Don’t forget to vote.

I have the bestest readers in the world. One of you guys — someone I’ve known since junior high school, who sometimes comments here as MarcG — read yesterday’s blog and got into his photo albums. Turns out Marc was one of the revelers up north a time or two. That balcony at the yacht club? He sent a picture:

And just so’s you can why all the girls thought Marc was just the cutest thing, even when he was a little overserved, here’s Himself:

Now he lives in Latvia. Take note, eastern European girls. And thanks for scanning your photos, Marc, so I didn’t have to.

Today was, shall we say, not a top-tenner. Out the driveway bright and early, arrived in Lansing at 8 a.m., only to discover the internet was out. You don’t know how much you use the internet until it’s not around anymore. Derek went off to work at home, and Ron and I sat around reading “limp iPads,” as they call those paper things with news printed on them, until it became clear the ‘net wasn’t coming back anytime soon. So we both went home, only I had to drive 100 miles back in the other direction. I was back in my kitchen by noon, and celebrated having evaded the I-96 sniper twice in one day by having a cup of leftover chili and putting my feet up to read the news. Ninety minutes later, I woke up. That hardly ever happens, but when it does, it’s unnerving. My last conscious thought was how good a nice hot cup of chili feels in your tummy on a chilly day. I think the sniper was the least dangerous thing on my commute today.

After that, I sent 400 emails, give or take. If you got one, rest assured I gave it my full attention.

So, today? It’s the big day. Let’s make this a what-happened-at-your-polling-place thread. (Of course, pipe up if Llewd’s scrotum turns up.) I hit my absolute limit yesterday, and after one cycle through the NPR headlines, opted for “Birth of the Cool” on the drive. Played it twice. Great album.

This seemed to be the alternative.

Posted at 12:17 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

119 responses to “Don’t forget to vote.”

  1. Dexter said on November 6, 2012 at 1:23 am

    I’ll be at the polling place in mid-morning, after the early risers are safe in their work cubicles and the place will not be busy. Here’s why Romney will be the chump:

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  2. Dexter said on November 6, 2012 at 1:31 am

    You’ll notice in the article I linked a mention of the repugg’s mention of Etch-A-Sketch. They used to make them just a couple hundred yards from my house; now they are made in China, of course. Ohio Art Corporation still has corporate HQ in Bryan, and in their terrace on High Street they have campaign signs mentioning Etch-A-Sketch. Apparently that little mention of their product sold a lot of Etch-A-Sketches.

    Mourdock of Indiana and Josh Mandel of Ohio are both running for the US Senate. They both could be cast in one of nance’s famous Halloween monster or zombie films…they both look like living-dead zombies or maybe more like plain old ghouls.

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  3. Rana said on November 6, 2012 at 1:38 am

    I voted early, where it was orderly but a couple of the volunteers were still getting the hang of it, and a small boy with his grandmother charmed us while we waited. Dan B’s up tomorrow; one of us will report in after he’s done.

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  4. mark said on November 6, 2012 at 4:08 am

    I’ll be leaving home soon to work at the polls.

    Based solely upon the failure of Col McBragg to repeat, in the last couple of weeks, his promise to move out of the country in the event of a Republican win, i’m thinking the day will go well for Romney.

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  5. jcburns said on November 6, 2012 at 4:22 am

    The Panera Bread at Frandor Mall in Lansing makes a good temporary office, Nancy…their wifi is decent. The Michigan State student union has GREAT wifi, but parking is tough.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Re: McClellan —

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  7. Suzanne said on November 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

    That pray for Romney thing was just plain odd.
    I’ll vote after work and there is almost never a line a my polling place. If nothing else, I’m excited to NOT vote for Mourdock. He just plain creeps me out.

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  8. basset said on November 6, 2012 at 7:21 am

    The election commission’s in our building so I’ll probably have to walk around a bunch of TV vans on the way in, and watch for the blue-helmeted minions of the One World Government when they come to confiscate the ballots.

    I had a Sierra Designs coat just like Marc’s, the TV station where Vince and I worked sold them to us at half price with a station logo patch on the front. “Clone coats,” we called them. Channel 12 across town had the same, but gray instead of blue.

    Meanwhile… last night’s experiment was successful, canning cubed venison in mason jars with gravy. Gonna do a full run tonight, the pressure canner is a wonderful thing but the whole process takes hours.

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  9. nancy said on November 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Clock says 7:27 am, and there are about 75 people in line! Unprecedented in my (local) experience.

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  10. alex said on November 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Voted early so I wouldn’t have to put up with the madhouse in my precinct polling place today. Quite a contrast from the primary, I’m sure. On that day I was the only voter present when I dropped by. I was accosted by two Republicans in the parking lot, an affable perennial also-ran from the neighborhood who has never won anything (named Dennis Worman) and a screechy old lady who tried to browbeat me into voting for Mourdock.

    Sorry, I told her, I support Dick Lugar. She then launched into an offensive diatribe about Lugar and spouted a bunch of inane teabagger rhetoric. I reiterated that I couldn’t see any sense in replacing someone of Lugar’s stature with someone so vastly inferior. Denny Worman was loving this and began interjecting that he believes in bipartisanship. The angry old lady continued hectoring me with teabagger talking points and giving Worman dirty looks.

    Worman told me his opponent for state rep, the long-serving Phyllis Pond, was pro-abortion. I was incredulous. Could this really be? I had my doubts. I thought this guy was probably playing fast and loose with the facts. I didn’t let on that I’m pro-choice, but expressed amazement that Phyllis Pond could have so many people fooled, especially in this district. (Sure enough, I googled her record on abortion later and she’s about as extreme as it gets. In fact she was one of only a few women in the statehouse to support to a restrictive measure premised on the idea that women lie about being raped or being victims of incest in order to obtain access to abortion. She also sponsored the anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution.)

    So I guess telling outright lies about your opponent’s record isn’t just an aberration invented by Mitt Romney. Had I been a pro-life voter, I very well might have been duped by Mr. Worman. I voted for neither Pond nor Worman but for a third name I didn’t even recognize. Pond, of course, won. Lugar, alas, lost. I had gone to the polls mainly to support him because I figured he needed my help and the Dems would do fine without my help this time around.

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  11. Connie said on November 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

    This is by far the most populous area in which I have ever lived and voted. I spent some time with the Oakland County League of Women Voters guide and have the back page clip sheet filled out and ready to take along. A first for me.

    I did vote in the local primary at which 88 people voted at my precinct.

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  12. Scout said on November 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I voted by mail two weeks ago. In 2008 the longest lines were reported in Tempe near ASU. One might think that is because the students are mostly Dem voters, and one would be correct. Interesting how there are always plenty of voting booths in Scottsdale, though.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on November 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I voted Friday at my library. Took a full hour. I read this morning that if I had waited until Saturday to vote at the library, it would have been two and a half. I can’t imagine what the lines will be like today.

    It really annoys me that Election Day can’t be on a weekend. Most people have to work on Tuesday, but we can’t do anything about that, because both Saturday and Sunday are sacred days in various religions, and we must never, ever do anything that any religious person, anywhere, might object to, because that would violate freedom of religion, or something.

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  14. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I voted absentee a couple of weeks ago.

    May I be so bold as to ask why one moves to Latvia? Love? Work?

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  15. Icarus said on November 6, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I agree with Bitter Scribe, our election process/tradition is a bit archaic. See #8

    I’m dreaming of the day when I can vote in the comfort of my own home yet still retain my secret ballot.

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  16. Judybusy said on November 6, 2012 at 10:19 am

    The pictures are a great follow-up to the story yesterday, Nancy!

    The more I hear about voter suppression efforts, the angrier I get. Here is an NPR story about how they are making it more difficult to vote in Florida. Even with early, in-person absentee voting, some people had to wait up to four hours to vote. And of course we have Allen West with his words of wisdom: “I think you’re starting to see some nefarious actions already coming from the other side because there’s been an incredible turnout from Republican voters on the early voting down here in Florida,” Florida GOP Rep. Allen West told Fox News.

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  17. Chris in Iowa said on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I voted a month ago.

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  18. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

    After reading the particularly ridiculous verse from the Book of Matthew, I’m kinda hoping the RMoney megaprayer whisks the bastard off to his eternal reward as Lord God of Kolob. Sounds like one of those supercheesy made for TV movies on SyFy, Megaprayer vs. Gigundavote.

    Our polling place is half a mile away in the historic Mitchelville neighborhood. In November of 1861, in response to the Confederate attack on Ft. Sumter, Union troops occupied Hilton Head Island, and built an earthworks fort called Fort HowellIn April of 1862 the Union Army command issued a military order that freed all of the slaves on the Sea Islands. 1500 slaves left plantations and poured into the Union camp for protection. (The moochers.) Union troops left in 1868, and the town of Mitchelville was established by the freedmen as a planned community, with community farming, public housing (individual homes on 1/4 acre lots, a grist mill and a cotton mill owned by the community. (Sea Island cotton is to this day the best you can get IMNSHO; I’ve got a couple of sweaters and they are softer than cashmere). Mandatory public schools were establihed, and the First African Baptist Church was established. Mitchelville was the first place in America that former slaves established a self-governed community, predating the Emancipation Proclamation.

    So, with that history in mind, it was jarring to go to vote this am and see the parking spaces taken up by urban assault vehicles and mini-vans with Sun City residence stickers. Poll watchers. White poll watchers challenging voters whose ancestors settled this place in the 1860s. Fuckin’ A. Sun City is officially Sun City in Hilton Head, although it’s actually across the bridge and the May River in fracking Bluffton, an otherwise delightful town permanently scarred by the developer Del Webb’s Tim Burtonesque, Edward Scissorhands-style vision of comfortable suburban living for gray-faced fat white people with $2 haircuts. I believe if they want to tack Hilton Head to the name of their tract abomination, they should pay Hilton Head taxes, and if they choose to disrupt our voting, they ought to come armed. A phone call summoned the Town Attorney and the interlopers were moved off the polling property by 100 yds., to an inhospitable spot where neighborhood kids will jeer at them all day.

    The invasion from Sun City is particularly disturbing because the Mitchelville neighborhood abuts the HHI airport property, and the white folks want to expand the runways to land larger commercial jets. I say, build those runways in Sun City, assholes. Tourism is the ostensible motive, but people simply do not fly here for vacation, they drive from OH and PA and Quebec. Meanwhile, a non-profit historical tourism center is in planning stages, that will put an end to the airport expansion talk:

    The photo with that article is a gazebo on the march at the resident’s only park across the street from us. It has built in charcoal grills and a spectacular view of the marsh and Port Royal Sound.

    Allen West? What does that even mean? West is psychotic, and the FLA goober-nor is the biggest defrauder of the US government of all time.

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  19. Andrea said on November 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Voted! Left the house at 9:52, returned at 10:12. It took me longer to drive there than to actually vote. Only three people in front of me and about five waiting by the time I was finished. This is for only 4 voting stations in my small Pennsylvania township. I showed my paper voter registration card, but declined to show my photo ID when asked, just as a matter of principle regarding the new PA voter ID law. New this year – after I signed the voter roll, the poll worker said she had to announce my name out loud to the poll watchers, then proceeded to yell my name across the room. The poll watcher wrote it on a clipboard. Not really sure what that will accomplish?

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  20. Heather said on November 6, 2012 at 10:39 am

    As usual, I didn’t have to wait long at my polling place in Chicago–about two minutes for a booth to open up. Took me about 10-15 minutes to finish the thing with all the judges. I always have a guide from an independent voters’ organization, and this year from the ABA as well. This was in an elementary school and the bell rang while I was there–for a minute I thought, “Oh no, a fire drill!” Then I remembered duh, the bell rings for school to start. Can you tell I don’t have kids?

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on November 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

    There’s a polling place conveniently located within a short walk of my house. I know it’s there because every Election Day, if I don’t vote early (as I did this year), I drive past it on the way to my polling place, three miles down the road. Sigh.

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  22. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Teabangers say Chris Tub O’ Guts Christie put the country in jeopardy. So much for that run in ’16. And the RMoneyoids were really pissed off that the Tub didn’t take time off from being Goober-nor of a devastated state to do an appearance for Willard. No conception of reality.

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  23. DellaDash said on November 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Like your local color vote story, Prospero.

    Voted early at my Nashville library branch a few weeks ago, before our lame Dem congressional candidate came under this blog’s mocking scrutiny. Nestled as he was under Obama’s wing, he was sure to get my vote no matter what…in electoral terms, I was pissing up a red Tennessee tree anyway. I breezed in 5 minutes before voting shut down for the day, and was out maybe 10 minutes later. The only hiccup was at the door…where I found out I could vote with picture ID and no voter registration card, but not with the card and no ID. Happened to have both, but was irate about seeing restrictions in action, even in my middle-class ghetto.

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  24. Charlotte said on November 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Just went to the Fairgrounds to vote — got there at 8am, place was buzzing — in a good way. Had a fun chat with a couple of friends who worried they’d gotten a trickily-worded ballot measure wrong (about allowing minors access to abortion without parental consent. My friend Lee, father of 4 daughters said “I keep having to remind myself that this isn’t necessarily for *my* daughters, but for those girls in really bad situations.”)

    If you’d like to see a cheery PBS piece my friend Scott shot a couple of years ago about voting in Livingston — here’s small town voting:

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  25. del said on November 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Advice for voters — bring a pen.

    They’re letting people fill out ballots anyplace in the gymnasium they can find room as the booths are so full (if the voter’s willing to forego a booth).

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  26. beb said on November 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

    There actually have been experiments to test whether prayer helps people in the hospital. It was, from what I read, a classically structured experiment. It had four groups of patients. The first were patients who were being prayed for and know it. A second group thought they were being prayed for but weren’t. A third group were being prayed for but didn’t know that and the last group, the control group wasn’t told about the experiment at all. The recovery rates for the people who believed they were being prayed for, whether or not they actually were, was better than the controls and better than the people being prayed for but didn’t know it. So the power of prayer…. it’s all in youor head.

    Of course, God will not be made a fool so he could have deliberately skewered the results just to mess the the minds of the faithful.

    Chris Christie is a lot harder to figure out than Romney ever was. Early on it was apparent that Romney would say anything if he thought it would help get him elected. Most politicians are like that but have a limit to how much they’ll lie. Romney was clear over into Black-is-White-land. Christie seems to want to be a major player in the Republican party, hence his rejection of billions in federal money to build a much needed new tunnel to New York. But he scolded the tea party when they wanted him to dump an appointee for just being Muslim. And he wasn’t in the tank far enough to rebuff FEMA help after his state was flattened by Hurricane Sandy. So my feeling is that if he had a Democrat control Congress he would be a decent President but if the Tea Party controlled any part of Congress he would be whipped into taking their extremist positions.

    The idea that Jeb Bush might run in 2016 is positively sickening. Haven’t we suffered enough from G H W Bush and his family already?

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  27. Bitter Scribe said on November 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

    DellaDash: They require photo ID for early voting in Illinois, too, but not if you show up on Election Day. Seems a bit odd.

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  28. DellaDash said on November 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Glad I took the few minutes to watch your friend Scott’s video, Charlotte. Makes me more inclined to watch Montana’s polls than those of the do-si-do (swing your partners, allemande left) states.

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  29. beb said on November 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Came across this article on Yahoo, about the backlash against a cooking book that Amazon is publishing, and on a larger note on the struggle of bookstores and publishers against the juggernaut that is Amazon. Interesting reading.

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  30. Sherri said on November 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

    No polling places at all here, as Washington became entirely vote-by-mail a while ago. Icarus, I did vote in the comfort of my own home a few weeks ago, and assuming a lack of malice on the part of the election workers, I did have a secret ballot.

    It takes a little longer before all our votes are counted, because ballots only have to be postmarked by the day of the election, not received, but that shouldn’t be an issue for the Presidential election, which Obama should win here handily.

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  31. del said on November 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Don’t forget to make your Amazon purchases through Nancy’s Kickback Lounge.

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  32. brian stouder said on November 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Well, this morning I did a 7:10 am fly-by at our polling place (went there after the girls got on their school bus, rather than going at 6:00, as I probably should have); saw the line out the building and across the parking lot in serpentine fashion, and kept going.

    We (our family) remain in the Land of Big Decisions regarding my mom, and that business will pull me in after lunch today…so we’ll see how the polling place is, just before lunch, and report back here later.

    My only voting tricks are: if it’s a pick-3, choose only one, and that person effectively gets a super-vote (since you didn’t dilute it by also augmenting another’s totals, who might ultimately push your fave into 4th place, and out); if I don’t have a specific choice in a particular race, then I skip it; and finally, always double check the ballot.

    Aside from all that, I’ve never on my best day looked as good as the feller on Nance’s front page. That guy has the annoying ability to look good in an old photo, instead of silly. His hair is right in style, and even his jacket doesn’t date him. It’s just not fair that some people have timeless good looks, while the rest of us never escape dorkhood!

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  33. jcburns said on November 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    We had morning rain in Atlanta, so wasn’t too surprised not to see voting lines out the door. But by the time we left (ten minutes to get through the mystery bureaucracy) the sun had started to peek out, people in Lexuses were parking illegally so they didn’t have to walk more than 15 feet, and the outside line was starting to form. Good timing. We walked to the polling place (our library) with our next door neighbors, who, I suspect, may have not voted for the same presidential candidate as we did. But we felt neighborly and convivial and civic all the same.

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  34. Connie said on November 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Local news: Wixom police has a freeway shooting suspect in custody for questioning. I live right next door to Wixom so this whole thing has been wierd.

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  35. kayak woman said on November 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’m always up and out early so I walked over and took my place in line (11th) at 6:25 AM. Had a good time talking to neighbors until 7. Voting was quick (I had done my homework) & my ballot was the 4th to get sucked into the ballot-eater.

    @jcburns the Frandor Panera is the one with the tsunami toilet 😉

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  36. DellaDash said on November 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Bitter Scribe: Maybe Tennessee is the same as Illinois…this is the first time I’ve voted early since I moved here…and haven’t been asked for picture ID until now. I believe TN has recently jumped on the voter-restriction bandwagon, though. Basset, you’re sure to know. I could look it up, but tend to not put effort into directions that are sure to raise my blood pressure these days.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on November 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    It was a 45 minute wait but I had a book with me. There was a lot more diverse crowd than usual, both in race and age, and that cheered me.

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  38. Charlotte said on November 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    DellaDash — the Tester/Rehberg race is a big one, as is the Gov. race (Bullock was one of the AGs who brought suit against Citizen’s United). Third party PACs have poured money into the state and are getting busted pulling some really 1970s style tricks (

    However, when I went to vote at 8 am, turnout was high, people were chatting, and I was voter 696 in my precinct (we have 3). Voting here is so fun — and one of the ladies in Scott’s video was filling out the ledger — she has beautiful Palmer-method handwriting. “What’s going to happen when my generation takes over?” I asked her. “We all have terrible handwriting!”

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  39. LAMary said on November 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Maybe you move to Latvia to have easy access to Estonia and Lithuania?

    My youngest voted for the first time today. We waited in a pretty long line. There were piles of voting information booklets on a table. Ten piles, ten languages. I figured they were Vietnamese, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, Thai and English, and good chance all of those languages are spoken in my precinct.

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  40. Rana said on November 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I voted early, because I got anxious and was worried about long lines on Election Day, machines going down, etc. The early voting site nearest us was in the basement of the local park’s field house, marked off with cones establishing the no electioneering zone and posters in the window explaining voting in several different languages. There was a line of about ten-fifteen people leading into a small crowded room with only one narrow entry, so getting in and out was at times awkward. A grandmother sat with her small, curly-headed grandson while the mother voted. The energy in the line was pretty low, though; I think most of us were just trying to fit in voting when we could.

    Once in, I had to show an ID to get my voting machine card (one of which they programmed for each individual voter) and then stood awkwardly in the center of the room to be assigned a machine. While I was hovering, one of the volunteers jumped the gun and attempted to give me my “I voted” receipt early; she was embarrassed when I corrected her and one of the other volunteers stepped up to instruct me on the machine.

    It was a sort of a hybrid e-vote/paper touch-screen thing (thankfully not Diebold). You touched the screen to make your choices, checked it on screen, then checked it again as it generated a printed ballot on a strip of paper under glass to the side of the machine, which then rolled up onto a spool. (This alarmed one of the other voters, who was somehow convinced that (a) this strip was being stored with her name on it and (b) that other people would see how she voted. The volunteers were unable to convince her that all votes would be stored securely; she was still arguing when I left.)


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  41. Rana said on November 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    @Bitter Scribe, I think the difference in showing ID between early and regular voting in Chicago is that when you early vote, you can vote at any of several places throughout the city, but when you vote on Election Day, you vote at a polling location assigned to you, so your name is already there on their list.

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  42. Colleen said on November 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I estimate I waited about 10 minutes, if that at my precinct. Five minutes to vote, and I was outta there. The poll workers said it was a busy day, especially between 6 and 8 this morning.

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  43. Dan B said on November 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Just got back from voting in Chicago. All the booths were occupied the whole time I was there, with a short line to get into one. One very chatty pollworker who kept trying to guess people’s ethnicities based on their last names; I think he got every one that I overheard wrong.

    It being Chicago, I think there were a grand total of seven contested races and a whole lot of Democrats running unopposed. Then there was the enormous page full of judicial retentions. From the research I did, it looks like several of them really ought to be voted out; I’ll be interested to see if any actually are. I’m doubtful.

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  44. Kaye said on November 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    No line at my polling place at 11am but 1055 people had voted before me. That’s a nice number. Other than the fact I locked myself out of the house, thereby turning a 15 minute event into a 90 minute one, it was quick an painless.

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  45. Kaye said on November 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Is there a local issue driving voter turn-out in the Points?

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  46. MarcG said on November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I am glad that everyone seems to like the photos. It really is a very special place, and that was a special time. I had that jacket until a few years ago, when the zipper finally gave out. Unfortunately, our hostess left out the third picture, but let’s just say that it looked like everyone had been overserved that weekend, if such a thing is possible on the Upper Peninsula.
    I get asked a lot why I moved to Latvia, and yes, there was a woman involved, my lovely wife, who I met when we were both students at Ohio State. Latvia is a beautiful country, and the climate is not so different than in Ohio or Michigan, only darker in the winter, and much longer days in the summer. And the Baltic woman have to be some of the most beautiful in the world.
    I voted absentee ballot, no problems with the Board of Elections although I was prepared for fight, given the leanings of the state government these days. Over here we are all bracing for long legal fights, so are hoping for a decisive win. It as a sore loser and a brat who thinks that letting a judge decide, instead of the voters, is a good way to become president. But the precedent has been set, and we know where that got us.

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  47. Bitter Scribe said on November 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Rana: Yeah, that makes sense. I didn’t really think there was any nefarious purpose behind it.

    One thing that ticked me off is that the Republicans running for my state Senate and House districts were unopposed. I’m especially annoyed because my state senator-to-be is being kicked upstairs after making a hash of the county government as board chairman. Cripes, maybe I should just run myself next time. I don’t think I’d make a very compelling candidate, but I’d be better than, literally, no one.

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  48. Kirk said on November 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Walked the half-block to the high school to cast my ballot about 10 a.m. I had to wait behind about 35 people; it took about 15 minutes. I took special pleasure in voting against the lying weasel Josh Mandel. No problems, all pleasantries, all white people, but no bake sale this year.

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  49. del said on November 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Kaye, not much driving voters to the polls in the Pointes. There is, however, a school board election with a 20 year old candidate who’s still in college — on the east coast. He claims that he can be a “virtual” school board member.

    Judicial independence is a big problem now in Michigan. In the old (truly non-partisan) days a judge could render a decision based on the facts with little concern about offending affected interest groups. Not so much nowadays. (A 2008 U. of Chicago Law School analysis of all the state supreme courts in the country found Michigan’s to be the most partisan.) The political parties now control the elections and they’re big money affairs. That means that judges who would dare to vote against the interest groups of the parties that backed them risk losing their jobs every election cycle.

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  50. Dexter said on November 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    We used to vote in the English Lutheran church building across the street but for the past few elections I have had to drive a couple miles to the Nazarene church gym. 11:00 AM, I walked in straight to the table to show my driver’s license and take my ballot. I had to wait for exactly one person, an old man. The only problem I had was my PaperMate pen they offered was defective. Damn republican vote-suppression tactic! 🙂
    Not one person of color to be seen anywhere. This town used to be about 99.9 percent white and Mexican-American. About twenty years ago a church rented some downtown buildings and made a homeless shelter. The product of this effort is a diverse community. Now we have many African-Americans. Where thirty years ago we had just one Black family here, we don’t go a day without seeing many African-Americans.

    The greatest feeling I had today while voting was casting a vote for Sherrod Brown, which was also a vote against the repulsive Josh Mandel. I watched “The Big Lebowsky” last night and the marmot thrown into The Dude’s bathtub was actually a ferret. Kirk, I think Josh Mandel is a ferret.

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  51. Mark P said on November 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I voted a week ago Monday in Georgia. My vote is pretty much symbolic in Georgia, but I cast it anyway. The only place it might have mattered is in votes on state amendments. The main one this year was the one I mentioned earlier about letting the state start charter schools without the approval of the local school board. This one had a lot of out-of-state money backing it, a red flag in my book, but it sounded bad anyway. Every local board of education and the state board opposed it. Big money supported it. I am not big money.

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  52. Minnie said on November 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Report from the south-east corner of Virginia: Mid-morning when I got to the elementary school, more people were lined up outside than I’ve seen in many years of voting there. Rumor was that at 7 a.m., about the time my husband went to vote, the line had been at least three times as long. Not sure whether he had time to vote then or will have to go back this evening.

    It took me a good hour, enough time to enjoy the children’s artwork along the walls leading to the “cafetorium” where the machines were and to check out fellow voters. I’d say the crowd was 65% white, 20% Asian, mostly Filipino, many of whom vote Republican, and 15% African-American. All ages were represented. Seeing parents with children in tow gives me hope for the future. Folks seemed mostly affable and happy to be there for their candidates. The woman in front of me, easily identified as to party affiliation before we struck up a conversation, was eager to get her vote in so she could stop by Walmart on the way home to listen to Rush talk about Democratic efforts to steal the vote.

    Poll workers were evenly divided between black and white and energetically helped anyone who needed it. Though I usually show my driver’s license, I decided to flash my voter ID card instead. That and recitation of my full name and address got me into the line for the voting machines. No one demanded a picture ID.

    We had lots of local races and three constitutional amendments on the ballot. I’d studied those running for city council and school board since I surely didn’t want to aid the Tea Party. Fortunately, on Sunday the TP ran a full page ad for their their candidates in our city supplement. Thanks, y’all are good sports.

    After voting I drove over to a more affluent neighborhood and boosted bags of leaves for my mulch pile. Might as well benefit from the wanna-be one per centers and job-creators who have paid someone to rake their leaves.

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  53. Connie said on November 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Just walked down to the neighborhood elementary school where I was ballot number 650. As a township employee I actually know a surprising number of candidates. Oakland County Community College Board of Regents! Go Clay J.!

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  54. MichaelG said on November 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I mailed it in last week.

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  55. Minnie said on November 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Post voting, I stopped by the grocery. Pedro, a Mexican immigrant on the young side of middle age who bags groceries and herds carts, saw my “I voted” sticker. He smiled and said softly, “I know who you voted for.” When I grinned and raised my eyebrows in a question, he said, “Romney!” I hooted and told him that as a life-long liberal I most certainly had not. He tried to reconcile the image of this white-haired old lady and a vote for Obama. Looking confused, he said, “I thought only black people voted for him.”

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  56. Mark P said on November 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Minnie, I got the same reaction from a telephone pollster in 2008 when I told him my age and race (old white guy in Georgia). He already knew where I lived and so assumed I could only be a Republican.

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  57. ROGirl said on November 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I voted absentee, due to long waits at my polling place, the high school. A lot of places had the day off today. Traffic this morning was really light, mostly because of the Chrysler shutdown. Even the headquarters, which I drive past, is closed today.

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  58. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I’m just back from a couple of shifts driving the Oltimers shuttle from nursing home to Polls. What a hoot. I caused a near riot by being overheard in conversation saying the Lyin’ RMoneys want to crush Medicare and loot the Social Security Trust Fund. I ended up singing this to myself:

    I heard all about the alleged $716 billion Obama will cut Medicare, one of Willard’s more massive and shameless lies, especially considering that Ayn Ryan’s budget includes the same figure for cost savings as Obama’s projections. I told the old farts I had almost certainly paid more in payroll taxes since I was 16 than Mittens has, since payroll taxes aren’t deducted from capital gains. Rent on the van was paid by local Dem party, but nobody could accuse us of partisan ridership. Funny as hell.

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  59. Mark P said on November 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Prospero, most senior citizens have a real cognitive dissonance when they are told that Republicans want to hurt them and their families by eliminating Medicare* and Social Security.

    *Yes, the “fact checkers” say that R&R don’t want to eliminate Medicare, they only want to turn it into a voucher program. As if that didn’t mean eliminating Medicare. As if a voucher could pay for health insurance for someone in his late 60’s, much less late 70’s or 80’s. But I continue to use the correct term for what R&R actually want to do. Send me a fact checker. Please.

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  60. Kirk said on November 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Amazing how, though I was there only once, decades ago (in a constant state of wastedness), that photo of the yacht club (and the mahogany boat) evokes a familiar memory.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Based on early voting numbers today compared to 2008 results, it appears unmistakably clear that Romney will win Ohio. Does that mean a run of the table? That I don’t have data for. But “Bush/McCain” counties in Ohio from ’04/’08 are 14+% up in total early/absentee votes, while “Kerry/Obama” counties are down 4%. So attention now turns to Wisconsin, Iowa, & Nevada, where there is much less early voting available than Ohio has had the last 34 days, so their results are more weighed into today’s turnout. 285 is looking very much within reach, and provisional ballots are already being litigated, but aren’t likely to matter if the margin is over 2% in the Ohio total.

    My polling place has the little window to one side with the paper strip under a window that prints as you approve each page, and I’ll admit I scrutinized each page as it scrolled past. But I have to admit, internet denizen that I am, that I’d feel better if every voter in the country had a broadsheet ballot and pencil, marked their choices, and after they were run thru an optical scanner could be stored easily and naked-eye rechecked by validators at a later date. I use electronic data for all kinds of life-critical things, but it bugs me, no matter how the election turns out, that there’s really no way to truly check out results or respond to claims of fraud with all the current systems unless we just announced a re-vote.

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  62. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Oh, I forgot to say. We voted on ES&S Votronic machines, no paper trail, that gave a Dem primary election to Alvin Greene in 2010, the worst candidate for anything, ever, whose campaign is rumored to have been funded by Jim Demented and SC GOPers to screw with the Dem primary. The sorry and sordid history of ES&S in SC:

    Here’s a Votronic in action:

    Jeff (tmmo): Ever hear of similar voting concerns in Canada or England, or in the Scandinavian countries? Japan? More of that good ole American exceptionalism.

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  63. Sherri said on November 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Rany Jazayerli usually writes about baseball, and does it very well. I started reading him back in the old days on Today, though, he’s written a very thoughtful piece on Muslims and the GOP. Did you realize that Muslims used to reliably vote Republican? Neither did I. Rany explains why, and what changed.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Everyone in the counties is, quite frankly, surprised; there’s been every appearance of a very strong ground game by the Obama/Organizing for American campaign, but they just haven’t gotten people to actually follow-thru, while some of the longest lines, ironically, have been in GOP bellwether counties in Ohio. It may be that the big “early voting” push strategy has backfired, and it got more *Republicans* to go early vote than their own base.

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  65. adrianne said on November 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Son No. 1 and I waited about 15 minutes in line at our town hall about 9:30 a.m. today, busier than I’ve ever seen it before. Here in the great Empire State, there are still a few voters unclear about the “new” voting system (filling out bubbles for each candidate with a pen, feeding the sheet into the voting machine). One puzzled man ahead of me kept feeding his ballot into the machine, which didn’t record a vote. I peeked at his ballot – he had failed to mark even ONE bubble. Umm, you actually have to make a mark on the ballot for it to count!

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  66. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Oh I so hope you are wrong Jeff tmmo.

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  67. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) Who in the world claims to have compiled those numbers and to have analyzed them this quickly? For one thing, it’s illegal in most states to release that sort of data before polls close.

    Obama derangement syndrome.

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    No, the early/absentee vote totals are out in the media. The precincts are still rockin’ and rollin’, and Election Day voting could shift dramatically back, but in the last few cycles the trend has been the other way. We’re moving, generally, to Election Month more than Election Day, for good or ill. I think good, by the way, unless we go with Bernie Sanders’ proposal to make Election Day a national holiday. The old “one day, after monthly market day, in the fall after the harvest” is just a wee bit antiquated, and we’re slowly adjusting to modernity in this as in so many things.

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  69. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Good reasons not to trust any election results from Ohio:

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  70. Linda said on November 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Geez. I spent a cold morning canvassing in Toledo, and even found a potential voter and informed him of how/where/when he could get to the polls, proper id, etc., and now Prospero tells me I’ve been rooked and cold for no reason. People here waited over 2 hours for early voting every day this weekend–and this is definitely Obama country. Also, big lines this weekend in other big cities augers well for Obama.

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  71. Linda said on November 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Also, I don’t believe the “low turnout” of absentee ballots–I know someone who works on our county’s election board, and they are swamped.

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  72. Kaye said on November 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Ohio early voting results will not be released until sometime after the polls close. I think I read the release was scheduled for 8.30pm

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  73. deb said on November 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    My experience: Standing in a line of a couple dozen people. Poll worker is chatting everyone up, talking about the turnout, how smooth everything is going, where to pick up your “I voted” sticker. Blabbermouth in front of me says loudly, “So where do we go to pick up our red Obamaphone?” The poll worker says, “What?” “Or maybe a pack of cigarettes,” B.M. continues. “Excuse me?” Then B.M. goes for the big finish: “Or maybe just give me a quiet place where I can poke the eyes out of unborn children.” An elderly woman behind me gasps audibly. Uncomfortable silence ensues. A couple minutes later, B.M. turns to me and says, “I don’t really poke the eyes out of unborn children.”‘ I say tersely, “Let’s just let this go, OK?” Five minutes later, he parks his ample butt at the registration table, chatting up the volunteers there with nothing to do, and starts talking about ME and how “I really made HER mad,” and then whispers to them. They laugh at the end of his story. Give me a fucking break.

    A co-worker had a disturbing experience, too. She’s admiring a twinkly elderly couple commenting on the artwork lining the walls in the school where they’re waiting to vote. Then the old man asks somebody, “So, do a lot of Democrats vote here?” He gets a noncommittal response, then observes amiably, “Too bad we can’t shoot ’em.”

    I have little hope of any “working across the aisles” in Washington when we can’t even get our neighbors to behave like decent human beings.

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  74. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Obamaphones? Another massive GOPer lie. The program was actually theh implementation by Shrubco of a Clinton era policy proposal:

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  75. Minnie said on November 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Mark P: Let’s get Prospero to drive us to the polls next time. We can sing along with him.

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  76. alex said on November 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    The local CBS affiliate has Mark Souder as a commentator on the race, along with Karen Goldner who’s a liberal former Fort Wayne city council member. Interesting so far. Only 7% of precincts reporting and not the urban ones and Donnelly’s beating Mourdock, Pence is really not all that far ahead of Democrat Gregg, and the Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction is kicking the fucking ass of incumbent Republican Tony Bennett who has overseen the privatization of the state’s public schools.

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  77. David in Chicago said on November 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Voted Saturday morning. The line was already pretty long 15 minutes before the early voting started at 9 AM. Once they got organized, though, it moved pretty quickly. I had my cheat sheet for which judges had been deemed ‘not qualified’, and I got my voting done pretty quickly. The best part for me was seeing the young parents with their young children in tow; the children wide-eyed, seeing their mom or dad doing something novel and unique, feeling the importance and the solemnity but not quite being able to process it. – Spoke to my best friend from high school a little while ago. He’s in L.A., and he has been a constant presence on Facebook for months now, urging everyone who follows him to vote for Obama. I called him to make sure he was eating today; sure enough, he’s been too keyed up to eat.

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  78. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I don’t know Jeff tmmo, from what I’m hearing on CNN about Ohio, it doesn’t jibe with what you said so far anyway. Very early I know.

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  79. Diane L. said on November 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Voted last week. Took my time filling out my ballot Sunday morning with a cup of coffee (deferring my reading of the NY Times and the crossword no less) then dropped it off at the county clerk’s office. In my little mountain county in Colorado the total anticipated voter turnout is 22,000. 18,000 ballots, either mailed or early voting, have already been cast. They are only expecting 4,000 people at the polls. I don’t know a single person who had not voted before today.

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  80. Jolene said on November 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) reported those early voting numbers from Ohio on FB this afternoon, which prompted me to do a little googling. It appears that he is right about the direction of change in early voting patterns as compared to 2008 (i.e., an increase for Rs, a decrease for Ds), but it is by no means clear that that means Romney will win the state. The counties in which Romney is winning are, in general, more rural than the counties in which Obama is winning. A large percentage of a small number might well turn out to be less than a smaller percentage of a larger number. (50% of 100 = 50, but 25% of 200 also = 50). These data are not dispositive re who will win Ohio. It should be noted that O’s people are expecting smaller margins of victory than in 2008.

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  81. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Regarding the SS&E Votronic machines, what conceivable reason could cause a public official to actually put those machines in place?

    -Fix is in.

    -Kickbacks on contracts.

    Can’t think of anything else.

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  82. Jolene said on November 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    The NYT has a good map on which they’re updating results as they come in.

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  83. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Here’s a live blog that says that the alleged turnout shortfalls in Ohio among Dem voters are not showing up in Virginia: Claims turnout is ahead of ’08. VA is a weird fracking place. They are voting for the flagrant Son of the Confederacy George Allen. And somebody tell me that racism isn’t at play when GA shows 70% for RMoney.

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  84. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm


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  85. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I actually think Obama could lose Ohio and still win in total vote; the numbers in Virginia & Pennsy are too sketchy to tell yet. No one celebrating at the Elks Club or the Metropolitan — that’s what I love about towns like Newark, Ohio, where you can walk back and forth between both party parties (it’s about two and a half blocks, both two blocks north of the county admin bldg where they count our precincts). Lots being drunk at each party, no gloom, no celebration, just lots of conversation about what will happen with the state Medicaid plan either way come Nov. 17 and the rest of the state and county budget. This may confirm gloomy suspicions, but I don’t myself that bothered by it: you really can’t tell the two party parties apart without scrutinizing the signage.

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  86. nancy said on November 6, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    MOURDOCK. This is like eating Porterhouse.

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  87. Jolene said on November 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Indiana Senate race called for Donnelly. Congrats, Hoosiers. Congrats to Wisconsin people too for keeping your state blue.

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  88. Catherine said on November 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I just voted at the Union of Marash Armenian Hall, the last place you can go in LA that still absolutely reeks of cigarette and cigar smoke. It was much busier than usual, and the poll workers were a rainbow coalition ages 18 – 89 or so. Waited about 90 seconds, total.

    Those of you with long waits, wow! I think I’d vote absentee, like my husband, if that were the case, but it’s never happened to me in CA.

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  89. Linda said on November 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Acccording to Nate Silver, south and central Ohio is doing well for Obama, that is, for south and central Ohio.

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  90. Jolene said on November 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Good news, Linda, as it’s Northern Ohio where O is expected to get thenlion’s share of the vote.

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  91. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Grayson back in the House from FLA. Guy’s a loose cannon, but he’s as funny as Barney Frank and he drives GOPers batshit. So much for those RMoneyites whistling past the graveyard about PA.

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  92. Kirk said on November 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    The lying germ Josh Mandel loses. Guess he’ll actually have to figure out what his job is as state treasurer.

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  93. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Jeff, PA has been declared for Obama. FLA looks very good.

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  94. Linda said on November 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Kirk, his job is preparing to run for some other job.

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  95. Kirk said on November 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    No doubt, Linda. He seems devoted to, as my father would say, spending his life on the public teat.

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  96. Prospero said on November 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Tammy Duckworth kicked FauxJoe’s ass. Alan West is in a dead heat with 92% reporting. Send that psycho to the nuthatch.

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  97. Jolene said on November 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    One of my sisters lives in Paul Ryan’s district. She was delighted to have the chance to vote against him twice.

    Good night for D women in Senate races so far. Warren, Klobuchar, Baldwin, and McCaskill have all won.

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  98. Dave Kobiela said on November 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Great news to see Joe Donnelly will defeat Mourdock. Also Pennsylvania has just been called for President Obama. I know many of my Steelworker brothers and sisters, worked hard on these races. Congratulations! Now let’s get Ohio.

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  99. Linda said on November 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Dear Crossroads GPS:

    You’ve dumped millions of dollars in advertising to kill Sherrod Brown’s reelection. We have had lots of indigestion watching those sleazy, truth-impaired pieces of crap for the last entire year. However much we like the cash drop into our economy, we like Brown just fine and wish to keep him as a senator. So kindly GTFO. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    The people of Ohio

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  100. Kirk said on November 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm


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  101. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm


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  102. Julie Robinson said on November 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Somewhere in heaven, Moe is cheering about Elizabeth Warren and all the other women who won today.

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  103. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm


    Oh Julie, you brought a tear to my eyes about Moe. She would be proud, I think.

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  104. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm


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  105. Kirk said on November 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Obama elected

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  106. Deborah said on November 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I am crying my eyes out!

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  107. Bill said on November 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    JZ (the original) is bouncing off the walls in heaven. If they have walls.

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  108. coozledad said on November 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Good show.

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  109. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Mandel was as weak a candidate as could be imagined, but not as weak as Mourdock!

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  110. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    “Day of” voting overcame deficit of expected early voting margin; GOTV continues to be the benchmark. Hat tip, Obama in OH campaign!

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  111. Scout said on November 7, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Oh happy day! Four more years!

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  112. Jolene said on November 7, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for thinking of Moe, Julie. I miss her.

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  113. Kirk said on November 7, 2012 at 12:10 am

    My lifetime presidential-election voting record improves to 4-7.

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  114. Jolene said on November 7, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Jeff, I don’t think it’s clear that there was an early vote shortfall. Will have to check margins in the AM.

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  115. del said on November 7, 2012 at 12:22 am

    JTMMO, at 5:48 p.m. you wrote:

    “Based on early voting numbers today compared to 2008 results, it appears unmistakably clear that Romney will win Ohio.”

    Because I had faith in you and trusted you, this remark set my heart aflutter, and not in a good way. I started talking to myself. Where, oh where, is my happy place? Nate Silver, can you hear me? (Think Ricky Bobby when he cried out, “Jesus, help me! Tom Cruise help me!)”

    By 5:37 p.m Prospero had chimed in:

    “Jeff (tmmo) Who in the world claims to have compiled those numbers and to have analyzed them this quickly? For one thing, it’s illegal in most states to release that sort of data before polls close.” Then he linked to what he called the “Obama derangement syndrome.” (

    And so I had to sit on pins and needles until 11:13 p.m to hear that Fox News had called Ohio for Obama.

    Prospero should be elevated to Prospero-the-Prescient. And Jeff, the “Mild-Mannered” moniker just doesn’t seem to fit anymore. I’m not saying that you’re, exactly, a false prophet (though you did introduce me to Sarah Palin 5 or 6 years ago). I’m just saying that I no longer have any “faith” in your message.

    And as for Moe, here’s her song again — Chi Mi Bhuam (I See Afar) by Karen Matheson — as she sees the McCaskill victory and the Mourdock defeat:

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  116. alex said on November 7, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Hey Pilot Joe, Jtmmo, Danny, mark—

    My heart goes out to you. Must suck. I’m going to have to go into the office tomorrow pretending to be glum so as not to piss off people when I want to do back flips. That sucks too.

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  117. alex said on November 7, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Watching PBS and it appears Romney doesn’t want to concede. Magical thinking and it’s almost midnight. I wonder if his concession speech will be unconcilliatory and offensive and will go down in history as the most ungracious ever.

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  118. Kirk said on November 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Mitt’s on now

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  119. Minnie said on November 7, 2012 at 2:00 am


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