It’s Christmas!

Okay, no it’s not. But last night sure felt like Christmas Eve did when I was 6, except with more booze. Sadly, I can’t just go jump on every American still in bed and go, “IT’S VOTING DAY! GET UP!” so it’ll still be a while before we get to open presents.

Open election thread in the meantime. Try to keep it polite. I may or may not keep updating this post when A) there’s news and B) I’m near a computer. I will most likely be updating Twitter a lot from late afternoon on. 

Oh, and one more reminder: Call 866-OUR-VOTE or 888-VE-Y-VOTA if you see anything strange going down at your polling station.

Update: Just thought of something, while reading yesterday’s Question of the Day thread at Shakesville. This year was the first time I’ve ever gone into a booth and voted for President. In ’92, I was two months shy of my 18th birthday. In ’96, I lived in Canada and voted absentee for Clinton, because I didn’t want to miss the chance to cast my first vote. Then in 2000 and 2004, I still lived in Canada and didn’t vote (though I told some people I voted absentee to get them off my back — sorry about the lie, folks), ’cause A) I was registered in a safe blue state, and B) I’d started voting in Canadian elections by that point, and it felt weird (if not illegal) to vote in 2 countries. (I’m a dual citizen.)

So the 2006 mid-term was the first time I went to a polling place in the U.S. and voted for anything. My first-ever primary vote was for Hillary Clinton, and my first-ever vote for president cast on U.S. soil was for Obama 2 weeks ago. (Not to rub it in for those voting today, but can I just say I am so fucking glad I not only voted early, but really early? The whole process took about 20 minutes.) 

And to answer the Shakesville QOTD, no, I don’t regret any votes, even those not cast. When I’m right here, I can’t imagine not participating, but I’m not too bothered about having let Gore and Kerry take Illinois without my help. 

Update on the Grant Park decision: Still up in the air. You’ve all inspired me to really want to go, but now I’ve got a headache that keeps getting worse and is not responding to any amount of Advil, so I fear I’ve got a migraine brewing, not just a hangover from election eve imbibing. I’ll keep you posted.

2nd update on the Grant Park decision: Headache and nausea went away, so it probably was just a hangover. Oops. Planning on going at this writing. Can’t guarantee I’ll make it if the crowd gets me panicky.

88 thoughts on “It’s Christmas!

  1. Hee! I have a deal with my mother; I call her up at 6:30 am (her time) on election day, from wherever I am, and remind her to go vote before work. Today, she had just gotten back from voting, but I woke my stepfather up.

  2. JUST like Christmas Even, except with a bit more anxiety that our stockings will be filled with nothing but coal.

    But I’ve been going around and humming Les Misbarack all morning, even if it’s not strictly true anymore. :-)

  3. Was that “One Day More” also supposed to be sort of a takeoff on “The Office”? It looked like that couple was supposed to be a kind of Jim & Pam equivalent. Floppy hair & longing glances & flatscreen monitors.

    (Sloppy costuming having Sarah Palin in a pantsuit, I thought.)

  4. So I live in Puerto Rico and although we vote today and are part of the U.S we can’t vote for the president.

    That being said Election day in Puerto Rico is a HUGE deal. Imagine the super bowl except voting. You don’t have to motivate people to vote, they LOVE voting. We have a saying that goes “Politics is the national sport of Puerto Rico”. I think we would vote everyday if we could.

    Driving to the polls this morning I already saw people in the neighborhood with their flags and banners ready and their cars just washed, preparing to drive around the island to celebrate the fact that they voted. It’s pretty freaking awesome.

  5. Voted!!

    My new district sure is white and elderly. INTERESTINGLY enough, there was no wait at the polls, despite the radio warning me at 7am (when the polls opened) that a lot of polls already had long lines. Hmmm.

    Also, I hope that machine spit some paper out the back that I didn’t see.

  6. I have never been this nervous on election day in my life! And I am a political junkie, so that’s saying something.

    Today is going to be hard. I’m glad I voted early.

  7. Oh this is a bad sign. I keep refreshing this page, and it’s not even 9am yet. Pseudo-trustworthy results won’t be coming in for at least 12 hours.

    Loooong day. Good thing I have to teach most of the day!

  8. Woke up at 4:30am to POURING rain in Los Angeles. It’s 6am now, and it’s down to drips and drops–whew! It can’t be raining here on Election Day. It just can’t. We’ll sit in our cars for hours on the 405, but standing in the rain to vote doesn’t seem like something Angelenos would do…

    Forget the cookies and magazines, I’m bringing extra umbrellas to the polls, just in case. And a big clear plastic tarp to share.

  9. i went to vote in my urban, poor, mostly-black (i’m white) neighborhood at 6:20 this morning. the set up was atrocious, seemingly to discourage residents from bothering with the bullshit of waiting in line in a tiny room. i called 866-OUR-VOTE as soon as i got home.

  10. Never in all my life has Election Day felt like Christmas or Thanksgiving: such a shared sense of purpose & community, such excitement! Such willingness to go stand in a line to get something! This is so awesome. <3

  11. I was so excited this morning, too. I am freaking jazzed right now. I feel like I might explode before the end of the day.

    -E

  12. Voted Friday (one hour). When I biked past two different polling places ten minutes before opening, each had about 100 people per ward in line (one site has two wards and had 200 people in line).

    Later on my ride, a school bus passed me going the other way and the young African-American boys leaned out the window shouting “Go Obama!” I was three lanes away so I doubt they saw my button. I smiled and waved back.

    I have never before so heartily and honestly called out “good morning” to so many people on my ride in. I seriously think I’ll call out “Happy Election Day!” on my way home.

  13. Update: My husband just called and apparently the line for the site with two wards was more like 170 people in line for our ward and 30 for the other ward. Hmm.

  14. The weather is beautiful here in Waltham, MA…I’m hoping that will inspire people to come out and vote, and to wait longer than they might have. I’m going to be bringing a bunch of those collapsible camp chairs and lending them to the poll workers to give out to people who need them.

  15. Voted at 8 am. I’m in northern Indiana, and am thrilled that my vote might really mean something at the presidential level this year. I know polls say that it’ll be a long shot for Obama to take IN, but I have my fingers crossed. I was surprised to see that there was literally no line at all at 8 am–I hope that’s not a bad sign. Though I was #119, which is actually pretty damn good for a mere two hours after polls opened. In 2004, I voted at the end of the day and was still only # 53. Things went smoothly, but I still hate the electronic voting machines they use–I can see that the digital number on the screen ticks up from 118 to 199 when I insert my ballot, but it still makes me a little nervous. I did notice that there was an election monitor at the signature table double-checking the election officials who were signing people in. IN has a stupid picture ID rule, so they’re pretty strict. I was glad to see that there was a watchdog making sure it was handled smoothly.

    Aaargh–how on earth am I supposed to finish prepping for class this morning! I can’t even sit still!

  16. I waited almost 2 hours to vote this morning, but it was totally worth it. I got there at 5:45 a.m., before the doors opened, and the line was already around the block. Luckily, the atmosphere was kind of party-like, with people talking and laughing despite the early hour. I live in a very liberal neighborhood, so everybody was pretty open about how they were casting their votes!

  17. I waited about 45 minutes, the polling people were not on the ball, but that’s okay. It was fun though, I ran into some of my neighbors at the polling place, the guy in front of me made some signs (we had to districts and people were finding out at the front of the line they were in the wrong one!) Later while I was waiting on my bus one of the guys from the polling place stopped on his bike and we chatted (about audio bookos of all things.)

    I should say that my the voters at my polling place were easily 95% black and everyone seemed really aware that it was an important moment, even the guy whose mom had obviously drug him out of bed to make him go vote. I heard an older woman talking to a little girl who she’d brought with her about the first black president. *fingers crossed*

    I am not going to Grant park, I may regret that in the future, but 1 million people… srsly? how does that sound fun? I’m sure I’ll be able to hear the crowds in Evanston.

  18. Shinobi – ‘older woman talking to a little girl who she’d brought with her about the first black president’ just made me start to cry. How beautiful.

    As a voyeuristic Canadian, I anxiously await the results of this election!

  19. @philosopherkrista – Are you a philosopher? I’m on my way!

    I have never, ever been so excited to vote. Yesterday I was sick with fear. Today I am full of hope. Honest, true hope. If McCain wins… I’m just not thinking about it yet. It can’t happen. Please. I’m also super excited to take my kids to vote. The baby is too young to understand, of course, but my 8 year old gets it.

    I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the day. I have a small paper to write, some reading that just ain’t gettin’ read, and a 2.5 hour class on the ethics of death and dying to sit through. I’m trying to refrain from setting up my twitter account to notify me of updates… :-)

  20. I did a before-hand mail-in ballot. Dropped it in… ~thinks~ a week or so ago. Avoiding lines while doing my part.

  21. I’m just waiting for Mr. Twistie to get out of the shower before we both go vote.

    Would it passive electioneering if I wore my Melissa Etheridge concert tee shirt to the polls?

    I decided to skip it since it’s bloody cold for the middle of California out there and it’s a very thin fabric, but part of me continues to wonder even though I changed to a plain purple shirt.

  22. Rahat, five hours???? Did you wait that long? That is CRAZY! That also suggests that election officials in your precinct need to step it up with more machines/poll workers. Damn.

  23. Polls opened at 6:00 here in Northern Virginia (or, “Fake Virginia,” whatever you want to call it). There was already a super long line when I got there at 5:45.

    I was worried I’d be there all day, but once they opened the doors, the line moved so fast. I was back in my car at 6:25. So the whole ordeal took only 40 minutes. The polling center was very well-staffed and organized. It was pretty impressive.

    I’d recently been jealous of all the people who voted early – and it seems like EVERYONE did this year – but getting out there on Election Day was actually super fun. Everyone was in a cheerful mood, it felt like I was really a part of something. Cheesy, but there you have it.

    I’d have been considerably less elated if it had turned into a 5 hour wait, though!

  24. Voting today was an awful experience. The wait was 5 hours!
    Good Lord! How early do the polls open where you are?!? I mean, they opened here at 7, which was only about 4 hours ago. How did you end up with a 5 hour wait?

  25. Also, if the wait for your polling place is five hours, call 866-OUR-VOTE and report it. Even if they can’t address it this time around, they can log the problem and see that the correct people get pressured to fix it next time.

  26. Wow! In my fair town, there’s always a tiny, tiny turnout for even the most pressing elections. Today there was a line out the door at eight!

    Also, Mr. Twistie and I timed it well. When we arrived, there was already a guy standing outside the door waiting. About twenty seconds after we joined the line, another two dozen or so people came up and the line was out to the sidewalk.

    All in all, it took maybe half an hour for us to vote because Mr. Twistie was still weighing a couple minor issues when he took his ballot, but it was an entirely painless process and I’m now proudly wearing my ‘I voted” sticker on my cheek. I think I’ll go out for breakfast.

  27. Voting here (in Brooklyn) was pretty painless. I waited about 40 minutes, but it went quickly and I saw no signs any funny business while I was there.

    But we don’t seem to ever get ‘I Voted’ stickers here…we must have voted against them at some point or something :(

  28. I voted absentee in Michigan and now I feel left out of the fun. Ken voted in NC and it took about an hour. No problems except for the rain. Figures that it’s gorgeous in the Midwest. My sister is going to the Obama thingee, tonight, in Grant Park. I can’t wait to see pictures!

  29. I vote-by-mail in Oregon, but my co-worker got to the polls here in Phoenix at 6:30am this morning and waited for an hour and a half. I cherish this faint hope Arizona might go blue after all, though it seems so unlikely.

  30. Like Kate, I voted early, and am glad I did. The process still took me about a half hour, as you have to first get in line to get your blank ballot, then go to the booth and fill it out, then get back in line to submit it and have it notarized by the election official. Overall, it wasn’t too shabby.

    I have heard that some of my friends who didn’t vote early waited for two hours in Minnesota this morning.

  31. LINES at our suburban beach-town polling place this morning at 8:15am. We waited about 30 minutes to vote. We’ve never seen a line there, in twelve years of voting in this town. And they had extra booths set up inside, so it wasn’t for lack of preparation. The weather: after a dousing pre-dawn storm, we have gorgeous blue sunny skies and 70s at the beach. It’s a very good day for turnout in Los Angeles.

  32. There’s never a line where I vote, not ever, but today there were FOUR WHOLE PEOPLE in front of me. FOUR. It was only 10:00, and a quarter of the registered voters had already turned out.

    Okay, I realize that may not be very impressive, but . . . it’s impressive for my polling place!

    It felt very good to do it, but now I am sitting on my hands and worrying, and on the edge of nervous tears because I don’t know if I’ll be crying and drinking tonight to soothe the pain or to celebrate our first black president — something cynical old me wasn’t sure I would see in my lifetime.

  33. I thought I was the only dork who jumped up this morning and said OMG! IT’S HERE!

    I turned to my guy and tried to wake him up (no luck) and turned on CNN while getting ready to go vote. I wasn’t able to get my guy awake until after I got back, and he was none-too-pleased by my extra cheeriness. I consider myself a morning person, but I was bouncing off the walls this morning.

    I can’t wait for tonight!!

  34. I’ll be voting after work. I’m not sure how long of a wait it’s going to be. In the last two elections I participated in, I got in and out pretty easily.

    I am wondering if anything like this has happened in any other state. I received one of these calls last night, and after a few seconds of almost ready to drop the phone, I got pissed off:

    http://www.wbaltv.com/news/17886068/detail.html

    Now the FBI and State’s Attorney’s office is investigating. I sure hope he doesn’t win. Anyone that uses scare tactics like this shouldn’t even be in charge of a hamster cage.

  35. boy I don’t think I have every wished so hard on an election before in my life. I am so excited and scared and nervous. I am also really glad I had access to early voting. I cryed this morning as I watched Obama vote with his family. Truely a historical day. I hope all comes out well.

    Katie

  36. Voted at 10:30 (story and photo of me with my “I Voted” sticker in my LJ), and timed it just right to avoid the line. Apparently it was long this morning, and the line was growing as I left.

    If you call 866-OUR-VOTE, do they rush in like the Spanish Inquisition? Enquiring minds need to know. ;)

    Bree, that story makes me sad. Ruppersberger isn’t in my district or I would have voted for him based on the awesome-name principle.

  37. Today was my 7th time voting in a presidential election. To date, I’ve only voted for the winner in 2. My first vote was for Mondale and Ferraro in 1984. I hope my first vote for a black person on a national ticket will have more effect than my first vote for a woman.

    There was virtually no wait when I voted at 7:30 this morning, but the election worker said more people had voted in the 90 minutes the polls had been open by then as voted all day during the last election. No “I Voted” stickers here in NJ either, Jae. Maybe it’s just not a northeast kind of thing.

    I’m at work, so no TV. The DH said that CNN has been running McCain ads full of Jeremiah Wright all day; I guess they held off on it until there was no time for the Obama campaign to fight back against it. Pathetic.

  38. I voted absentee in CA at the beginning of October and the wait it KILLING me. Gah! Want to know now!!

    And I spent all night tossing and turning with nightmares about McCain and Prop 8 (you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some sort of Prop 8 related sign here). The stakes are high, and my nerves can’t handle it!

  39. Voting was great in my precinct. It took about an hour and 20 minutes for those of us in the slow line. (There is always a slow line and a fast line. The lines are chosen alphabetically.) This is much, much faster than any other presidential election I’ve voted in. (The first one was 1972.)

    For small local elections my precinct has 3 voting stations and usually about 350 votes are cast during the entire day.

    Today they had 14 voting stations and they gave me ballot 1001 at about 9:15 am. (The two poll workers were keeping their eyes out for ballot 1000 but my poll worker thought that ballot 1001 was also worth mentioning.)

    Our voting stations are just little privacy shields where you mark the ballot. They are trying to get more of them for later on today.

    Our city has run out of ballots in the past, but they announced that they will print off enough for 100% turnout.

    Not a soul said a word about politics but the day was beautiful and sunny and the mood was euphoric.

  40. Hee! All these presidential vote newbies. I love to see the excitement.

    My first election was in 1980. I got to vote for a president right away (Carter lost, but dammit, I’m still proud I voted for him), and as an extra added bonus, I got to vote for my mom since she was running for re-election to the local board of education.

    That was one shiny start to a voting career.

    In all the years since then, I’ve missed voting in one whole one-issue, local election where there was no opposition to the single issue on the ballot. My excuse? I forgot, what with Mr. Twistie having an emergency appendectomy at the time.

    I still feared the wrath of both my deceased parents.

  41. @ LilahCello: Yes, I fancy myself a philosopher, but I’m still in grad school so I don’t think anyone else does!

    Re: stickers, at my polling place (held at an historic private school) they were giving out these really great buttons that said I VOTED at [school name here]. People have been asking me all day how to get one. When did voting get so cool?!

  42. It is totally Christmas. I know exactly what you mean. I myself was up at 4 this morning because I just couldn’t sleep any later.

    I voted for a woman for President for the first time in my life and I cried and I am so damn proud I don’t care who knows it.

  43. Only about an hour and 15 minute wait this morning for me, in Ohio! You have no idea how thrilled I was by this, after spending 5 hours standing in the rain in 2004. It was really quite nice; the church where my voting was held (I have vague issues with churches being used as polling places at all, but wev) let us sit in the pews instead of stand in line, and they had free coffee, juice, and homemade cookies. Snickerdoodles and Obama ftw.

  44. My family and I walked into our local polling place and stepped right into the booth. Maybe we’re at the unpopular end of the alphabet (our last name starts with V), but we never wait. Granted, we live in a town of 20,000 (not counting college students). I let my 8 year old son flip the levers while I thought about Obama’s grandma. No I Voted stickers here, either. :-(

    @philosopherkrista – I’m still an undergrad (though I’m 34), so I’m even less one than you! What is your field of interest?

  45. Voted at about 11:30, with a grand total of about 10 people in line in front of me. Everything went off swimmingly :-) I ended up not bringing chairs for them, as they seemed to be pretty well-stocked.

  46. This is my first presidential election, and I voted absentee in Colorado. When my ballot arrived in the mail, I literally started jumping up and down, I was SO excited to be voting for (fingers crossed) the first black president of the US.

    I was also stoked to get the chance to vote against the evil Amendment 48. Fuck a bunch of that nonsense.

    Also, I live in Arizona but don’t vote here, so could those of you who are AZ voters do me a solid and kill the heck out of Prop 102? Thanks ever so much.

  47. HEY! It’s my VERY first time voting today! :-D I went in the late morning to try to miss everyone trying to get in before or after work. DH won’t be so lucky…at 11am when I went there was a 2 hour wait at the location next to where I had to go. I only had to wait 20 minutes, but I am sure it will get worse as the day goes on. Oh, well, can’t be helped.

    Yay me!

  48. I’m killing myself here in the UK waiting to find out if Obama gets in; I think almost everyone over here is rooting for Obama to make it through!

    How long now until you guys get the results?

  49. That’s so funny; I woke up feeling like it was Christmas too I was so excited! My elderly mom and I went down to our little small-town Massachusetts voting place and there were only a couple people in line before us, which is maybe twice as many people as I usually see, but it was like 2pm and I figured most people would be voting after work got out.

    Still, my ballot was 819 or something, which is pretty good for a small town like mine.

    And, no, no “I voted!” stickers. However, the ladies by the table where you put the ballot in the machine had a basket of chocolates.

    I like my town.

  50. I voted last week with my partner. We argued all the way in about a bond election, but skipped out. Early voting in North Texas has been incredibly brisk.

    If Obama takes it, I’m lighting a candle, going outside and whooping. It will be the first time a president affirms my right to choose my next of kin. The first time a president doesn’t propose to limit the citizenship of gay men and women in America.

    If McCain wins, I’ll live.

  51. How long now until you guys get the results?

    Usually the East Coast polls start closing at 8 pm, I think–I wouldn’t expect any solid news until 9 pm (eastern). Aaaaahhh the suspense!

  52. Though check out the latest post at fivethirtyeight.com, y’all – they’re predicting we could have a good idea of the winner really early. Oh, I hope so!

  53. I just voted in Nevada – first time voting in a swing state! it only took about 5 minutes, but as I left I could see the lunch rush arriving.

  54. We could know earlier than expected:

    Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia University, explains that if Barack Obama performs as the polls predict he will in early-closing states like Virginia, the conditional probability of his becoming president is 100%.

    (Via fivethirtyeight and theeconomist)

  55. Congratulations on voting.

    My migraine attack: 2-4 Advil 2 extra strength Tylenol Caffeinated beverage of choice Something salty Lie down for half an hour (Advil and Tylenol work differently enough that they can be taken together)

  56. Sweet Machine – one small benefit to living in Pacific time is that by the time our polls close at 8pm PST / 11pm EST there’s lots of info from the rest of the country….

  57. I just got back from voting. I love voting. My precinct’s voting takes place in the gym of my elementary school and it was so weird being back in it. It looked so small. Pretty decent crowd, thoughI didn’t have to wait in line. Looks like they’re doing a brisk business, which is good.

  58. I woke up at six this morning (an hour and change earlier than usual) to vote, and I was in and out in 20 minutes or so. My tiny little school (that I vote at) only has about four precincts that vote there, and while it covers a substantial portion of the town, we also have a lot of people who are likely to vote early . . .

    And I’m going to a party tonight with lasagna and beer and candy!!

    Go Obama!

  59. It only took me less than five minutes to vote. (cast my ballot about 4:20 pm). I didn’t get an “I Voted” sticker either. I guess it depends on the polling place. My 80 year-old grandfather voted with me too (He also voted for Obama).

    I don’t know about anyone else, but my polling place in Maryland had no supporters from either side electioneering as we drove into the elementary school. However, at work today, a person came to the office and told us on Route 40, people were holding up signs for both Obama and McCain.

  60. My second time in a booth. The first was the primary. In 2000 I had just turned 17 and in 2004 I voted via absentee in Georgia because I was at school.

    I want to have champagne on hand for an Obama victory but I’m afraid of jinxing it.

  61. living400lbs, I lived in the PNW for 5 years, and for the first couple I was always blown away by how live TV events happened so much EARLIER than I was used to. Like elections! And the Oscars, which were actually done before midnight.

  62. I voted for the first time today. It was strange; the town hall was nearly empty when I went into the voting booth, and when I came out, there was a line going all the way out of the building. I had a dream last night that I was at a huge Obama rally, but McCain had won, so everybody just sort of stood around and cried to themselves. I’m so nervous, I really want to see Obama win, but I just can’t believe it could happen. But I will keep my fingers crossed, and have ice cream on hand if there is celebrating to be done.

  63. I’m Canadian but I’m headed over to an election party tonight at my friends’ house – he’s American and voted absentee, and she is a rabid political junkie.

    I am so excited to (hopefully) witness some groundbreaking history tonight.

  64. I AM SO EXCITED I THINK I’M GOING TO THROW UP.

    Okay, caps removed, but seriously. This is my second major election, but I voted absentee (college student) in 2004. But I figure I’ve been living here long enough that I should count myself as a resident of this town.

    I worked this morning so I just voted after coming home and having breakfast. I was #45 after a half hour wait, and I got there about 8:15 (15 minutes after the voting started). My boyfriend went to vote later in the afternoon and he said he didn’t have to wait at all. My polling place didn’t have food, but at least there were chairs and things for the elderly. No funny business here, but I’m in a staunch red state so there’d be no point in being tricky. But I still voted for change and hope. I can’t wait until the results start coming in.. only one more hour until the swing states start reporting!

  65. I think I need to stop watching CNN now. I’m giving myself an ulcer wishing so hard at each state, and contemplating teh hotness of Anderson Cooper. (I know, he’s probably gay. Doesn’t stop me from looking.)

  66. COuldnt keep the tears back, they just came.

    Whatever may come, the weight of history -& yes, universal love- was too heavy not to breakdown. Bless the man. I have some hope again.

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