Scattered reports of election flaws
In Virginia and Texas some voters waited in line for four hours. In Pennsylvania, there were inappropriate demands for official photo IDs. Recorded calls went out to residents of Florida saying misleadingly that they had until 7 p.m. “tomorrow” to vote.
Election Day had its share of flaws and partisan disputes but it was unclear Tuesday night whether any would cause a major shift in the result or set the stage for a big lawsuit. A judge in Galveston, Texas, ordered polls to stay open a bit late because of crowds, and there were court orders in Pennsylvania barring observers from interfering with voters. Still, the day was largely uninterrupted by judicial activity.
Legal action might follow later, once margins of victory in swing states were clearer. As for Election Day itself, the lack of court activity may have been because both Democrats and Republicans had trained and planned for months and were out in force watching poll workers — and each other.
Nearly half of vote cast early in Iowa
Lines in Iowa, with its six electoral votes, weren’t too bad at polling stations Tuesday — in part because up to 45 percent of the state’s voters cast ballots early.
About 670,000 people had voted in Iowa by Monday night, according to Chad Olsen, a spokesman for Secretary of State Matt Schultz.
Storm sufferers find path to ballots
Superstorm Sandy’s floodwaters drove Bob Mackie from his home on Long Beach Island, N.J., but nothing was going to stop him from voting Tuesday. The 72-year-old widower drove an hour each way to cast his ballot at a makeshift polling site for island residents, refusing to be disenfranchised by the devastation.
“A lot of people died for it, so we better exercise it,” Mackie said of the right to vote.
A week after Sandy’s ruinous march up the East Coast, thousands of displaced residents boarded shuttle buses and searched online for alternative polling places to cast their ballots. For millions who were still without power, cleaning mud out of their homes or living in shelters, voting represented both a return to normalcy and an act of defiance.
National Guard units in West Virginia set up tents at three polling places and provided generators to help provide power to five other areas that had been buried under 2 feet of snow from Sandy. In Connecticut, where all but two of the 773 voting precincts were open, voters displaced by the storm had to travel long distances to cast ballots in their precincts. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, both signed directives allowing displaced residents of their states to cast provisional ballots at any polling site.
Lady Gaga targets Cleveland voters
Pop star Lady Gaga gave election pep-talks Tuesday on three Cleveland radio stations and urged voters to cast ballots, calling Ohio “the chosen state.” She said she watched the debates with friends over a bottle of wine and did research before selecting her candidate, choosing to support Barack Obama because “he believes in equal rights for all Americans.”
Volunteer marks 75 years at polls
There are people who believe in voting, and then there’s Elisa Kennedy.
The National Association of Secretaries of State honored California’s longest-serving poll worker with a medal Tuesday for her years of service — 75 of them, to be exact. Kennedy, 96, born before women got the vote, began volunteering as a poll worker in San Francisco shortly after she reached eligible voting age. FDR was president — and it was his first term.
“A lot has changed in politics and in the world since Elisa first volunteered as a poll worker 75 years ago, but her commitment to democracy and her devotion to her community has remained constant,” California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said. Kennedy said it’s the “wonderful people” who keep her coming back.
Compiled from wire reports.