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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

On the ground in... (Ohio)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

I am currently sitting at Stark County Democratic Headquarters and at 8 A.M. there are two dozen people here. In 45 minutes, mass phone banking begins. Officials here claim that in Stark County alone there will be around 1,200 volunteers in total throughout the day. That includes phone banking, driving, election protection, canvassing and everything else necessary to carry the day in Ohio.

Even the local newspaper, The Canton Repository, conceded that John Kerry would get around 53% of the vote yesterday. When I say they conceded, I mean it. They have endorsed one Democratic nominee for President in over 100 years.

What is the signifcance, besides just being in Ohio? Well, Stark County is considered to be the state's bellwether. Newsweek, Washington Post, New York Times and many others claim the same. The bellwether label is not one the local party takes lightly either. CNN is broadcasting live from Canton, Ohio and everywhere you go there are television cameras, journalists, and yes - lawyers.

During the course of the day while canvassing and answering press inquiries for Jeff Seemann, I will update this thread with Ohio information and pictures from the field.

Update 1 8:30 A.M.: The same official who told me that we would have 1,200 volunteers today just said that early numbers indicate record turnout and that "we are making history today," in terms of number of voters in Stark County.

Update #2 One P.M.: Turnout in Stark County is still high, the rain has let up. One serious instance of voter intimindation outside of a polling place. The man had Kerry/Edwards signs all over his car, parked more than 100 ft. from the polls. A Republican official approahced his car and wrote down his license plate after asking him, "what's your business here?" When he drove away to come down to HQ, he was pulled over by an officer who said he heard the man was harassing voters at the polls - you should see this man, the claim is laughable. He was then written a ticket for failing to use a turn signal and sent on his way.

Feel free to use this thread to share stories from the ground where you are at. Tell us what the scene on the ground is, how your voting experience went, if you were challenged, how long did you wait in line, etc...

Let's make history today.


Posted at 08:29 AM in Ohio | Technorati


CBS News reports heavier than expected turnout, especially among younger voters, in several New York-area polling places, including Saddle Brook, N.J., and Bridgeport, Conn.

Rock the Vote!

Posted by: DM at November 2, 2004 09:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am in Massachusetts, where we have some hard-fought state legislature battles. The local reThugs have run a very nasty campaign against two really good Dems. Anyway, I have never stood in line to vote before. The most I ever waited was one or two people. It took me 40 minutes to vote this morning!

By the way -- when that asshole from Crawford starts to make fun of my state again, maybe he should consider this: Our Town Clerk is a well educated, nominally Democratic, anti-choice Catholic. I have inside information about how our voting is run, because my wife is a poll worker. She reports that despite her strong personal views, our Town Clerk has been working day and night to make certain that our voting runs smoothly and that everyone has a chance to vote. None of this "tell my fat brother to keep the dark people from voting" type bullshit. Maybe the dumb brother and the fat brother ought to go run some island somewhere.

Posted by: The Goatherder at November 2, 2004 09:59 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Cast my votes in my home town of Laurel, MD today. My polling place was a community firehouse, which serves my middle-middle-class neighborhood of a few hundred, and serves the fancy upscale neighborhood near the hospital, which can only have about 100 people right now. And the line was big. There had to be at least 125 people waiting to do their civic duty, and it took at least 45 minutes before I got in the building. I'm not complaining, but I didn't expect that many people. Any way, got inside, signed in, and recieved my voter confirmation slip. Gave it to the observer, who gave me my voting card. Slipped it into the touch screen machine, and voted for Kerry, Mikulski, Hoyer, plus some judges and referendums, and in 30 seconds I was done. Returned the card, got my "I voted!" sticker, and went home.

Posted by: Dale at November 2, 2004 10:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

From Hilliard, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus). I arrived at the polling location at 6:30am, the line was already backed up all down the halls and outside the building. I had to wait in line for 2 hours. One of the three electronic voting machines started making beeping noises and it took them about 5 - 10 minutes to get the beeping stopped. I have no idea what that was all about, but it worried me and others that the machine might not be working properly. However, the poll workers insisted all was well and kept using the machine. We never received a paper receipt so I hope a recount will not be necessary because there's no paper trail.

Posted by: Deborah at November 2, 2004 10:09 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Got to polling place at 7:30. Now you have a timeframe for my morning actions Poland isn't the only thing I keep forgetting...I keep forgetting to check my posts before I post them!

Posted by: Dale at November 2, 2004 10:19 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

OK, forgot the period. It should have read:

Got to polling place at 7:30. Now you have a timeframe for my morning actions. Poland isn't the only thing I keep forgetting...I keep forgetting to check my posts before I post them!

Posted by: Dale at November 2, 2004 10:21 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Turnout is heavy in New Jersey. I haven't voted yet though.

Posted by: Rock_nj at November 2, 2004 10:38 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Is the weather as miserable as projected in Ohio? And has anyone seen people leaving the lines because of the rain? I hope all our new voter registration efforts don't go to waste because of Mother Nature.

On the other hand, good news from West Texas....a huge snowstorm that could diminish Bush votes. Hopefully, the blizzard doesn't extend into New Mexico (unless it stays only in the very Republican southeast side of NM). But then again, there was a blizzard in NM four years ago and Gore still won.

Posted by: Mark at November 2, 2004 10:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's about 10am here in WI. I just voted in my small town (about 10,000) just north of Madison. There were 2 lines winding through the library where we voted and down the block. It took about an hour and a half. In the past, it's taken about 10 minutes.

Posted by: WisVoter at November 2, 2004 11:09 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I voted at around 9:15 in the Lehigh Valley, the swing region in Pennsylvania (ALlentown, Bethlehem, etc.)

Lines out the door at 9:15, young people, woman, and minorities.

I think we can win this thing.

Posted by: James at November 2, 2004 11:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Voted early this morning here in Dallas County, Texas. Long lines, 30 minute wait, we have a HUGE congressional race here that is the result of Tom Delay's redistricting, the Democrat (Martin Frost ) should win.

Ready to celebrate!

It will be closer in Texas than we assume for Bush/Kerry, probably around 54/46.

Posted by: RBobbitt at November 2, 2004 11:17 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm french, I love the state and the spirit of american people.

We know what is the terrorism and we never forget what you have done for us in 1944 on Normandy.

But the US have founded the international law ,the UN, the democraty and the human rights. This is your civilisation and it is what we love, when we made our revolution in 1789 we follow your steps and we help you to gain liberty.

GW. Bush have a politic whitch negate all these values (abou graib, UN outside, Kyoto ouside, International Tribunal outside, guantanamo etc..). This is the US values negation. Is it when you deny your identity that you fight better the terrorist. No of course. They want to destroy your way of life. They want to manage you by the fear. They want to divide the world and to made a crusade reborn.

Don't participate to their goals. Respect your fundamental values and don't be afraid ! If US continue in the line of the fundators fathers the France stand with you !

In addition in france we are very surprised about the religious involvment in politics. In france since 1905 the church and the state are clearly separated and it is a big part of our social contract. So it isdifficult to understand for us.

Best regards, and good luck for kerry

Posted by: prevalli at November 2, 2004 11:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

People in line at my polling place in Illinois said they had never seen such a long line there. I got there around 9:20 and got out around 9:50. As you know, this is not a swing state and the Senate race is not close, and furthermore the local issues are not very hot.

Posted by: Whick at November 2, 2004 11:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

great day in s.cal. no lines at my polling place in long beach. Our state looks good for Kerry

Posted by: larry at November 2, 2004 11:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Good luck, Kerry! Sorry, just had to say that on behalf of the UK!

Posted by: Jim at November 2, 2004 11:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

21,000 GOTV volunteers statewide here in Colorado! We have a few hundred here in La Plata County, where already 37.7% of voters have voted either early or absentee. Big effort to get out the student vote at our small college, Fort Lewis.

This morning we hung signs on doors of sporadic Dems and Dem-leaning unaffiliateds reminding them to vote today. Then waved signs at streetcorner, more cheers and thumbs up than frowns and birds.

Ok, must go get poll check list now! Will check in later.

Posted by: Ilana at November 2, 2004 11:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rain in Stark County, Ohio - although it is intermitent.

I just made my way over to the satelite office in the African American community and there were about 25 volunteers in there with Kerry/Edwards blue shirts on.

That is more good news.


Posted by: Tim Tagaris at November 2, 2004 11:59 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Just back from our polling place for prec 2&3 - about 40 people standing in line in the cold! Time to go cross reference and make calls!

Posted by: Ilana at November 2, 2004 12:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Just an interesting note....I noticed you are from Laurel...the town I lived in during 94 through 96. With all the talk about disenfranchisement...do you remember the election Paris Glendenning stole from Sauerbrun? I voted in that election...and in spite of an extremely close race that included a greater number of proven fraudulent ballots than the final difference in the polls...they let Paris stay Governor...

Of course...I'm not bitter about it...not nearly as bad as some of the people who GOT their recounts in 2000.

Just an interesting observation.

Posted by: JOhn at November 2, 2004 01:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I work for the Miller County Counsel for Protection of Voter Rights in Arkansas for the DNC. We have had several instances of attempts at denying or substituting a regular ballot with a provisional ballot. Luckily, we are many strong, organized, and networked. My boss has been speeding all over the county to ensure no one has to cast a provisional ballot unless necessary, and that no one is denied their right to vote! There have been a few issues around here at some of the minority-heavy polling places, but luckily, we have been able to take care of them all. Kudos to all of the wonderful volunteers - attorney or non-attorney - who are giving of themselves to help ensure the rights of others are not denied!

Posted by: Mona at November 2, 2004 02:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here are those early numbers (K/B):

AZ - 45/55
CO - 48/51
LA - 42/57
PA - 60/40
OH - 52/48
FL - 51/48
MI - 51/47
NM - 50/48
MN - 58/40
WI - 52/43
IA - 49/49
NH - 57/41

Supposedly the early returns favored Bush in 2000.

Posted by: AnthonySF at November 2, 2004 02:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I should clarify. I work for Thomas Johnson who is the Counsel for the above organization. I do not work for the organization. My boss's involvement is purely voluntary. Thanks again guys for all your hard work!

Posted by: Mona at November 2, 2004 02:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment