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My polling place was a local Catholic church, which felt a bit strange since I've never been in a church before outside of weddings. Outside of a few crucifixes and sermon posters, it was a welcoming place, even for this Jew. There were tons of volunteers and everyone, including the voters, was very upbeat. Afterwards, I visited a coffee shop, where the air was just charged with enthusiasm -- something I've not experienced in any other election.
I have never had to wait in a long line before in order to vote. I waited about an hour. This is an awesome election!
Doris Ilene Slot
Grand Rapids, Michigan
My NYC voting spot was more crowded than I've ever seen it, with a line snaking around the corner. Every time someone else arrived, he or she would inevitably ask, "Is this the line?" One man deadpanned, "What line?" That got a chuckle.
New York, New York
I went to vote early this morning and received a "draw a line through" ballot. It was already marked McCain! I told one of the judges that my ballot was already marked and that I did not mark it as such! She then looked through another pile of ballots and some of them were marked as well (not only the presidential vote, but for other races). I received another ballot and voted.
We have multiple, ethnically diverse districts that vote at the same location. I'm Caucasian but was online with a large number of residents from the black neighborhood nearby. I was awestruck to see more senior citizens than ever online at 7:15am. I was stunned when the monitors told us about the waiting line when the polls opened at 6am. I was impressed that my fellow voters were dressed in their Sunday best, as if going to church. It was then I understood this is not only an historic election but a sacred right of passage for our nation. I have the privilege of voting at the elementary school I attended and always go to vote with my mom. This year, mom took pictures of me outside the school in front of the VOTE HERE sign as she did when I voted in my first election in 1992.
White Plains, New York
In Foster City, a suburb 25 miles south of San Francisco, extra polling places appeared for this election, as officials anticipated higher turnout. As a result, my wait time at 9:30 a.m. was only 5-10 minutes, which was shorter than the time I spent getting free coffee at Starbucks afterward. People in my neighborhood usually report to the local elementary school gym to cast their ballots, but today, I voted at a recreation center that was in walking distance from my house. The only frustration was that the polling place volunteers were mostly elderly folks who could not hear well or did not always know exactly what to do. Signing in alone took up more time than waiting in line. I have mostly voted by mail in the past, since I've been away at school for years, so today was my first interaction with the electronic voting booth.
Foster City, California
This morning I was driving on the main road from Chapel Hill, NC, to Durham, NC, and on the side of the road at a very busy intersection was an older white couple standing in the rain with their donkey. The donkey had a pretty blue and white blanket with stars and the word "Vote" in big letters. With this couple was a tall black man in a dark overcoat, gloves and a huge smile. With the Obama mask, he looked just like the candidate. He was waving to the traffic. There was much honking and waving all around. As I was pulling away from the intersection, a car full of young women pulled over to take their pictures with this charming group. It was so sweet and such a nice thing to see on a very rainy election day.
Janice A. Farringer
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I arrived alone at 6:25 am, assuming I would beat the crowds. HA! The line was deceptive since no one was outside. It actually snaked around on the inside of the park district building. There was only one electronic machine in my precinct, and there were 4 different precincts polling in this location. There were easily 400 people in line for my precinct. An interesting aside: I was the sole non-black resident of my ward voting at that point in time. Struck up some good conversations, and updated those in my radius with info from HuffPo on my crackberry. By the time I voted, I ended up getting to work late, but as my Civic duty calls, so I answer.
Richard Striano II
I live in a very white, "blue collar" hamlet on Long Island, in New York. I got to the polls at 5:35am this morning expecting to be first in line, and ended up being 5th. What was scary is that as I waited in line to vote, the poll workers were explaining to each other how to do the job, and the ancient machines we use here in NY were not working propertly (though they did get them fixed in a few minuts). This is a tiny area, and I was shocked by the fact that 25 people were in line at 6AM.
Sound Beach, New York
At 7:00 am, I looked out the window of my apartment and could see that the line for my polling place across the street was already snaking around the side of the building. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to vote after work, I headed over and took my place at the end of the line of about 500 people. Ultimately, it took 3 1/2 hours to get through. However, it was worth it to see the children in line with their parents who were all playing and having a grand time with each other. It really made me stop and think about how my vote - and the votes of everyone around me - will ultimately affect the lives of these little people.
Silver Springs, Maryland
My husband and I went to our normal voting place, a church in the nearby community we live in outside of Frankfort KY. We had a 3 minute wait, tops, and I was in and out in 5 minutes or so. Everyone was friendly and there was no political discussion or canvassing outside anywhere so it was quite uneventful. I told my husband that I'm saddened that there are people waiting in line for 8 hours or more to vote and we walk in and out faster than we would to pay for gas or pick up an item at the store.
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