US Election 2008; Huge Turnout at Polls, Live Blogging and Predictions
The US presidential race between John McCain and Barack Obama is over, and polls across the country are now closed. The United States has a new President in Barack Obama. We'll be following up news as it happens, in the meantime you can check out some of our other coverage.
Update 11:57pm EST
Barack Obama is about to address the nation as the President Elect.
Update 11:36pm EST
For what it's worth, AP has called Florida for Obama.
Update 11:26pm EST
Obama will soon address a group of supporters at Chicago's Grant Park. As this interesting article shows, he'll be doing it behind huge sheets of bulletproof glass.
Update 11:18pm EST
John McCain is making his concession speech.
Update 11:11pm EST
CNN just showed some amazing footage of crowds in Kenya celebrating Obama's victory. NP's Sanjay Jha provides some perspective on how the rest of the world is covering this historic US election.
The 2008 U.S. presidential election has generated interest all over the world and hordes of international journalist have descended to cover the gran finale. It is the greatest show on the earth at the moment and media outlets are not leaving any stone unturned to cover any theatrics. International media outlets have kept pace by providing in-depth coverage of the campaigns for readers at home.
Update 11:04pm EST
Update 11:00pm EST
CNN has declared that Barack Obama will be the 44thPresident of the United States.
Update 10:58pm EST
CNN is calling Viriginia for Obama. They haven't chosen a Deomcratic president since 1964. That gives Obama 220 electoral votes. Polls in several states, including California, will close in minutes. California, with 55 electoral votes, will likely go Democratic, giving him the victory.
Update 10:40pm EST
NP member Pythiian1 posts on voter registration efforts in Ohio.
As of this writing calls are still being made to the Western states. Earlier at 7:02 PM, the GOTV calling goal had increased to 1.2 million calls. It is the last push for the volunteers to be a part of a historic election.
Update 10:29pm EST
John McCain has entered the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, where he is scheduled to address a group of Republican supporters. More than likely, he will be making a concession speech.
A somber mood here at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, where Republicans, dressed in their best Indian summer cocktail attire, are gathering to hear John McCain concede to Barack Obama. Jim Woolsey was seated below a mounted television in a crowded bar when Fox News projected Obama as the winner of Ohio. The crowd let out an audible gasp and lots of head-shaking ensued.
Fifteen minutes later, after many of those seated on an outside patio had ordered another round of drinks (if you are drinking beer, you are drinking a Budweiser product) an effusive young McCain supporter was watching an outdoor television with strange attentiveness. Someone asked him what he was doing. "I'm waiting for them to reverse Ohio," he said with misplaced optimism.
McCain advisers I've talked to have been matter-of-fact about the situation. They're plainly disappointed, but they're sad about it in much the way that one might expect at the loss of a loved one after a long illness. It was certainly expected.
Update 10:25pm EST
Update 10:06pm EST
Update 9:59pm EST
Update 9:47pm EST
Another tweet about CNN's John King and that funky map he uses.
John King can't get McCain to 270 with his magic map, even with a *very* generous sweep
Update 9:45pm EST
A tweet describing the mood in California.
I'm literally standing on main st now and it feels great, people look happy, like sept 10th happy
Update 9:42pm EST
NP member Jamie Friedlander writes about the Election View Party taking place at New York's Times Square.
It's a mess! As part of a group of NYU students who ventured to Times Square in search of a fun evening, it definitely wasn't worth it. People were crammed right next to each other, so close that nobody could hardly sit down. The screen was visible (a plus) but people got up every ten seconds so not exactly worth it.
The atmosphere was great--every single time Obama was on the screen cheers arose--but not exactly worth sitting through when one could watch the exact same program at home. CNN interviewed various members of the audience, but asked questions such as "What will your face look like if McCain wins?" Not exactly the best question, if you ask me.
Update 9:31pm EST
Salon has a post on how Fox News has called Ohio for Obama.
Glenn Greenwald (9:23 p.m. EST): Fox just projected Ohio for Obama -- right when Brit Hume was standing next to Karl Rove and Rove was explaining how McCain can't lose any more battleground states. "No Republican has ever been elected without winning the state of Ohio," Rove pouted.
Florida looks good for Obama, too -- would be very appropriate if the two states that put George Bush into the White House are turned blue.
It's virtually impossible to see how Obama loses now.
And they engaged in a little schadenfreude as well.
David Talbot (9:24 p.m. EST): Priceless. A funereal Brit Hume and equally somber Karl Rove call Ohio for Obama. "No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio," observes a deeply gloomy Rove.
Update 9:17pm EST
Obama has 174 electoral votes while McCain has 76.
Update 9:06pm EST
Slate's Chris Wilson writes that Obama is tantalizingly close to victory.
Although battleground states like Virginia and Indiana are still too close to call, Obama’s core strategy of carrying John Kerry’s states and tacking on a few extras appears to be in the bag. While there are no surprises among the states he has won thus far, his early performance has put to rest fears by paranoid Democrats that his comfortable lead in the polls was greatly inflated.
With a win in one or two states that George W. Bush won in 2004, Obama will have wrapped up this election. Based on the last round of polls before the election, Obama is already poised to win at least 264 electoral votes comfortably. A win in Colorado or another Bush state will push him over the edge.
Update 8:47pm EST
Obama's win in the battleground state of Pennsylvania is huge one. The McCain campaign focused on the Keystone state at the end of their campaign. It was widely believed that McCain would need to win both Pennsylvania and Florida for a chance to beat Obama. With Pennsylvania going to Obama, McCain will need some luck to make up for those lost 21 electoral votes.
Update 8:15pm EST
CNN has declared Obama the winner in the following:
District of Columbia
McCain has been declared the winner in the following states:
Thus far, Obama has 103 electoral votes and McCain has 34.
Update 7:55pm EST
If you're looking for something to keep you busy until the next few states start to report their results, you can check out this McCain promotional video, which wasn't released until yesterday. It features old footage of McCain smoking a cigarette interspersed with footage that appears to have been shot on an airboat. Genuinely odd.
Update 7:46pm EST
NP member Soyunangel has a brief post about her feelings after voting in Florida.
My vote counted today at 7:00 a.m. Remembering the 2000 and 2004 elections, and the primaries of 2008, the question now is whether my vote will be counted tonight once the polls close.
It is not that we must doubt the democratic process. It is just that we must be alert to protect our rights and freedoms.
Update 7:38pm EST
Update 7:25pm EST
When not playing around with cool Princess-Leia like holograms, CNN is reporting that McCain has a lead in Virginia with 54 percent of the vote with just three percent of polls reporting. Obama has an early lead in Florida, with 55 percent of the vote.
Update 7:02pm EST
CNN is projecting a win for John McCain in Kentucky and a win for Barack Obama in Vermont. That would give McCain 8 electoral votes to Obama's 3.
Update 7:01pm EST
NP member mommycoddle had a brief post expressing her displeasure with not getting an "I Voted" sticker. She's not alone. Many voters are complaining that they didn't get a sticker because they would need one to get election day freebies from various fast food chains across the US. Others wanted one simply as a souvenir.
One intrepid blogger has provided a solution
One of the smaller pleasures about voting is getting that sticker that says, "I voted!" that lets everyone know, "Hey, I rocked the vote." But there seems to be a severe lack of stickers out there, so how are we to display to the whole world, proudly, that we voted? This is my first general election in Chicago and I'm shocked that there are no stickers here. If the South did one thing right, it's the "I voted" stickers. (Well, and S.E.C. football). Anyway, our friend Scott Smith over at Time Out Chicago has a solution for those of you itching for a sticker. All you'll need is your receipt, a mailing label, some scissors and a little glue. Get clicking and get sticking.
Update 6:42 EST
In case you're wondering what Fidel Castro thinks about the US election, check out this report by NP member Blue Crush.
Cuba's former communist leader spoke out about the US elections today, praising Obama as "more intelligent" than the "old, bellicose" Republican John McCain. He also stated that he was officially neutral in the US election.
Update 6:29pm EST
Some early early numbers Obama has 55 percent of the vote in Indiana. In Kentucky, McCain has 63 percent of the vote compared to Obama's 36 percent. Mind you, thus far less than 1 percent of polls have reported in both states.
Update 6:19pm EST
Polling places in South Carolina will close at 7 pm local time, but will allow voters in line by 7 pm to cast their ballot. Other states may allow for a similar extension due to high voter turnout. If that's the case, election results will may be announced later than anticipated.
Update 6:08pm EST
NP member Edmund Jenks has photos from the California polling station where he placed his vote. He also offered his perspective on the campaign.
Yep! An Obama win will signal the end to self-determination, self-reliance, and the uniqueness that has made our country the envy of the rest of the world for the better part of 100 years.
Update 5:36pm EST
NP member Can Tran has posted on reports of Black Panthers intimidating voters at a polling station in Pennsylvania.
It seems that things could possibly get dicey in Philadelphia before Election Day comes to a close. There is one major question that needs to be asked: Was there any voter intimidation at the polling area or not?
While it does appear that an incident took place in Philadelphia, there remains plenty of doubt as to whether it was a serious incident or whether the Black Panther Party, a group that hasn't been in the headlines since the 1970s, was actually involved.
Some believe that the Black Panther is nothing more than race-baiting.
It's hard for the GOP and Fox News to give up on whipping up fears that Obama is going to set up a black dictatorship in America where sundry pimps and gangbangers will replace the civil service and institute a reign of racial terror and compulsory miscegenation. Fox and the McCain campaign are pushing hard on this story of two men outside a polling place in Philly dressed in Black Panther garb. People affiliated with the McCain campaign showed up, to photograph or possibly provoke an incident. The police were called. One of the two guys was asked to leave; and he left. The other guys turned out to be an official poll watcher. That was probably the best resolution. As near as we can tell there's all sort of misinformation being disseminated about whites being prevented from voting, etc. We talked to an Obama campaign volunteer who saw the whole thing. And you can see her account here. This is just a kinder, gentler version of the Ashley Todd 'Carved B' mumbojumbo, another desperate Republican attempt to whip up racial hysteria to give them hope of winning the election.
Update 5:24pm EST
Despite news reports circulating of huge lines in some Florida precincts and voting machine troubles in Virginia, no election officials have mentioned any major problems so far:
There are reports of very long lines at a University of South Florida precinct where students tried to make a lot of address changes and hundreds of voters in Hillsborough County received an incomplete ballot that was missing a page. Browning says his staff has contacted the Hillsborough elections office about that problem, but he says ultimately the ballot’s layout is the responsibility of the supervisor.
The state continued to experience record turnout, despite bad weather and equipment problems at some polling places. At one point, one Chesapeake precinct had as many as 1,000 people in line, accounting for 50 percent of the registered voters of the precinct.
NP member Sameh Habeeb is chiming in with how he thinks a vote for either McCain or Obama will affect life in Gaza.
We have two choices now. Barack Obama who is slightly supporting the Palestinians and their promising state. In the other side, we have one of the biggest new Bushes, John McCain, whose stances are more extreme than Bush and all the new conservatives in the US.
Update 3:40pm EST
NP member Can Tran posted about identification validation issues in Ohio:
Recently, it is revealed that the state of Ohio is having its own incident of voting issues at the polls. This incident comes from Cincinnati, Ohio. The incident stems from the confusion of standards for identification.
Still more voting machine problems being reported, this time in Virginia, a key battleground state:
In the first major election day hiccup, some voting machines in Richmond, Va., appeared to be recording a different choice than the one made by the voter, said Champ.
"In other words, you press the Democratic button and Republican comes up on the screen and vice versa," he said.
The problem prompted polling stations in Richmond to switch to paper ballots.
Update 2:45pm EST
Various voting issues are still being reported, most states have only seen a smattering of problems, while others are experiencing pretty major ones.
NowPublic member pattydawn says the Obama section was really hard to see on her ballot:
I was really worried that I would have to write him in...here's more.
NP'er Pangal is writing about what the US election means in Chile:
The best-known candidates for the presidential U.S. election have won presence in the emissions of our country, being "part" circumstantial dee the lives of thousands of Chilean citizens.
A voter hotline set up by CNN to monitor polling problems received 56,000 calls, 22,000 of them being complaints. The most common problems concerned voter registration, absentee ballots going astray and voting machine malfunctions.
Most calls came from New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Florida.
There have been voting glitches, wrong voter lists in Kansas City. One watchdog group says it's gotten thousands of complaints.
"Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey problems are so widespread, election officials will have to take action," said Jon Greenbaum of Election Protection.
Update 12:43pm EST
A record number of voters is causing problems at polling stations in various parts of the country. So far, some problems with voting machines have been reported in New York, New Jersey, and a number of other states:
In Virginia, there were reports of problems such as voting machine breakdowns and issues with optical scanners being unable to read rain-drenched ballots.
There have been early reports of voter issues with machines in a couple of states, we'll be updating this as it occurs throughout the day. We're getting lots of reports of voter issues already on the site, from machine problems and rainy ballots to more serious problems.
I was wondering how long it would be before the story's begin flowing in, and here is the beginning of a long day from Peter Overby at NPR.
Voting machine errors are already being reported in some states, NP user Can Tran posted about it here:
The first area is at Pennypacker Park Elementary School in Burlington County, New Jersey. So far, it has been reported that the voting machines are broken.
NP staffer Sanjay Jha has a great story up, talking about how Obama has a solid lead going into the election:
NowPublic member Mr. Zoltanblack has a number of predictions, his first one being that battleground states won't be a battleground at all - they'll be won handily:
No "battleground" states will develop this evening. No battle will arise, the fight has long been over.
NP'er Pair a Normal Guys Inc is excited about the election:
You have Obama Barack versus John McCain in the most anticipated election in history.
Only a small number of people will have access to the exit polls today, NP member nirajan has a story on it here:
Exit poll information in the hands of trained professionals is perfectly fine," said Sam Feist, CNN's political director. "Exit poll information in the hands of the general public, who may not understand what it means or stands for, can be dangerous."
Win or Lose, Barack Obama will be in Chicago tonight at a giant rally. We've had NP supporters at the rally since early this morning:
Around 9 a.m., other excited and anxious Obama supporters rolled in and by 11:30, a group of nearly 80 people had assembled along Congress Parkway. Follow updates from the front of the line on Twitter and here on NowPublic all day!
Thousands of US Troops Lose Vote
Thousands of absentee ballots from United States soldiers serving abroad will be thrown out again this year, as each soldier has to vote from the state they enlisted:
McCarthy, R-California, says absentee ballots mailed from war zones are not getting to county registrars fast enough to be legally counted.
"With all the modernization that we have, we should be able to move these ballots, track them at the same time, bring the modernization and technology we have today to make sure our heroes across this world get treated fairly," he said.
Members of the military who are posted abroad must vote by absentee ballot in the state where they last lived before shipping out. Every state has a system for distributing and counting these absentee ballots, and these systems feature a wide range of rules and requirements.
Know Your Rights
There are predictions of huge lines today, but don't worry - as long as you're in line when the polls close, they're legally obligated to let you vote. So find out your rights, go to the ACLU's website for more info:
The Voting Rights Project of the ACLU is dedicated to providing citizens with information and assistance in exercising their right to vote! We are urging citizens to ACT this election year. For more information or to voice a voting rights complaint, call 1-877-523-2792, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click below. Know your voting rights. Act!
Where do I vote?
If you missed it yesterday, you can find out where to vote here:
Since most Americans vote in the US election on November 4, we at NowPublic thought we would gather as much information we could on where to vote and other polling resources.
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