What happened when you voted?

If you’re voting today, tell us how it went, and how you felt.

60 Responses to “What happened when you voted?”

  1. 1 Jennifer
    November 4, 2008 at 16:21

    When I voted this am the ballotbox holding all of the ballots exploded with fireworks! J/K Not really but it went very well! There were no issues at all; plenty of spaces for people to complete their ballets in privacy. The 3 ladies working the polls were very friendly and in a great mood. The line was not as long as I thought it would be so there was no problems with parking or people getting too restless. I feel happy that I was able to vote and glad it’s done; a little queasy but it’s just excitement! Now we just have to see the results….

  2. 2 Brett
    November 4, 2008 at 16:26

    Well heres my experience thus far.

    The polls are 2 blocks from my house at a local Baptist Church.

    I left my house before 5:30 am. and turned the corner to walk up the hill. As I neared the top I saw cars all over the place and noticed crowds of people gathering… Problem was they were gathering about 2 blocks from where the polling station was. When I got closer I had realized that they were gathering that far back because thats how long the line was.

    It snaked around buildings, through parking lots, back to the main road, and all this before the polls even opened. There was about 1000 people there when I showed up and the line kept growing. Everyone standing out in the dark and in the rain to vote. I had friends who woke up at 3am to go sit in line to vote. Two and a half hours later and soaked from the rain, I emerged with my “I voted” sticker and a big smile on my face. Despite the fact I knew my boss would hassle me about being late as he’s a non-voter. When I left, the line was just as long as when I had gotten there two and a half hours before.

    The atmosphere was amazing, Obama and McCain signs lined every block and every median and every person had a smile on their face, no matter how wet and cold they were.

  3. November 4, 2008 at 17:29

    Voting was a piece of cake. I went in the morning at the tail end of the morning rush. It took all of 25 minutes. People were chatty and accomodations had been made for the elderly, pregnant women, or other disabilities. By the time the Gneral Election arrived 40% of GA’s registered voters had already voted, which helps, there are 4 voting precincts with a quarter mile stretch near to where I live, one of which is mine, and I refuse to vote after work. I suspect that lines will be long then. I took this same approach on Super Tuesday. I got in and out quickly, whereas, my co-workers who voted late in the day waited two and half hours to vote.

  4. 4 Monica in DC
    November 4, 2008 at 17:30

    My neighbor called to say that our polling place was pretty mellow. It took me longer to drive there than to vote, which was great. The only issue I had was that the machines were not private, and any one standing in the short line that there was could see how most people were voting. I’m very open about who I voted for anyway but still, not cool.

  5. November 4, 2008 at 17:33

    One more thing: the weather is flawless in GA today.

    Brett, too bad you couldn’t have voted here instead! 😉

  6. 6 nathaniel
    November 4, 2008 at 17:42

    I had no problems voting today, the polls were well staffed and local police kept traffic moving outside the office. Certain media groups have talked about record voter fraud and pols turning voters away with long lines but i beleive this is largely an attempt to dissuade people from voting or to fill time on 24 hour networks.

    Whoever you are, how ever you are voting, get out there and vote! Make your voice heard.

  7. 7 Pangolin-California
    November 4, 2008 at 17:42

    I voted at 8:15 am Pacific Time. After dropping my kid off at her school I rode my longtail bike right up to the polling place where there were no lines. Just a pretty lady waiting with her dog while her friend voted. Checked my sample ballot against several voter guides to make sure that I was firm and went in.

    No wait at all and a surplus of poll workers greeted me. I was offered the choice of a paper ballot or electronic voting. I chose paper. Walked over to the flimsy booth, filled out my little ovals and returned my ballot. Finally I got my all important “I voted” sticker. Total time: 15 minutes.

    After a pouring rain overnight the morning is glorious here in Northern California. Luck and blessings to all on this day.

  8. 8 Jan
    November 4, 2008 at 17:45

    I live in Oregon and vote by mail. I waited until last Sunday to vote so I could enjoy the discussions that my husband has on ALL parts of the ballot. When done, we signed the ballot envelope then I delivered it to the box at the back of the courthouse. The box was FULL. It was great to see the line, I had to wait several minutes to get it in due to a vehicle line.

  9. 9 Laura in Belfast
    November 4, 2008 at 18:24

    Vote absentee, no lines or machine breakdowns at all 🙂

    Sadly, that means considerably less excitement as well. Would have loved to be a part of that atmosphere Brett talked about on perhaps one of most important days politically in my short life.

    Everyone back home- live it up for me!

    Laura, wishing she was in Minneapolis on this day

  10. 10 Laura in Belfast
    November 4, 2008 at 18:30

    Vote absentee, no lines or machine breakdowns at all 🙂

    Unfortunately, it means considerably less excitement as well. I would have loved to be a part of that atmosphere Brett talked about. It’s really hard to be away from home on perhaps the most politically important day of my short life.

    Everyone at home, live it up for me!

    Laura, wishing she was in Minneapolis today

  11. 11 Laura in Belfast
    November 4, 2008 at 18:39

    oops, delete one of those…

  12. 12 Jonelle in Los Angeles
    November 4, 2008 at 18:46

    I dropped my kids off at school then headed to my polling place with my marked up sample ballot in hand. There was a short line (2-3 people), I casted my vote and headed off to work without much difficulty.

  13. 13 Grace in Portland Oregon
    November 4, 2008 at 19:05

    In Oregon we have vote by mail and it is perfect! I am going to drop my in a drop box this morning! No lines to wait in, no worries about the weather, no worries about being pressured to vote a certain way or rush since there are so many people behind you in line! All states should go vote by mail!!

  14. 14 Frank
    November 4, 2008 at 19:06

    I voted two weeks ago, sitting at my kitchen table with my wife and two young sons. We live in Oregon, where voting is done exclusively by mail. We received our voter information pamphlets about 3 weeks ago, and then got our ballots in the mail the following week. I filled in my ballot that same evening, and mailed it back to the elections office the very next day. Voting is so simple and convenient in Oregon. I am glad I live in a state where I don’t have to wait in long lines on election day to vote. Hooray for democracy!

  15. 15 Cyndi
    November 4, 2008 at 19:10

    I voted this morning at 7am, and I had to wait in line for about 1/2 hour. It was a larger turnout than the last time I voted, but it went smoothly and the line continued to move.

    I felt proud to vote today for Obama and canvassed for him yesterday 🙂

  16. November 4, 2008 at 19:11

    I waited in a short line, and cast my vote on a trusty old lever voting machine, as I have since I was 18.

    (Total time, 5 or 6 minutes.) I fear I’ll never have it so easy again.

  17. 17 Ellen in Baltimore Md
    November 4, 2008 at 19:12

    My boyfriend Paul and I left house just before 10am to walk to the polling place. The line was all the way to the sidewalk in front of the school and people were saying they had to wait 2 hours to vote as they were leaving with their “I voted” stickers. We stood in line for nearly an hour before asking for a seat, as both of us wear in pain by then.

    There was some mix up on which of the 2 precincts we were suppose to vote at. First we were sent to side of gym with 11 machines and workers who kept making sure seniors and handicap didn’t have to wait long. When they found out we were in the other precinct, they got us seated over there, where we had to wait some time for the workers to get us sign in and able to vote at one of the 3 machines there.

    If anything I have to wonder why they didn’t have more voting machines for my precinct. The difference in lines and how helpful the workers were was large.

  18. 18 Ann Pedersen
    November 4, 2008 at 19:13

    I live in Oregon too and I wish every state had mail-in ballots. Sit with a cup of coffee and go through the voters’ guide with no hassle. You can even go back and erase — carefully, thoroughly — and change your mind without having a hundred people behind you waiting for you to get finished. Incredibly civilized.

  19. 19 Ellisha
    November 4, 2008 at 19:14

    I live in Oregon and most of us who took advantage of it voted weeks ago, because we have the priviledge of mailing out votes in. No long lines for us. I think every state should switch to mailing in ballots.

  20. 20 Katie in South Pasadena CA
    November 4, 2008 at 19:18

    This is a historic day. Regardless of how long it takes to stand in line everyone should make the most of this opportunity. And it only took me 30 minutes!

  21. 21 Laura
    November 4, 2008 at 19:20

    There was no wait. I was in and out in 15 minutes or less. The energy was flying. Everyone was sooooo excited. No matter what happens today. we are finally done with bush. Americans are starting to feel like Americans again.

  22. November 4, 2008 at 19:25

    Voted at 8am, there was a line, waited only 15 minutes. but even this is unusual for my district, the polling place manager has been doing this for 24 years and he says that by far this was the biggest turnout yet.

    I think we are going to be sadly surprised to find McCain the winner. We are a racist country still the core of our country, will vote AGAINST Obama.


  23. November 4, 2008 at 19:28

    I live in Portland, Oregon, where we vote by mail. But I personally waited to drop my ballot off today to feel more a part of the excitement that encompasses this historic election. There were cars lined up as far as you could see, waiting to drive up to group of ballot drop boxes. There was also a line of voters on bikes, which was fun to see. But no matter what your vehicle of getting there, every single person was grinning ear to ear, and seeing this made me tear up a little bit. For the first time in a long time (8 years), I felt extremely proud, and honored to be a part of this country.

  24. 24 Adrienne in Oregon
    November 4, 2008 at 19:33

    In Oregon we vote by mail, so I filled out my ballot at a local bar the other night and dropped it off at the library. So easy.

  25. 25 Diane
    November 4, 2008 at 19:33

    I live in Oregon and dropped off my vote last week. I have to say that I am feeling a little left out of the excitement today as a voter but also as a resident of a vote by mail state. I love the ease and convenience of vote by mail but I miss the excitement and social aspect of voting at the polling place as I did in California for the last presidential election. I also miss having my children take part in the process by coming with me to vote.
    Diane in Bend, Oregon

  26. 26 JD
    November 4, 2008 at 19:37

    I live in Oregon as well. We get our mail-in ballots two weeks ago with a heap of “bi-partisan” information on each of the candidates and measures. You can even walk up to one of many ballot drop boxes and hand in your ballot if you think it might get lost in the mail. Honestly I didn’t have any stress or lines to deal with. I feel everyone should have our system of voting.

  27. 27 Clara
    November 4, 2008 at 19:37

    Here in 94618, Oakland CA I was about the 200th voter at 9:00 AM, voting opened at 7:30 I think. We used to use electronic machines, but this year there were booths and big round tables set up and you had to color in the middle of the arrow. Oakland will vote overwhelmingly for Barack Obama and Barbara Lee and it will be a big party tonight!

  28. 28 Jean
    November 4, 2008 at 19:39

    I just voted in Medina County, Ohio. Our precinct had no line when we arrived and about 5-6 people in line by the time we finished voting and left. On the topic of privacy, our screens were NOT private and could be viewed by those waiting in line (2 voting stations) and by those working the sign-in table (2 voting stations). The one “booth” with private sides was available only if you requested the optional paper ballot. The privacy issue has been this way the past several elections. I personally use the side with the most privacy (the one viewable by those in line, as long as the line isn’t long). This should be addressed and remedied, not just here, but everywhere the electronic machines are in place. Our machines do print a paper backup, just fyi.

  29. 29 Jeff
    November 4, 2008 at 19:39

    I live in Mississippi, and although Mississippi always goes Republican, I got to the polls at 710am to cast my vote for Obama. The process was quite painless, with a wait of only about 10 minutes. This was the first time my small town had electronic voting and it was very easy to cast my ballot. Our machines even print out a paper ballot as a back-up.
    My hope is that an Obama administration will bring some sanity back to our government, such as respect for the Constitution. As a former Peace Corps volunteer I also hope that Obama will start the process of mending our relationships with other nations of the world.

  30. 30 Vera the international mongrel
    November 4, 2008 at 19:40

    I experienced what I think is the “Obama Effect” this morning when I voted. Never in the past 12 years had I seen so many ‘non-white” voters turned up to vote. I lived in immigrant /Asian neighborhood and historically voting turn-outs had been very low in our neighbourhood. NOT this time! I was there at 7:30 and there is a queue of 20 persons already, and most of them were naturalized citizens from India, China, Vietnam, Jordan, Russia… .You can hear all kinds of “foreign” languages spoken there. Amazing!

  31. 31 Tre from Austin, TX
    November 4, 2008 at 19:41

    I participated in early voting last Wednesday, and even though it was around lunchtime, I only had to wait about 90 seconds. Everyone was very friendly, but there was very little privacy. I didn’t mind, but as a first time voter, I was expecting the oft-mentioned “curtain”.

  32. 32 George
    November 4, 2008 at 19:43

    I got to the polls in Gaithersburg, MD about 15 minutes before they opened and had about an hour wait. I spoke with several colleagues at work and they all had similar experiences. Maryland is a very blue state, so the outcome is not in doubt. Nevertheless, I anticipate that the turnout will be very large. This could be the beginning of a new era of voter empowerment and participation. Perhaps the politicians will actually have to respond to the voter’s expectations! Imagine that.

  33. 33 Leslie
    November 4, 2008 at 19:51

    I early-voted last Wednesday at a grocery store in suburban Austin, Texas. They were operating at exactly capacity, so the wait was only about 2 minutes.

    The poll workers were delightful and made a special point of explaining everything to my 9-yr-old daughter. She was thrilled to discover that our voting machines operate on a scroll-and-click system. As far as she’s concerned, they’re just giant iPods 🙂

    For the record, there was no line today at 7:30 am when I jogged by our precinct’s polling place at the local middle school.

  34. 34 Alicia
    November 4, 2008 at 19:51

    My husband and I are in Cuyahoga county, Ohio. We had learned that we could vote early, so on October 3rd, we drove to the Board of Elections. We were able to re-register (as I’d been living in Canada briefly!) and vote on the same day. The board workers were very friendly and helpful, and the paper ballots were easy to read. It was a pleasant experience. After all we’d heard about the confusion in Cuyahoga county during the last election, we would hope that the organization we saw that day would be reflected in today’s polling stations.

  35. 35 Heidi in Portland, OR
    November 4, 2008 at 19:55

    My husband and I voted via mail-in ballot and personally dropped off our ballots at the county elections office the day we received them. We wanted to make sure that our votes for Obama made it safely to the elections office. We verified that our votes were counted and cannot wait until our country is given back to the people.

  36. 36 Carolyn Chapman
    November 4, 2008 at 19:56

    I am so happy so many people voted early! It made my voting experience in Akron, Ohio much easier. I am delighted that so many people over the world are interested in our election because that means they understand that no nation is alone when it comes to trade, finances and the human condition. We are all affected by the actions of other nations. Whether Christian (my faith) or Bhudist or Muslim – American, Indian or Russian – we need to work together for the common good. How can I as a Christian (and white) think that a black man can’t be President? This election is historic and I am glad whether it be a woman or a black person that we have finally arrived!

  37. 37 Michael
    November 4, 2008 at 19:58

    This American was able to vote a couple weeks ago, thanks to the fact that I’ve been living in London for a few years now. Even though our state of NY will most likely go Obama, it was by far the most satisfying envelope I’ve ever mailed. Moreover, now that it is finally election day I can honestly say that I am proud to be an American, something which I would have had a hard time saying a year ago.

  38. 38 Barbara
    November 4, 2008 at 20:00

    I am an American expat living in Scotland. I voted absentee but it was, yet again, very problematic. In the 2004 elections, my ballot didn’t arrive until Nov. 4th, stamped in red ink “Mis-sent to Iran”. So that vote didn’t count.

    THIS year, I posted my ballot, only to have it arrive back at my Scottish mailing address 2 days later! Because of the strange configuration of the outside envelope, my return address looked more like the mailing address. My local post office in Dundee observed that “another one” had been mistakenly returned to sender because of the confusing arrangement of information on the envelope. After they crossed out my address and circled the correct mailing address, it was sent out again. Then, 2 days later, it arrived BACK at my home in Scotland.

    After sending it a third time, I still wonder if it will ever arrive on time and be counted.

    I wonder how many other expats experienced a similar problem?

  39. 39 Emmauel Chipungu
    November 4, 2008 at 20:05

    i am very excited during this election cycle and have been very enthusiatic in volunteering for the the Obama Presidency. I voted early so that i can free-up my time to help all the people in need of transportation and any help during Election Day.I waited for 1:30 mins to proudly cast my vote. This country drastically needs change to move towards a positive direction not only for the USA but for the rest of the World. At this juncture in world politics and world standing this country is due for change that is why i change is beging with me. I grew up in Africa and Europe with the opportunity to travel all around the world.Americans are finally realizing how important their votes are,which is important for a healthy democracy without fear of losing your life just top cast your VOTE as is the case in many countries.

  40. 40 Jared
    November 4, 2008 at 20:05

    I voted a few days after early voting started. As I’ve driven by the polling location since then (right around the corner from my house), I’ve been consistently shocked at how huge the lines were! This is in a smallish town outside of Orlando, Florida (swing state, baby!). These lines, on Saturday afternoon, were longer than in any election I’ve voted for at this same location since I’ve lived in this town (3 elections, coincidentally). So, even if we don’t get the “Change We Need” as it were, we’ve certainly seen a change that was needed – after all, it was rather shameful that more people voted for their favorite “American Idol” than vote for President in the previous election.

  41. November 4, 2008 at 20:05

    Richmond, Virginia. I wrote a nice little blog the second i got back to my room about my experience on the street waiting for my chance to vote. This has been the best election day ever even in the rain! Please read my blog about my experience and tell me what you think.


  42. 42 Karen
    November 4, 2008 at 20:08

    I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio and arranged to come into work late today so I could miss the morning wait at the poll. It worked: there was one man ahead of me signing the book when I walked in. No hitches whatsoever, aside from some lingering unhappiness at having to choose a candidate I’m not entirely happy with.

    I’ll be spending my evening watching the only domestic coverage that won’t be tediously repetitious: “Indecision 2008: America’s Choice” with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, who will make me laugh no matter what depressing results come in!

  43. November 4, 2008 at 20:29

    I voted through the mail in WA state and it felt good to be part of this historic moment in the USA.

  44. 44 Matt Wilsbacher
    November 4, 2008 at 21:03

    My wife and I experience almost no wait here in Akron, Ohio. After hearing about the long lines experienced by some of my co-workers at the early voting locations, we decided to hold off till Election Day and it certainly paid off. We have been so excited to vote in this election that even our four-year-old daughter couldn’t wait to get out the door today so Mommy and Daddy could vote.

    As a resident of a battle ground state I’ll be more than happy to see this contentious and occasionally vile election come to a close. I’ve grown so tired of the coverage and advertisement blitz that I plan on a self imposed media blackout. I intend to curl up with a book and hopefully waking up tomorrow to see a new day dawning on America and the world.

  45. 45 steve
    November 4, 2008 at 21:07

    I just got back from voting. It was around 2:25PM. There was absolutely no line. There were some partisans outside holding up their signs. Went in, signed in, then had choice of touch screen or paper ballot. Everyone in there was at a touch screen, so I don’t know how many people opted for paper. Picked Ros Atkins as President, and then actually voted for other candidates. Very quick and easy process, though might have to do with the time I went.

  46. 46 Jennifer
    November 4, 2008 at 21:33

    @ Steve

    Why oh why did you do that?! AHHH! Ros would be a good president but……not a choice so your vote didn’t count………

  47. 47 Amy
    November 4, 2008 at 22:05


    You actually voted! I’m shocked.

  48. 48 steve
    November 4, 2008 at 22:12

    @ Amy

    Not for the President though. I wanted to skip it, but I couldn’t, so I wrote in Ros. there were local issues I wanted to have my say on, but at least I diddn’t vote for someone who could even in theory could be president. You have to be born in the US to be pres, so Ros couldn’t even if He did win.

  49. 49 steve
    November 4, 2008 at 22:13

    @ Jennifer

    You could write in a candidate, and I refused to vote for someone who could actually be President given the choices I had.

  50. November 4, 2008 at 22:22

    I live in Portland, and mailed in my ballot ten days ago.

    But in my long voter’s life, I voted the first time for JFK, I have never seen the country so involved and excited about the Presidential election. Voters are waiting in line for hours… and enjoying themselves, and leaving feeling patriotic and good!

    This is the END of the bad times?

  51. 51 Jennifer
    November 4, 2008 at 22:24

    @ Steve

    We only had paper ballots here so no writing in. I wouldn’t have done that anyway. The inevitable is that one will become President. I would rather take my chances and vote than just poof my vote away.

  52. November 4, 2008 at 22:52

    Here I am a registered Republican and an Oregonian………OK, so I voted for Obama and straight Democrate. Why? I never voted for Bush and I cannot believe the mess our country and the world has had over the last 8 years. May our Creator help all of us in this mess.
    In Oregon there are no lines, just my wife and I at the kitchen table discussing the Oregon ballot issues( no discussion about who we were voting for in the National election…Obama). Then dropping the signed and sealed ballots off in the ballot box of our library in Mt. Angel, Oregon. No fuss, no muss and no waiting in any line. We voted two weeks ago. The rest of the USA needs to look at our Oregon voting procedure. Been great for the last 10 years and our northern neighbor, the State of Washington is following our lead.

  53. 53 Kelsie in Houston
    November 4, 2008 at 23:18

    I just cast my ballot–what a privilege this is…the WHYS regulars will be happy to know you were there in that rather cramped polling station with me. I hope voters everywhere are mindful, for good or ill, of the eyes and ears of the world resting on our chads, touchscreens, and buttons.

    My polling place, in a primary school, was easily flowing to the point that I didn’t have time to snap any pictures of the place for the blog. Now, we’re settling in for an evening with the BBC, PoliticsHome.com, and CNN…

  54. 54 Robbi W
    November 5, 2008 at 00:20

    At noon, I went to our local Arts and Humanities Council building to vote. I was greeted by familiar faces and no line(s). I live in Juneau, Alaska and will go to a building not far from the Governor’s mansion to hear/watch the returns and hopefully celebrate history in the making,just under Gov. Palin’s ever-vacant residence, as Barack Obama and Joe Biden…..

    All things considered, I am going to go with superstition here and not complete that.

    Living in Alaska, I am speaking from experience when I I say I am an especially strong supporter of Obama and Biden.

  55. 55 Venessa
    November 5, 2008 at 00:29

    Robbi W ~

    Thank goodness there are some Alaskans that get it! I work with a former Alaskan who voted for the first time this election because he couldn’t support the Republican ticket. I think he has a warm fuzzy much like yours regarding Palin….

  56. 56 Jeri
    November 5, 2008 at 00:54

    This is one of the most exciting elections I have experienced and I’ve voted since I was 18 now 53. So many people voted early in my county that there was not a line. Just an in and out. I don’t stay up late but tonight will be different. i want to see Obamba win this election.

  57. 57 Timothy
    November 5, 2008 at 03:24

    Voting this year was a lot of fun. I checked my polling place throughout the day hoping the line would go down, it never did. I finally gave in and left work about an hour early to go stand in line. My brother had voted earlier this morning but he waited in the hour and a half line with me. We spent the time talking with those around me about voting and voting regulations. Once I made it into the building it was in and out. Very simple even with the fill in the bubble ballot. I was surprised at the lack of electronic voting machine.

  58. 58 Lynda In Portland
    November 5, 2008 at 07:08

    I totally disagree with Grace about Vote-by-mail. I miss going to the polls because we lose that sense of community and civic virtue that goes with joining with our neighbors of all ages and persuasions.

    I still take my ballot each election day, to the elections office, and have my child place it in the hand of a county employee or an official drop box.

    The only things that may induce me to vote early are: early voters are spared literature and canvasser inundations; and my child is old enough to have internalized the importance of voting.

  59. 59 Lisa
    November 5, 2008 at 10:07

    Long lines already at 6:10 am this morning, ten minutes after polls opened.

    2:58 AM now in Chicago, I am listening to you. I believe you are inaccurate in your description of what has occurred in this election: you have it backwards. You said “they (US voters) are responding to him” when the truth is he is responding to Americans. Hence the unprecedentd numbers of newly registered voters, and the enthusiasm among all all social, ethnic and economic groups for the new President.

    200,000 people in Grant park…


  60. 60 Justin
    November 5, 2008 at 11:41

    Without a doubt today is a historic day here in America with the first African American being elected president. It also was a historic day for me as this is the first time as a blind person I have been able to cast my vote independently. As blind person voting in any election here in America is a bit time consuming. It requires that you have an election official present, and one representative from each party present while the election official reads the ballet choices out loud. Today however, I had the chance to use a talking voting machine!!! So instead of having three people present, I was able to go in to the voting booth, and put on headphones, and then cast my vote. Absolutely historic.

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