voted this AM and we both totally missed the amendment. Does this affect our other votes?

Nov. 04 2008 11:54 AM
adam from lexington, ky

Listening from a very red state, unfortunately.... however, after waiting 1.5 hours this morning to vote, I feel that there were lots of people with me in line voting for Obama. If the tides are turning here, looking for a landslide nationally. Very exiting!

Nov. 04 2008 11:53 AM
Chris Nelson from Brooklyn, NY

I voted in Bed-Stuy this morning and at 645, there were at least 200 people already in line to vote. The gym was packed! There was also a ballot machine that had already broken. It was for voting district 73 and people were commenting to each other that it was voter suppression. Whether it is or if it is an unfortunate circumstance due to high turnout is to be determined, but people are very aware of the issues that faces them. This is especially true in Bed-Stuy (PS 93 Election Center). The truth is that this experience was very gratifying because I am not originally from Brooklyn and it was amazing to see so many people out voting before 7am.

Nov. 04 2008 11:49 AM
Peter Shelsky from Brooklyn

It took an hour for me to vote this morning. Everyone there seemed to be in a really great mood for now. This evening, my plan is to watch the returns come in on TV, and have a bottle of vodka on standby just in case things do not go as planned!

Nov. 04 2008 11:47 AM
Natalie from Spanish Harlem, Manhattan

I sent in my registration with my change of address a few days before the deadline in October. Late last week, I received confirmation in the mail that they had received my change and informing where my polling place was. I went to my district in Spanish Harlem at 9am (no line though one was forming as I left and they said it had been crazy earlier in the morning), and my name was NOT in the voter registration booklet so I had to fill out an affidavit ballot. The poll worker told me that many people who registered were not appearing in the books. I wonder how many people that will end up being.

I daresay we need a new voter registration system.

Nov. 04 2008 11:45 AM
Michael from Park Slope

As for voting, my polling place is PS321 in Park Slope. I have been voting there for 15 years and have NEVER had to stand outside the building. This morning at 8:15 the line snaked around the corner along 1st Street--unprecedented!

The poll workers were extremely calm, professional, and inviting, I might add.

Nov. 04 2008 11:43 AM
Valeriana Pasqua-Masback from Rockland County,NY

My daughters boyfriend was told by his boss at work that he could vote on line. Yhis is wrong, wrong, wrong. I did however confirm it with the Board of Elections. What is on line is a sample ballot. I'm glad I'm glad I asked. Get out the vote but make sure our first time voters know how to!

Nov. 04 2008 11:43 AM
holly Mendenhall from dumbo, brooklyn

I arrived at 6:10 am to vote at P.S. 307 in Brooklyn and had a 20 minute wait. My district includes a small up and coming (many would say gentrified) neighborhood btw the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. My polling place is a few blocks North in a much poorer neighborhood with housing projects. I have voted here for over six years, and usually only ever see the newer, predominantly white residents from nearby coming to the polls. Today was totally different! It was a great experience, chatting with my neighbors and seeing mothers from across the street dragging their bleary-eyed kids into vote at 6:30 am, likely for the first time. I believe this election has already helped us all to start blurring the lines between race, class and economics simply by reminding us that we are all Americans and inspiring us to participate in the democratic process. I am also very happy that I voted in person, and not early by absentee. Physically pulling that lever for Obama was incredibly satisfying after four years of waiting!

Nov. 04 2008 11:39 AM
Sainted_Mother from New York, NY

It took 2.5 HOURS to vote this am at PS149 at 117th/Lenox in Harlem (I was on line at 6:45, voted at 9:15). They had 2 broken machines, only one of which was replaced at 8:45 (people were passing out phone numbers to call / complain).

To me it felt no diff to vote than in all prior elections (I think I've miss a primary in 34 yrs of voting). BUT ... I really wanted to vote today, didn't want to tell grandchildren I could've but I didn't ...

I still would've rather voted for Clinton-Obama (but Obama-Biden is not bad -- I've met that Joe, worked on a campaign in mid-80s). Some of the people of color in line had very old school attitudes ... I felt like they expected some "attitude" from me. I mostly felt bad because line got interrupted to pull "new voters" out at that point, so I didn't get to finish conversation ...

Nov. 04 2008 11:38 AM
Pablo Alto from Riverdale in da Bronx

I arrived at 6:03am at my polling place and there were already 200 people there and there were 350 by the time I left.

The McCain voters generally speaking are ruled by fear and are consistent in their ability not to be confused by the facts. I can't believe some of the things I have heard.

Nov. 04 2008 11:36 AM
Noah from Brooklyn

I voted for Nader, for similar reasons to many McCain supporters who voted for him to prevent a Mandate, I wanted to show the Progressive voice that needs to be asserted. In NY as it is is pretty much guaranteed that Obama will win, my vote for Nader will represent more as one vote out of 10s of thousand means more than one out of a million and hopefully my vote push for a more progressive agenda.

Nov. 04 2008 11:35 AM
CL from Brooklyn from Brooklyn, New York

One wishes that the entire city were prepared to receive a high voter turnout. Whole Election Districts (esp. 52, 53 and 63) in Brooklyn have only one voting machine each and one must stand in three separate lines before getting to one of them. At the end of each of the three lines a voter meets individuals at desks who are struggling with the paperwork that they must do--further delays. Do they attend pre-election workshops/training seminars? I was so excited this morning that I arrived at my polling place just after it opened. It was 11:10 am when I left. Help! (for those who must come later)

Nov. 04 2008 11:33 AM
Victoria from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

I voted early this morning and then came in to work where I started receiving excited emails from a lot of my British coworkers in our UK offices. They are all eagerly following the election and a graduate student at a London school tells me that the student union bar has promised to stay open until the election is called, which could be later than 6am their time! It is both exciting and sobering to hear how important our decisions are in the lives of the whole world.

Nov. 04 2008 11:32 AM
Amelia from Tarrytown, NY

As a Canadian (with a green card), I am usually somewhat cynical in my attitudes towards American politics... today, however, I wish more than ever that I was a naturalized citizen of the United States, so that I could really be a part of this historical moment. Instead, I am attached to my computer listening to your show and living vicariously through your listeners. I will be watching it all unfold with friends at a neighborhood bar on the Upper West Side tonight - want to be amongst people to celebrate this much needed change. Canadians will be proud!

Nov. 04 2008 11:30 AM
lori u. from park slope

voting this morning was a mixture of excitement and nervousness. i have taught high school students (mainly Black and Hispanic, many ethnicities) for ten years in Blkyn, and i felt my vote was not only in my personal and political interests, but also for the future of my students. i can't imagine how empowering it might be for a person of color to see a biracial president. thinking that i might see this in my lifetime makes me very emotional.

my husband and i wrestled with our 16 month old daughter for an hour and a half so that we can tell her that she was there at this moment in history. she wore her "i heart obama" shirt proudly.

tonight we're going to our neighbors to watch the reports roll in. i am making obama-themed cupcakes. i am cautiously optimistic, but i don't feel we can call it a celebration, yet. the last two elections have left me jaded. i have faith in obama and in my fellow voters, but i lack faith in the voting process. doesn't it seem like you're voting in 1950 when you go behind that grimy curtain and pull that lever? isn't this 2008?

Nov. 04 2008 11:30 AM
Katie Kennedy from Huntington, NY

A cautious party tonight (we're all back and forth between confident and very, very scared). We're complete with an Electoral Vote by State chart with red and blue markers(even though my husband says it's ridiculous since the TV and Radio will be constantly posting that information), red, white, and blue balloons (which are making my dogs bark) and even some confetti (which I'll probably be cursing tomorrow morning as I vacuum!) Serving Chili and corn bread on snack trays, and if I weaken, homemade brownies. Go Obama.

Nov. 04 2008 11:30 AM
Sady from Greenpoint Brooklyn

I've voted in my polling place for 3 years now and never seen another voter there, ever! Today I had to wait in line for 1.5 hours. Beautiful democratic participation.

Nov. 04 2008 11:30 AM
Kate from Manhattan

I was born in the U.S., and agree with your Bulgarian caller. I remember when the Berlin Wall fell in '89, and this day feels that monumental. I will be gathering with close friends and family tonight, because I expect we will all be talking about this election for the rest of our lives.

Nov. 04 2008 11:28 AM
Steven from Chelsea

I was at my voting center on 13th st (lgbt center) at 7:30 this morning. The line wrapped around onto 12th street. Volunteers were going through the line checking people's addresses to tell them their booth numbers once inside. My booth, 103, apparenlty was empty so they let me skip to the front of the line! I heard other booth numbers being called out for people to skip the line too and go directly to their empty booths. Thanks to the volunteers for helping expedite the process, they could have easily left us there to wait the hour or so. I was done in 15 minutes!

Nov. 04 2008 11:26 AM
Amanda from Bed-Stuy, BK

Beautiful longs lines all over Brooklyn!
For a listing of election watch parties Borough-wide:

Nov. 04 2008 11:26 AM
Larry from Brooklyn Heights

Voted at Borough Hall this morning at around 7:45. Line was out the door and down the block to the corner of Court Street. Took around 30 minutes, as my district, 109, was not terribly crowded. Could have been faster had the polling workers been more efficient. Took them forever to find names in the registry. The line was a bit of a party. Everyone in a great mood. No one complaining. Never seen anything like it.

Nov. 04 2008 11:24 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ron, that is serious, you have to report him!

Nov. 04 2008 11:23 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

SARI, It is NOT required in NY, It is here in Atl, Georgia.

Nov. 04 2008 11:23 AM
Rachel Ericson from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I'm a New Yorker living overseas and got special dispensation from my Dutch colleagues to listen to wnyc via streaming in the office today (normally the english babbling in the background tends to be too much). But they are as excited about the election as I am/we are. I think the Dutch are across the board Obama supporters, as I am, the tv coverage here on the US election has been non-stop and astounding. I almost felt like a celebrity being able to actually vote. I dropped my absentee ballot off at the embassy a couple weeks ago, and after it was swabbed to assure that it didn't contain anthrax or explosives I got a friendly smile from the security guard, I think both of us realizing the weight of the moment. There is so much hope and support for Obama here, it's a time where I really feel proud to be an American.

Nov. 04 2008 11:21 AM
Sari Siegel from Hells Kitchen

Dear Brian,
There was an argument at my polling center.
I was asked for ID by a poll worker prior to voting and a "coordinator" reprimanded the worker saying it was illegal for the poll worker to have asked me for ID. The coordinator argued that you are not supposed to ask ANY voter for ID UNLESS either the need for ID is stated precisely next to the voters name in the "voter book" OR the poll worker has difficulty spelling/understanding voters name. My poll worker said that she asks everyone for ID and knew to do so from having "heard it on TV". I happily showed my ID. The argument became heated between the two workers and other voters got involved. Can you please shed some light? -Sari Siegel, Hells Kitchen, NYC

Nov. 04 2008 11:18 AM
alyson from manhattan

it was my first vote today! i got there nice and early, right at 6am, but i had to fill out a provisional ballot when the woman at the polls couldn't find my name in her booklet. i just found out from my boyfriend that the same thing happened to him, but it turns out it's just because our building is marked incorrectly in the log at the poll - it's noted in the wrong district - so we were waiting in the wrong line. he got a chance to run back, but i'll have to wait until after work tonight to try again!

Nov. 04 2008 11:16 AM
Judy from Bedford-Stuvesant, Brooklyn

I was happy to vote this morning, as I have been happy in ever other general election I have ever voted in. I was pretty calm, listening to my Ipod all through the process.
I am now apprehensive. I just don't trust the government. Even if the voting polls overwhelmingly come down on the side of one particular candidate, I feel that they will always find a way, even if they have to bring it to the Supreme Court (cough) to turn the election another way. So I have participated in the democratic process, but I don't trust it and I cannot breathe easy until all votes have been counted and we are "crowning" a new winner.

Nov. 04 2008 11:14 AM
ISAAC from Jersey City

I am a former New Orleans resident who was relocated to Jersey City after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and the tragic negligence of the Bush Administration. Although my voting experience was short and easy this morning, it felt amazing to finally be feeling the winds of change rather than the winds of woe.

That being said, if I can take anything away from my Katrina experience, it’s that change really comes from the people of this country, not the government. No one man is going to rectify this nation’s path—we all must be active participants, and we all must be willing to get our hands dirty and make our voices heard.

Nov. 04 2008 11:13 AM
Micheal from Manhattan

I am Native American , but I grew up in Harlem and I have African American ancestors. It is hard to pick a moment that defines a trend in the progression of colored peoples towards a brighter future. I have to say that the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia is a sign of hope for Native people thru out the Americas and Greenland. Similarly, If Obama can become president, I would feel a very deep emotional pride that two very capable and progressive minded members of my heritage are able to rise to leadership and hopefully this signals a change for 500 years of misfortune. I will be cooking black eyed peas and succotash for good luck today.

Nov. 04 2008 11:13 AM
Ron from Sunset park

The poll worker tried to pull a fast one on me. He pretended to flip the switch to set the machine and told me to go ahead and vote. I pointed out that the light was not on. He activated the machine. How many times is he going to try that trick today?

Nov. 04 2008 11:13 AM
John Szubski from Forest Hills

I was a 17 year old Catholic High School student in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was elected. Of course, as Catholics, we wanted him to win so that we could feel that we were "truly American" for the first time. That night I stayed up until the next morning to watch the results.
Today as I listen to the emotions of African-Americans about the possibility of the first Black president, I too am filled with great emotion. If he wins, there will be a victory for America. Being "Truly American" will mean so much much more for all of us.
p.s. I am Naval Academy graduate, but will not vote for my fellow midshipman.

Nov. 04 2008 11:13 AM
Diana from Raleigh, NC

Former Stuy Town resident listening from NC. Really exciting and moving to vote here, especially since NC is a unexpected swing state. I am emotional particularly listening to your immigrant callers discussing their voting experience. Raleigh is fired up for Obama. I went door to door this weekend with the campaign in a get out the vote effort, and met one young man who had waited 2.5 hrs on line to vote early. I hope to take my two small children with me to be poll greeters later this afternoon - I want to be able to tell them they witnessed history in the making! Voting seems very organized here, for what it's worth!

Nov. 04 2008 11:12 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

Line was a little long because some voting machines temporarily broke down. When I finally voted, though, I felt a little bit of a letdown. I've waited so long for this day and that moment in the booth was over way too quick.

By the way, does a ballot count if only the vote for President is marked? I feel like a lot of first time voters just went in there, checked Obama, and pulled the lever without looking at the other items on the ballot.

Nov. 04 2008 11:12 AM
Michael Dumas from Manhattan

It was a large turnout today! I had a half-hour wait at PS122 on Essex Street. I am in district 52 and they had the line divided between A-L and M-Z. There was no one on M-Z but the line for A-L was the width on the gym. It was odd.

I love the machines though. It reminds me when I used to go with my parents to vote as a child. I feel proud on election day and I plan to party tonight.

Nov. 04 2008 11:12 AM
Kathy P from Hoboken

I waited a little bit to vote this morning to let the people who had to get to work get in there first. At 9:30 this morning, I didn't have to wait at all but what was amazing was that I was number 254. Normally, when I vote at that time, I am number 10 or maybe 14. This is just amazing and I couldn't be happier.

I did hear there were long waits at some of the other polling places in Hoboken and that Governor Corzine had to wait a few hours to vote at his polling station just a few blocks from mine. I hope that nobody gets discouraged and walks away. This is just too important.

Brian, I have been listening to the stories and comments on your show this morning and it has started a waterfall of tears. I worked so hard on the last 3 elections and I am a wreck about this one. I was beyond angry when we lost in 2000, depressed for months after we lost in 2004 and now I just can't stop crying. Don't think I'll be much fun at any party tonight but will be with my family anxiously listening and watching the returns.

Thanks for all you do.

Nov. 04 2008 11:10 AM

I was in line 1 hour 45 minutes at PS 20 in Ft Greene, Brooklyn. Of course, I'm registered in the biggest election district in the nabe(7th Dist). But if you're in the 6th Dist you're lucky - there's no line.

Nov. 04 2008 11:10 AM
Tania from Morningside Heights

My husband's best friend is throwing an election night party, but I'm not going to attend because I just cannot stand the cable news networks' election coverage. I'd rather celebrate or mourn alone listening to WNYC!

Nov. 04 2008 11:09 AM
Sammi from NYC - UWS

I was worried about the long lines, but PS-118 where I voted was managed so smoothly, I was in and out in about 15 minutes. Everything was so orderly and organized; I was very impressed. And yes, it was historic. People of all walks of life were getting emotional in the line. I will never forget this one...

Nov. 04 2008 11:09 AM
Nancy from New York

I voted absentee ballot. Voting in the Primary was a nightmare and I didn't want to take a chance that my vote didn't get counted, as happened in the Primary.

I do hope that this record voting turnout sends Bush the message "Go home with your tail between your legs."

Nov. 04 2008 11:08 AM
Jennifer from Brooklyn

The energy was electric at our polling place in Windsor Terrace. It was incredibly moving to see the large number of African-American families that arrived to vote together. I heard one father say to his son "Take it all in. You're a part of history right now." Indeed we all are.

Nov. 04 2008 11:08 AM
Tim from Harlem

Woke up at 5:30 am and went to voting center and joined the line stretching down the block. Inside the gym, an amazingly diverse crowd of African Americans, a few whites, and parents with their children eagerly waited to cast their vote. There was an incredible feeling of happiness and anticipation. Just wonderful. I hope this enthusiasm will continue and that the recent arrivals to Harlem will enroll their kids in the public schools, sit on boards, and become active in the community.

Nov. 04 2008 11:07 AM
Sari Siegel from Hells Kitchen

Dear Brian,
There was an argument at my polling center (48th btw 8th and 9th in manhattan).

I was asked for my ID by my poll worker and another worker with the title of "coordinator" started reprimanding the poll worker for having asked me for ID in order to find me in the voter book.

The coordinator's argument was that you are not supposed to ask ANY voter for ID UNLESS either the need for identification is stated precisely next to the voters name in the "voter book" OR the poll worker has difficulty spelling or understanding the voters name. My poll worker said that she asks everyone for identification and she said that she "heard on television" that she needed to ask for ID from all voters.

Voters started yelling at the poll worker who had asked for the ID. I happily showed my ID because I did not know any differently and it seemed like a logical thing for which to ask. The two poll workers started to have a heated argument. Can you please shed some light?

-Sari Siegel
Hells Kitchen
New York, NY

Nov. 04 2008 11:07 AM
I. Rodríguez from Rockaway Bch

It's a lovely day by the beach and my polling station was quiet. I walked in then out.
No problem what so ever. ¡Si se puede!

Nov. 04 2008 11:06 AM
Vanessa Bronder Alward from Redding, CT

I am waiting for my 6 year old to get home from school at 3pm so I can go vote with him. He is so excited, he chose a shirt with an American flag on it and sang, "yea obama! Go Obama! John McCain blah, Barack Obama yeah!" I have to let him see this historic vote.

We are so excited & also nervous. We're white anglo-saxon unitarians and chose Obama for his policies, and with the hope that he will restore this country to greatness. Heading to a party tonight where we intend to celebrate!

Nov. 04 2008 11:06 AM
michael from brooklyn

I voted at 6:15am in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn. The line outside was around the block; a big block... more than one hundred people in line to vote. All were excited and greeting each other, neighbors or strangers, with 'good morning'. I overheard the security guard at the door who was vocally proud that young men of color were showing up to vote; he had a tear in his eye. So did I. Pulling that lever was a transformational experience. I feel extremely fortunate to be alive right now and of voting age.


Nov. 04 2008 11:05 AM
Sari Siegel from Hells Kitchen

Dear Brian,

There was an argument at my polling center at my polling center on 48th Street btw 8th and 9th Avenues in Hells Kitchen.

I was asked for my identification by my poll worker and another worker with the title of "coordinator" started reprimanding the poll worker for having asked me for ID in order to find me in the voter book. The coordinator's argument was that you are not supposed to ask ANY voter for identification UNLESS either the need for identification is stated precisely next to the voters name in the "voter book" OR the poll worker has difficulty spelling or understanding the voters name. My poll worker said that she asks everyone for identification and she said that she "heard on television" that she needed to ask for ID from all voters.

Other voters on line started yelling at my poll worker who had asked for my identification. I happily showed my ID because I did not know any differently and it seemed like a logical thing for which to ask. The two poll workers started to have a heated argument. Can you please shed some light?

And yes, I am having a returns party tonight.

-Sari Siegel
Hells Kitchen
New York, NY

Nov. 04 2008 11:04 AM
David Zarko from Scranton, PA

Voted this morning, and it there was a celebratory mood at the polls. Volunteers had organized what seemed to be a pot luck buffet and a refreshments counter. Everyone seemed excited, friendly, and enthused in ways that I have not seen in decades. Whatever the outcome, it's good to see so much enthusiasm for our democratic process.

Nov. 04 2008 11:03 AM
Cait Mullen from New York

I will be bringing in the political New Year with celebration/commiseration at Desmond’s Pub, 433 Park Avenue South at 29th Street. There will comedy with Randy Credico, Danny Vitale, Professor Irwin Corey and John McDonagh performing running commentary on the election results as they come in. Enjoy the results as they come in – or be able to quickly drown your sorrows. Either way, come watch history.

Nov. 04 2008 11:03 AM
Lucy from Greenwich.Ct

Hoping that we will go Democratic in this area? OOPs Had to remove my Obama button to vote. From SA so I hope to see another Great Historic event take place tonight!

Nov. 04 2008 11:02 AM
Natalie from Nutley, NJ

I'm 27 years old and I was sick to my stomach when I was walking to the booth this morning. I have been unhappy with both candidates during this entire election and am so happy that it will finally be over with.

Nov. 04 2008 11:02 AM
Sara Grayson from Hillsborough, NJ

My Husband and I went to vote as soon as the polls opened! I am originally from Costa Rica, where election day is a national "fiesta" and today, here I feel the same way, as I am now a US citizen I feel priviledged to vote on this historic election.
One or two machines broke down at our polling place, I just hope that the votes already on them do count. Everyone was smiling thou and happy to be part of all this! I will be following the returns on tv with my family tonight, we have some bubbly saved for the ocassion and will be celebrating tonight!

Nov. 04 2008 11:00 AM
jill from maplewood, nj

it took me longer to ride my bike to the polls than it did to vote. although there was a long line (surprisingly filled with upbeat people) there was only one man in front of me at the machine for my district. after i voted i was overwhelmed with the rush that i had taken part in what is sure to be a historic day of change. i admit to a tiny tear rolling down my face as i biked home.

Nov. 04 2008 11:00 AM
Becca Olinger from Long Island City- Queens

I went to vote at approximately 9:30 this morning at my new polling place information High school a dnnot the court house as in past and found that the machines for the 3 districts 18, 21, and 22 were not working and they were having the voters fill out paper ballots. Now if one machine was broken ok but all 3? I have the day off so I will go back later with the hope that the machine shave been repaired. I have been voting in LIC for the last 13 years and there has neever been a line or a problem. In additon they opened late.

Nov. 04 2008 10:59 AM
CK from Astoria

Definitely a lot more people than I've ever seen before. Took us about 45 minutes total. Poll workers were telling people to go to the corresponding district but not to the table to sign in so lots of people were just getting right in the line to go to the machine. It makes me wonder what they will do when the number of people who signed in the book doesn't match the total of people who used the machine. I thought I was prepared for lots of possible disenfranchisement but not this. I'll have to research.

Nov. 04 2008 10:58 AM
Robert from NYC

Thank you for the personal ballot. I've been seeking this out for over a week and have not been successful and lo and behold there is was on your site this morning. That's really helpful. Your site is an excellent resource for election day 2008, thank you.
Wish i had gone to vote when I got up at 7:30 this morning when I watched from my living room window the not very long but longer than usual line at the NYU dorm where I vote. Now it's huge and I will have to either wait until it diminishes or just get my butt down there an wait. I think the latter.

Nov. 04 2008 10:58 AM
Alison from Washington Heights

In previous elections there have never been more than 3 other voters in the room with me. Today there were 8. Having heard so much about massive turnouts, I was expecting more people but at least it was an increase.

Nov. 04 2008 10:57 AM
Cynthia from Manhattan

My mother, in her 70s and a Florida resident, took her 5-year-old grandson with her to cast an early ballot last week - a wonderful lesson in Civics. A couple of days later, on Halloweeen night, Aidan went trick-or-treating. One house where they stopped had a McCain/Palin sign on the lawn. Aidan walked up to the door, knocked, and when they opened the door he announced, "I voted for Obama but I still want some candy, please."

Nov. 04 2008 10:57 AM
Sue from North Salem, NY

My parents always leave for Florida on November 1st - no exceptions, come hell or highwater, they are gone come the first of the month. Not this year! They delayed departure until after Election Day because they wanted to vote in New York, did not want to vote absentee from Florida, AND wanted to come to my house and be together with family watching the returns. This is unprecedented....

Nov. 04 2008 10:57 AM
Dan from Argentina

We are going to have a party here in Argentina to, HOPEFULLY, celebrate the results of the election tonight. Given that we are two hours ahead of the east coast, we may be up late tonight but we hope to be able to open the champagne before ushing in the new day. For those living in the United States, maybe you don't realize that the rest of the world is holding its breath. Even taxi drivers here ask me to update them about the most recent polls. There is no hatred for Americans here but I am confident in saying that everyone looks forward to seeing Bush leave office.

Nov. 04 2008 10:57 AM
emily from greenpoint

Voting in greenpoint was a breeze. But I woke up this morning unbelievably nervous- I can only hope that everyone makes the right decision today!

we're throwing a big election day party, will probably stay up all night to see results.

Nov. 04 2008 10:55 AM
Karen from Highland Park, NJ

I voted this morning at 8 AM with a wait of only a few minutes. The process was well organized by veteran poll workers I recognized from previous elections -- great job!
It has been a great experience for me to participate in the Obama campaign and it is a great feeling to cast my vote at last. Good luck to all those waiting in line. Don't give up, it's worth it!

Nov. 04 2008 10:54 AM
Amy McDevitt from Bronx

I'm almost 45 years old & have never been very excited to vote in the past. I did it & thought not very much about my contribution to the process. That was until this election. This was first time I felt like I actually mattered. I actually felt proud for the first time & even what I guess you would call patriotic. I actually smiled the entire way to work.
I do have to give you & the rest of WNYC alot of credit. By giving me the information that actually made me feel like I could understand the process beyond the spin & the political machine I felt that I could really make an educated choice. I really do matter & I thank you all for giving me that.Thanks.

Nov. 04 2008 10:54 AM
Julie from Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I've lived in this district for seven years and have always seen a decent turn out. Last time it was exciting and people were optimistic. This year it was serious. I am nervous for the outcome of this election like I've never been nervous before. Fingers crossed!

Nov. 04 2008 10:53 AM
Noa from Washington Heights

I voted at a public school on 167th Street this morning at about 7:30 and there was barely a line. I was joined in line by a neighbor from my building who I've meant to say hi to for the past 4 years and finally we had a chance to be neighborly.

So I chatted, then I voted. All was good. Hopefully all will be good. I'm still nervous.

But as I was leaving a woman police officer called me over: "ma'am can you step over here please?" She asked me to pull up the hem of my jeans. I cinched them up at the knee to reveal no concealed weapons and she was all like "where did you get those shoes?" And we chatted about wedges.

My biggest disappointment was that they didn't give me an "I voted" sticker.

Nov. 04 2008 10:52 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York


Nov. 04 2008 10:52 AM
russell from harlem

1st time voting in Harlem. got there at 6:10 and line was already down the block. After two hours finally got to front, only to find out that both machines were broken and there were still 20 people ahead of me with numbers. Was told i could not take number and come back. Left for work and will try again later. Very frustrating. Seemed as disorganized as previous voting place on 73rd St. Poll workers don't seem to know what to do. will go back tonight!

Nov. 04 2008 10:52 AM
Lisa from CT

The comments just made by Brian and his caller about the importance of keeping voting as an in-person event (rather than all mail-in or online) may be one of the most important comments I've heard in this entire election season.

By Going Out to vote in the community, everyone is reminded that they ARE part of this world, not someone behind the anonymity of this digital media age. The act of going to the polls to vote is a very active personal endeavor, and it should be maintained.

Nov. 04 2008 10:52 AM
Matthew from Boston

I'm a mixed race man (half black half white) and spent 2 joyous hours in line to vote for Obama. I will be having a party tonight with friends and hope to be celebrating this historic win!

Nov. 04 2008 10:51 AM
Tom from Williamsburg

I just want to point out that there is a difference between being a Naturalized Alien, aka a Green Card Holder, and being a citizen. A green cardholder, who is a permanent resident, is not eligible to vote. You have to be a citizen to vote.

Nov. 04 2008 10:51 AM
Eric Gewirtz from Clinton Hill

I arrived at ps 11 today at 5:40 this morning to find myself behind about ten people, by the time the clock turned six there were easily 100 people there. There was an air of excitement as people chatted and smiled drinking there morning coffee. The polling staff was courteous and organized and was able to keep the queue under control. I felt a great deal of civic pride being able to pull the lever. Further me and was quite happy when I walk away from the crowed gymnasium and the line now stretched several hundred yards down Waverly St all the way to Gates Ave. Many older voters smiled at me and seemed so pleased that so many younger voters were involved and participating in this historic election. Oh and Yeah Brian, tonight Brooklyn is partying!

Nov. 04 2008 10:50 AM
JuneBug from New Jersey

My mother-in-law was visiting us in 2004. She is from El Salvador and has raised 12 children into adulthood during a horrific civil war. I asked her if she wanted to come with me when I voted and I saw a flicker of fear go across her face. At first I didn’t understand but then I realized I had forgotten what a privilege the right to vote was! I did my best to reassure her that all would be well. We went to vote and on our way home she cried! She had expected us to be in line all day and that it could be dangerous! It was a powerful and potent moment and I will never forget it!

Nov. 04 2008 10:50 AM
Paul B from working in the Bronx

After work today I will be picking up my senior citizen parents and 2 neighbors who have asked me to take them to their polling place to vote. They feel very strongly about casting their vote in all elections. their ages are 82,83,85 and 86. They are all voting for McCain. Then I will go home and vote Democratic. This is our system and I applaud it.

Nov. 04 2008 10:50 AM
Fredrik Bouw from Manalapan, NJ

I am an immigrant from the Netherlands, here for 10 years. I Became a citizen in 2006 specifically to vote in this election.
I am addicted to these elections and am glad that it will be over tonight or tomorrow.
I voted this morning at 8am, there was no line but it was clear that many people were out to vote early this morning.
I have a pit in my stomach, awaiting the results.
I have never felt this involved in any election in the US or in the Netherlands. This is the 2nd day I feel more American than Dutch and proud of it, the 1 st day was when Obama accepted the nomination.

Nov. 04 2008 10:49 AM
Lauren from Woodbury, NY

I have been SO sick with building anxiety as we've approached this day. Now that I have voted (took *maybe* 10 minutes in the "H-K" line in Sea Cliff, NY), I feel so much better.

I will be glued to this station ALL day (as usual). And truly hope for a better tomorrow!

Thanks again for your excellent coverage!

Nov. 04 2008 10:48 AM
Barbara from Chappaqua

We'll be celebrating my son's 22nd birthday and watching the returns together tonight. My son was born on election day in 1986, but he couldn't vote in the 2004 presidential election because he turned 18 two days after the election. He feels like he has waited for this day for a long time!

Nov. 04 2008 10:48 AM
StephanieH from brooklyn ny usa

One hour and 40 minutes to wait and 5 minutes to vote -- Sterling HS in Ft. Greene Brooklyn! In 20 years I've never seen the lines that I saw this morning - never! People were giddy with excitement -- and very hopeful. I'm cautiously optimistic for our candidate -- and I'll be up all night until the nomination is won. I can't wait -- I am at work and barely able to concentrate.
History is going to be made today (I hope:)

Nov. 04 2008 10:48 AM
Tania from Brooklyn

I am a biracial women and I arrived at Ditmas elementary to vote at 6:00 a.m. this morning. There was already a line around the corner. Everyone had smiles on their faces when they arrived and even bigger ones when they exited. This election day is one of the most important days of my life thus far. I feel a very personal connection with Barack and his sincere desire to bring people together. I am filled with hope that our country has and will continue to unite for a better future filled with peace and prosperity for all!!! Congratulations to everyone!!

Nov. 04 2008 10:47 AM
Jesse from NYC

Very disappointing and unfair. I am a McCain supoporter and think that the system stinks. I understand that New York will go for Obama because of the electoral college.

Basically because of this, my vote does not count. How democratic is that?

Down with the electoral college. Let every vote count. One vote per person, and let the popular vote decide.

Nov. 04 2008 10:47 AM
Brook from Queens

Not bad. It took me almost exactly 20 minutes to vote. The odd thing was there were 8 election districts voting at my polling place. 3 districts had almost no line, 4 were similar to mine (20-30 minute wait) and 1 (the 39th election district) had a line that had to be at least 40 minutes to an hour. It would be nice if the machines were a bit more evenly distributed.

Nov. 04 2008 10:47 AM
Kathryn from harlem

as a mother of a bi-racial white/african-american son, I was especially excited to walk over and vote today. I feel that whatever today's outcome, there is a groundswell of purpose and power that cannot be stifled by voting machine shenanigans, gerrymandering, or the like. The lines were full of proud people, whose eyes were lifted and hearts seemed too full to contain the hope and pride in the air today.

Nov. 04 2008 10:47 AM
Donovan from Jackson Heights

Heading out to vote now in Jackson Heights..

But, we're having a party tonite at our house: Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Chicago Style pizza, Apple Pie

Nov. 04 2008 10:45 AM
Amelia from Jersey City

I have to add, in terms of how it felt to vote this morning: so proud that I live in a democracy where I can vote directly for the president. Between this and the last election, I lived in Israel and voted there-- but for the party, not the person. It was also a big first, the first Sephardi (middle-eastern, as opposed to European) man to lead Labor, and eventually the first to become Defense Minister. But there's something so powerful about actually getting to pick the person. Let's hope Obama wins, and then let's hope he makes better decisions that Amir Peretz.
I'm planning on celebrating tonight with my parents. This is the first election that has fired them up in my lifetime.

Nov. 04 2008 10:45 AM
Rebecca from Grinnell, IA

I live in Connecticut but go to (a pretty liberal) college in Iowa, where most of us participated in early voting. So my election day today is being spent worrying if our votes are actually going to count. Just yesterday, a team of Republican lawyers gave word that they're trying to contest 700 of our votes based on a registration technicality - that we should have registered at our dorms and not our campus mailboxes, even though we can't receive mail at our dorm addresses. So that's great.

We're having a huge campus-wide party to watch the returns, and you can imagine 1600 rabid college kids worried about their votes being counted and watching this should be interesting.

Nov. 04 2008 10:44 AM
Domenic from NYC

Problems earlier this morning at PS 116, specifically for the 54th district voters. The machine was down and there was conflicting information being given as to the hand written ballots. The volunteers didn't seem to be able to handle the situation (particularly the republican assistant). There were no translators when needed and no assistance being given to voters questions. It seemed like total chaos. I would be concerned with anyone voting in this district, particularly if you voted around 8am this morning.

Nov. 04 2008 10:44 AM
Michael Stoltz from Brooklyn, Prospect Heights

Dear Brian

I have always voted and performed that task in a rather perfunctory manner. This time I felt like an Athenian, scratching a big W on an ostracon as I pulled the lever down for Obama.


Nov. 04 2008 10:43 AM
anna from bayside, ny

I haven't voted yet because I'm waiting for my 85 yr old permanent resident grandma to wake up from her nap and will take her alone with me to the poll site. She's a little upset that she couldn't vote but that doesn't make her any less enthusiastic about this election! I can't wait!

Nov. 04 2008 10:43 AM
Yvonne Simons from New York City

Though I myself am not a citizen and cannot vote (still after 30 years), several of my fellow co-op neighbors went to vote on Staten Islands, NY 10301 DANIEL LOW TERRACE voting place. Evidently there were 125 folks voting at 7 AM. The room held 1/5 of the voting machines they normally have available at other presidential elections! In SI there is a race for the last republican NYC stronghold for congress with McMahon trying to become the first Democrat. My neighbors saw this as a clear tactic to discourage people from voting.

Nov. 04 2008 10:43 AM
John McDonagh from Queens New York

At 6:10 am this morning at P.S 87 in Queens New York, my 12 year old daughter pulled the lever for Obama and made history. You can see the picture on

Nov. 04 2008 10:42 AM
Mark from Jersey City

Lines in the Newport section of Jersey City are between 1 - 2 hours as of 10:40.

A poll worker said they were longer this morning.

Personally I think it's ridiculous that we have to wait that long. I am fortunate in that I am working from home today but I expect some people may not be able to vote because of the long lines.

Nov. 04 2008 10:41 AM
Jeffrey Robinson from Piscataway, New Jersey

I am African American man and this morning my wife and I took our kids to the poll with us to vote for Barack Obama. Our kids are 4 and 1.5 years old. I told our 4 year old daughter that we were going to vote and that she should remember this day because we had a chance to vote for Black man for President. I wasn't emotional when we were at the polls but now I am tearing up because it means so much to me and to all of us who are turning out to vote!

Nov. 04 2008 10:41 AM
Terri Ann from Ithaca, NY

This was my first time voting in upstate NY after recently relocated from Astoria. The whole process took about 5 minutes. Voting this year was especially emotional for me. I woke up feeling very nervous and excited and got all choked up after casting my vote (and now that I'm at work I keep tearing up hearing the callers into Brian). It's such a beautiful feeling... full of pride and hope and strength.

Nov. 04 2008 10:40 AM
ben wiley from carroll gardens, brooklyn

hey brian, i own a small bar on smith street in brooklyn (Bar Great Harry, 280 smith street if you ever wanna stop by). we have no TVs, opting instead to foster good conversation and a friendly atmosphere. However, i wrangled a nice flatscreen monitor from my brother for this evening only! i will bring my laptop to the bar, use our wifi to stream CNN (or Huuluu if i have to), hook up to the flatscreen monitor and run the audio through our speaker system. its going to be great. we actually did this for the last two presidential debates and it worked great. all my regulars know about it and i think we're going to have a fun evening!

Nov. 04 2008 10:40 AM
Michael McGoff from Long Island City

Tough day for the volunteers, but ultimately this day is not a surprise, so having leadership and a few pens for those of us filling out emergency ballots would be helpful. At the High School of Information Technology in LIC there are crossed district lines (why?), confused people at the table and one very helpful, but beleaguered (it's only 10:30am) coordinator dealing with a broken machine for District 18. They just need direction and to assure us our votes were being counted today not infighting.

Nov. 04 2008 10:40 AM
Alison from Brooklyn

I waited for an hour at 7:30 this morning and was thrilled to wait because it meant there was a big turn out. There was a lot of camraderie - people seemed more excited than any other time I've voted.

I also listened to a podcast of Cartalk while I waited because I couldn't get radio reception inside the cinderblock building.

I wish I could vote early and often!

Nov. 04 2008 10:39 AM
Sandy from Toronto, Canada

Every person in my office is either listening or watching -- not much work getting done here today in the name of U.S. election.

There are thousands, probably millions, here in Canada that wish we could vote for Obama. We are here, listening and cheering you all on - do the right thing America!! OBAMA!!

I'll be hitting the Democrats Abroad party in Toronto for awhile and then heading home to stay up all night, if necessary!!

Nov. 04 2008 10:39 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

There is a polling place at the entrance to my subdivision. I could barely get out of the neighborhood for the cars and people and for the first time I didn't mind. I voted last week so I did not have to stand in line today. How exciting to see people waiting 6:30 AM.


Nov. 04 2008 10:38 AM
Jude Pernot from Rosendale, NY

It felt like Christmas morning when I woke up today. The anticipation I felt waiting for the polls to open felt like the pre-dawn wait as a kid to look at the tree with the gifts under it. Yes, I will stay up for the results. I will listen to NPR as I have no television. I plan on picking up a bottle of Obama-bubbly to share with my husband and neighbor.

Nov. 04 2008 10:38 AM
Jodi Eichelberger from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

I was on line in Bay Ridge this morning at 5:50am. A British friend woke me up with a text at 5:00 saying they would be staying up all night to watch the results. This is truly a global event. I beat some of the poll workers there. There were about 35 - 50 people waiting when the doors opened at about 6:05. It was so exciting to see people of all ages and different races gathering in the darkness. There was a woman with her young son waiting in front of us and he was asking about what voting was. As she answered him I felt excited and more American than I've felt in years. The doors opened at 6:05 and we all flooded the hallway.

We are having a party tonight to watch the returns. We have a case of champagne waiting to either celebrate or drown our sorrows. This is the first election party I have ever attended.

Nov. 04 2008 10:36 AM
Will from Ossining, NY

Date line Ossining, NY, time 5:55am.

Having arrived at the polls with my wife a few minuets before the polls opened, there were only 3 people in-front of us. A minuet after 6am the nice old ladies opened the doors and let us in. The first voter signed her name in the voter registration book and was directed to the one and only machine (NYS still uses the old fashion lever units). The poll worker with the silver hair proceeded to push a button on the side of the machine to allow the first voter to cast her ballet. The voter attempted to move the lever that closes the curtain to no avail. The flustered poll workers scrambled to asses the situation to no avail. One worker picked up her cell and called for help.

As the line began to grow in the next three or four minuets, I saw a poll worker sitting in front of us and a look of realization crossed her forehead. She turned to her side and reached into a plastic bag and retrieved a small brown envelope which she promptly tore open and pulled out a set of keys. She triumphantly got up and walked to the side of the machine. Instantly they directed the voter inside the booth, who pulled the lever and democracy was allowed to start...

Nov. 04 2008 10:35 AM
Steven Osgood from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I live in Ossining, but am working in Amsterdam for a few months. I have voted in several presidential elections, but this is the first time I have had to vote by absentee ballot.

The day my ballot arrived in the mail was thrilling. It felt like gold. I sat quietly at home filling it out, double-checking everything, and then carried it around for a few days before mailing it in. It felt like the most important vote I have cast-- simply huge.

I am very anxious to see the election returns. I don't know yet if I will stay awake through the night, or try to get some sleep and get up early. Any partying will come tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Nov. 04 2008 10:32 AM
Ann from Manhattan

Goosebumps! ...and a few really happy tears shed this morning as i left my polling place with the thought "I just voted for black man for president of the United States of America! ...and he could WIN!"

I'm a deeply cynical 48-year-old leftie white woman, who regards--and will continue to regard-ALL politicians with a skeptical eye. Pretty much every vote i've ever cast has been a lesser-of-evils decision. Voting normally depresses me, and i WEPT for joy--for goodness sake! Who would've thought?

Around 8 a.m., upper Manhattan, waited 30-40 minutes in a longish line for the 40th district (1 machine). Turnout looked just as good for the 39th (faster line with 2 machines), much lighter for the 41st.

Nov. 04 2008 10:31 AM
Craig from Staten Island

First time voting in SI. Voted @ 6:05 this morning 3 deep for my assembly district but 10 deep at others. Much better organized than my voting experiences in Brooklyn and Manhattan 3 people per voting machine with the most knowledgable poll worker running the show. Very impressed. Hope we keep old school voting machines until the electronic machines actually work. Go Mike McMahon D(NY-13)!

Nov. 04 2008 10:28 AM
stu in nyc from uws

we moved 5 blocks last year, and our voting place changed from a school gym (never a wait) to a small cramped church hall (line out the door and down the block). the roll book happened to be open to the page with my wife's name (it was the last name on the page). when the poll worked turned the page for my name, I noticed that my wife's name was also at the top of the new page. I'm sure my wife is not going to wait to vote twice, but how many mistakes like this could be turned into an advantage for a candidate (or turn into a re-count situation)?

Nov. 04 2008 10:26 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

What is this part of history nonsense?...If Obama doesn't win electing another white guy isn't it would be historic if we voted out of faith instead of fear for a change...

Nov. 04 2008 10:26 AM
RICARDO TOLEDO from Roosevelt Island, NY

I'm a first time voter. Became a citizen last year. I found the voting experience archaic and chaotic. The NY Board of Elections could learn a lot from the NGOs helping out in countries with serious threat of voter fraud, on how to run clear and well run elections.

Nov. 04 2008 10:23 AM
Priya from Brooklyn

My friend's dad Bob who lives in Lancaster Pa is voting for a democrat for the very first time in his life. He decided a few weeks ago to not vote for McCain for two reasons, one because he thought the choice of Palin as a VP was poor. And also there have been multiple layoffs at the large company he works for, and he believes that the economy will be in better hands with Obama.

Nov. 04 2008 10:21 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

The electoral college insures states with smaller populations get a voice and count.

Without the electoral college candidates would only need to campaign in large states like New York and California and major cities where there are large concentrations of people.

Nov. 04 2008 10:20 AM
Gesner from Election Results Party in Brooklyn


I am certain we will be called upon 20-30 years from now to provide an account of where we were and what we did that night.

Let us not miss the opportunity of bearing witness to history with a select group of friends. Our forebears who have endured chains and all sorts of dehumanizing treatments could never have imagined such a night - centuries in the making. For those of us who came from Haiti, this has a special and dual significance for us.

The symbolism is bound to reverberate the world over. The most powerful country on earth arguably is being led by a Black man - Not even Dr. King, Toussaint L'Ouverture, and countless of other prophetic souls who shed blood to pave this path could have anticipated this in just 40 years of breaking Jim Crow's bondage.

Life will in no doubt be the same on Wednesday if Obama wins. He faces a seemingly insurmountable task economically and geo-politically. Yet, his mere presence in the White House will not only usher in a new era, but it is bound to send an even stronger message to those who attribute mistakenly or stereotypically blackness with failure, disorder, chaos, as well as incompetence and unabashed low expectations. This applies sadly to our own brethren and the rest of the world.

Let's rejoice in sending a different message to the rest of the world and our kind.

See you at 8pm sharp.

Nov. 04 2008 10:20 AM
Leigh Hallingby from Teaneck, NJ

Yes, I am having a party tonight, a Tex-Mex extravaganza to celebrate the return of George W. Bush to his ranch in Crawford, the one certain outcome of this election. I am serving gazpacho soup, 2 kinds of chili, and corn bread. The guests are a group of friends with whom I have been getting together on Election Night for 30 years. We rotate the event from house to house, and happily for me, it is at my home this year.

Nov. 04 2008 10:19 AM
Jeff from Plainfield, NJ

The polls opened at 6 a.m. in New Jersey, and by 6:30 our neighborhood polling place (an elementary school)was crowded almost to overflowing - totally unprecedented! This is a solid Democratic area; it didn't look like complacency was going to be a problem in getting out the vote. Even with the crowd, voting still only took about 15 minutes.

No party for us, but it won't seem any less historic watching it at home. Maybe there are some leftover fireworks from the 4th of July - that would be fun!

Thanks for all the great coverage.

Nov. 04 2008 10:18 AM

what does "voter status: inactive mean?" can i not vote?

Nov. 04 2008 10:18 AM
Jim Beers from Manhattan

Doesn't Federal Law provide all with 1/2 day for voting in Ntl. elections?

If so, why has this not been mentioned on your show or NPR?


Nov. 04 2008 10:17 AM
Priya from Brooklyn

I'm still not a citizen, but I have been wearing an Obama pin proudly as a global citizen.

I am hosting a little election night party and will be making Obama's chili and my friend will be bringing over an Apple pie.

Nov. 04 2008 10:17 AM
chris from williamsburg

Easy voting this morning. About a 15 minute wait.
Lots of hipsters drinking oslo coffee.
Obama all the way!

Nov. 04 2008 10:16 AM
JJ from nyc

Hi All,

I voted this morning in Washington Heights. There was a line at 7:30am. I did wait in-line for 25minutes - not too bad.

Did Charles Rangel debate his Republican challenger this year? I am a political-junkie, and listen to BLL every day, but I don't recall hearing a debate - too bad.

Mmmm... Starbucks coffee never tasted better!



Nov. 04 2008 10:16 AM
Leigh Hallingby from Teaneck, NJ

Yes, I am having a party tonight, a Tex-Mex extravaganza to celebrate the return of George Bush to his ranch in Crawford, TX, the one certain outcome of this election! I am serving gazpacho soup, 2 kinds of chili, and corn bread.
A group of us have been getting together on Election Night for 30 years, and, happily for me, the event is at my house this year

Nov. 04 2008 10:16 AM
Daniel from Mnahattan

I personally love the clunky old lever machines. Why is it necessary to replace them with something dodgier? Whynot just build some new lever machines?

Too, why isn't Election Day a National holiday? It strikes me as a given.

Nov. 04 2008 10:16 AM

was up at 6:30am, and at the voting site at 6:40am, and still had to wait 30 minutes. i was happy to wait. happy people were there to get there vote in. and happy to be part of a very important historical event.

Nov. 04 2008 10:15 AM
Melanie from Brooklyn

I was so proud to be a part of this election, and I was so proud of my fellow voters. The line was about 30 deep in Kensinton at IS 62 at 5:40AM when I arrived, and by the time I finished (at 6:15AM) it was wrapped around the corner. It was so unbelievable!

Nov. 04 2008 10:15 AM
Jay F.

I became a citizen this year and voted for the first time at PS 41 in the West Village.
The line was around the corner the tail end half way down 10th st., around 6th ave. to the polling station on 11th st., but I was out within 1/2 hour. - got there at 7am.

I love the sound of those levers.

Nov. 04 2008 10:14 AM
Tony from San Jose, CA

In California, we can vote by mail. I heard many did so.

Nov. 04 2008 10:14 AM
Amelia from Jersey City

I voted at the school I've voted at for years, and where I accompanied my parents to vote for years before that, and I've never seen anything close to this crowd. I waited 30 minutes (not bad, compared to other places, but still shocking for Jersey City!) then no problems voting. I miss that big lever we used to pull, though! Just pushing some computer buttons feels so anti-climactic.
Also, just wondering, any McCain voters in downtown Jersey City?

Nov. 04 2008 10:14 AM
Carrie from Houston, TX

This was my first presidential election voting in Texas. Despite the record turnout in early voting, and the hours long line, we're told again and again that Texas is a red state no matter what. I've never felt the unfairness of the electoral college system more clearly. If Houston was it's own state, it would go for Obama. Instead, the will of the voters are subsumed and canceled by the rest of the state

Nov. 04 2008 10:14 AM
Erica Payne from Levittown, NY

I voted at 7 a.m this morning, and brought my 13-year-old son with me to be part of this historic election. I was very surprised and pleased to see how many people were already there, and my wait was surprisingly short.

Nov. 04 2008 10:13 AM
A.H. Scott from New York City

Usually when my mother and I vote together, it's a process of under 5 minutes. We're in and out without any lines or fuss. Ah, but this Election Day in November, it was totally different in New York City.

Arrived at polling place at 6:15 am. Waited in line for a good 25 to 30 minutes to vote. I've been voting since the election of 1992, and have never seen anything like what I saw this morning at a public school, where I went to vote with my mother. There were around 50 people inside on line waiting. Now, that was the first surprise I had this morning. The second was when my mother and I were standing in that line of people waiting for our turn to go into the booth. And, I looked around and realized there were almost another 24 standing behind us.

When I saw my candidate's name, I took a deep breath and pulled the lever for him. Although I will not say whom I voted for, I knew my single vote had the ability to change history. And, that is the golden principle of democracy to me.

Nov. 04 2008 10:13 AM
Christopher Crowe from Bobst Library, NYU

I voted at around 6:30 this morning in Ridgewood, Queens. It was basically smooth, although it took th clerks a while to find my name in the book (even though I've been in the neighborhood since 2001 and have voted many times). And no one could really tell me how to do a write-in vote. I was told to press some button in the booth and to not pull the lever. "How am I supposed to vote for everyone else?" I asked. "Then pull the lever." I ended up not voting at all in the local city council election (neither of the candidates being any good at all). After I was done and was waiting for my friend who who had come with me to finish, I was basically kicked out by a police officer because I had an Obama shirt on, and some Obama pins.

All in all, though, a positive experience. I'm going to a party tonight. I feel like a little child on Christmas Eve! (Let's hope there's no coal in our stockings tomorrow!)

Nov. 04 2008 10:13 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

Voting today was a truly cleansing experience! Tonight, with my partner out of town, I will be glued to TV coverage for the greatest night of theatre possible.

Nov. 04 2008 10:13 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

I didn't vote for Obama or McCain.
I voted for NADER.

Until there is a viable third party there never will be any change or hope.

Obama is better than McCain however they voted the same on some very important issues.

Patriot Act
Lifting the Ban on Offshore Drilling
Partial birth abortion ban

Obama isn't going to lower your taxes either he's just not going to renew or make permanent the Bush tax cuts which EXPIRE 2010!

Nov. 04 2008 10:13 AM
David Hume from Staten Island, NY

The Early voting ballots and absentee ballots will not be fully counted until November 15th. Therefore we will not know who wins the election for at least another 2 weeks.

True or False?

Nov. 04 2008 10:12 AM
Denise Long from Montclair, NJ

I always vote. This was the longest line with the most people of color and the most young people than I have ever seen. My daughter is 17 so has just missed the election, but for the first time I took her into the stall with me to observe the process so she will be that much more prepared for next time. Afterwards we went for fresh baked bread at The Bread Shop in Montclair where the English owner had baked warm toasty Obama buns! :)

Nov. 04 2008 10:12 AM
brad from bed stuy/crown heights

A _very_ crowded polling place at PS93 at 8am, but a lot of the line was people trying to find out their election district.

If you can look up your election district ahead of time, it can save you a lot of time; we were able to walk right up to the 28th district booth and vote with no line at all.

election district lookup:

Nov. 04 2008 10:12 AM
Carrie from Houston, TX

Voting was frustrating. It was my first presidential election living in Texas, and despite the record early voter turnout and three-hour lines, we're told over and over again that Texas is a red state no matter what. I've never felt the unfairness of the electoral college so strongly.

Nov. 04 2008 10:11 AM
Brian from Manhattan

I got to the polls at 5:45 am at PS 75 on the UWS. I was about 50th in line. By the time the polls opened the line was around the block. Everyone on line knew today was going to be special!

Thanks Brian!

Nov. 04 2008 10:11 AM
Melody from Bronx, NY

I had to file a provisional ballot at 6:20 this morning because my name was not in the pollbook. My registration is active - how many others have been removed from the list of eligible voters by an oversight?

Nov. 04 2008 10:10 AM
Linda from Fairfield County, CT

I have voted in every election since I turned 18, that's every 2 years for the past 28 years. Every single time I vote, I get all choked up. I have to try hard not to be crying by the time I finish. I've voted for both Democrats & Republicans over the years. There is nothing else that makes me emotional like that. I always wonder if other people feel this way.

Nov. 04 2008 10:09 AM
Sue from North Salem, NY

Yes, having a party tonight! Circling the wagons at my house, making some chili...

Nov. 04 2008 10:09 AM
Leo Farley from Manhattan

I have always hated wating on lines probably stemming from my time in the army when it was "hurry up and wait" I never felt so good to be in a line before and felt a community spirit with everyone with me this morning. What an exciting day this is. I feel like a proud American for the first time in a long time.

Nov. 04 2008 10:09 AM
David from Brooklyn, NY

My girlfriend and I voted shortly after 6:00 a.m. at our polling place in Brooklyn, PS 19. We witnessed--and directly experienced--several troubling irregularities. Lots of confusion, very little organization.

My girlfriend's name was found on the roll, she signed, but then the poll workers handed her another piece of paper to fill out. We eventually discovered this was a mistake; they had treated her as if she needed a provisional ballot. We had to tell them again that she was indeed on the voter roll and could vote normally.

After my girlfriend voted in the booth on the big clunky machine, it was my turn. When I moved the handle to the right, the entire machine moved with me! And it did not make the tell-tale "ka-chunk" sound that it's supposed to. I tried to flip the switch for my chosen candidate, but it wouldn't budge. I had to call a poll worker over to get the machine to work, and only after moving the big handle back and forth and then hitting a mystery switch on the outside of the machine did it work properly again. Very disturbing.

I have no idea whether it calculated my girlfriend's vote properly, or my own, and whether the nonsense with the extra paperwork for my girlfriend will somehow negate her vote. This experience turned what should have been a positive, uplifting experience into a sour one. Never in my political experience have I been so aware that voting in this country is an act of blind faith.

Nov. 04 2008 10:08 AM
Michelle Rosenfeld from Morris Township, NJ

There was no line today in Morris Township. I breezed in at 6:30 and was out in less than 5 minutes. Go Obama!

Nov. 04 2008 10:07 AM
Lloyd from Manhattan

5 SECONDS TO VOTE! I vote at PS 116 on East 33rd St. There was a line of people waiting to find out which election district they were in. But since I already knew, I waltzed
right up to my voting machine. It's a small district and there was no one waiting. It took the poll worker 5 seconds to find my name and I voted right away.

The "takeaway" -- know your Assembly District and Election District numbers before you go to the polls.

Nov. 04 2008 10:07 AM

Voted in Jersey City, NJ this morning. ONE voting booth, ONE! You've got to be kidding me. Poll workers were extremely unorganized and had no idea what they were doing. Handed me a PENCIL to sign the voter's book and when I asked for a pen was handed a major does of attitude.

Am wondering if experience would have differed in a another area of JC? This was in McGinley Square off of Montgomery.

Nov. 04 2008 10:06 AM
Ben from Brooklyn

Around a 20 minute wait in Greenpoint at 7 this morning with around 50 people waiting. The poll worker said there was a line down the block at 6am when the poll opened.

By way of comparison, when I voted in the 2004 presidential election at the same location and around the same time of day, i was the only voter in the polling place.

Nov. 04 2008 10:06 AM
Philip Traugott from Windsor Terrace

Euphoric feeling and a relief to vote. It's no longer about them, it's about us, and the whole world is watching. I'm proud today to be American...

Nov. 04 2008 10:06 AM
Michelle Rosenfeld from Morris Township, NJ

I noticed almost no difference at the polls today. I thought there would be a line, but there was only one person in front of me at 6:30 am. I voted and was out of there in less than 5 minutes. Yahoo!

Nov. 04 2008 10:04 AM
Leigh from Somers, NY

At my Town Hall I saw an 18-year-old girl voting for the first time. She was with her mom and grandmother and I don't know why, I got really emotional...I just felt compelled to shake her hand and say congratulations...

I know so many parents who were planning to vote this morning, but were asked by their grade-school children to wait until the afternoon or tonight so they (the kids) could go, too. A lot of my friends who are grade-school teachers say that they have never before seen this kind of interest in an election from young kids.

I drove home from Town Hall listening to "Sufferin' Until Suffrage" off the America Rock album. Feels good.

Nov. 04 2008 10:03 AM

In our small (Somerset County, NJ) town one of the two mayoral candidates is also working at the polling place.


Nov. 04 2008 10:01 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Went to my polling place in Brklyn this a.m. it was a cluster-*** of democratic mismanagement...long lines, little signage, no directions, poll workers not knowing left from right (I ain't kidding)...took me a long time to vote 3rd party, but it was worth it...

Nov. 04 2008 09:58 AM
LeeNYC from Harlem

Ballot Initiative - Was surprised to see a proposal on the ballot. Although it sounded somewhat esoteric (softening requirements for disabled veterans to qualify for points on civil service exams), had not seen any coverage on it.

Could you touch on this? It was so far on the right, no doubt many missed it.

Fyi, when I voted this a.m. in Harlem (at 6am) there were very long lines, but they moved quickly. In and out in 30 minutes!


Nov. 04 2008 09:51 AM
Peter from Flatbush, Brooklyn

POLL WORKERS AT THE 79TH E.D. (P.S. 139 IN BROOKLYN) WHERE ASKING EVERY VOTER FOR ID!! There is no voter ID law in NY. You can get a provisional pballot with an ID, but if your in the book you DONT need ID.
I called the NYC Board of Elections, they were shocked to learn that you dont need to present ID to vote.

Nov. 04 2008 09:40 AM
Mike Lavers from Bushwick, Brooklyn

There were nearly a dozen people (mostly young white people in their 20s) waiting on line when I left PS 111 in Bushwick. I've lived here for more than four years and there have never been more than a handful of people at the polling place when I voted. This election is obviously different!

Nov. 04 2008 09:24 AM
abdul from bronx

We spent ours sometimes even day on a line for Janet, Britney, IPOD, PS2/PS3, XBOX, NITENDO etc

Why not line to VOTE

Nov. 04 2008 08:46 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Wow, an Obama landslide in NYC? I hear Christmas is in December this year. Can anyone confirm?

Nov. 04 2008 08:28 AM
mike webster from brooklyn, ny

The lines at the PS-29 polling place in Cobble Hill are around the corner. I've never seen it like this. Look for an Obama landslide, at least in New York.

Nov. 04 2008 08:04 AM

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