Voters Head to Polls to Pass Judgment on Historic Campaign

Polling places across the country are jammed with voters who are casting judgement on an epic presidential campaign that will be historic, regardless of who wins.

Long lines were reported in many locations for an election that many predict will break turnout records around the nation as Barack Obama and John McCain vie for the White House.

Obama and wife Michelle arrived a little after 8:30 a.m. ET today at a polling station in Chicago's South Side to cast their votes, with their children at their sides.

He later headed out to Indiana for a last minute rally in a state he hopes to win.

"The journey ends, but voting with my daughters, that was a big deal." Obama told reporters.

A few hours later, McCain voted near his home in Phoenix, before he headed out for appearances in Colorado and New Mexico.

Problems arose early at several polling places. In New York City, some precincts did not open on time at 6 a.m., even though some voters had arrived two hours early.

In New Jersey some precincts reportedly had to resort to paper ballots when electronic voting machines malfunctioned.

But in Ohio, Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Ben Piscitelli told The Associated Press that so far, it has had only routine problems, like jammed paper feeds. "But there's nothing major or systemic," he said.

Late Monday a judge in Virginia turned down a request by the NAACP to extend voting hours for some predominately black precincts to deal with expected heavy turnout. The judge ordered precincts to stay open to accommodate anyone who was in line at closing time, the AP reported.

Hours before voters headed to the polls, the presidential candidates raced through 13 states to make their final pitch to the American public.

"I'm feeling kind of fired up," Obama told a raucous crowd of 100,000 in his final pre-election rally Monday night in Manassas, Va., a state that has not been won by a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. If Virginia goes for Obama, rival John McCain's path to an Electoral College victory will be all but impassable, strategists say.

McCain arrvied home in Phoenix today after thanking supporters in Prescott, Ariz., Monday night. "This enthusiasm convinces me we're going to win," he said. He spoke on the steps of the courthouse where Barry Goldwater launched his 1964 bid to win the White House. McCain spoke after an 18-hour, seven-state sprint through key battleground states. "It's been a long, long journey," McCain told the crowd.

As the campaigning wound down, McCain said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" -- taped at 2 a.m. ET -- that enthusiastic crowds buoyed his final sprint. "Certainly we're ready for it to be over, but i tell you it's an unforgettable experience. I will never forget the times we've had."

McCain told ABC's David Wright that he was proud of they way the campaign had turned out. "The pundits wrote us off four or five times, " McCain said. "But we're fine, and we have polling data and there's public polling data that shows we're really closing in."

Obama will end his day with a rally in Chicago tonight, that win or lose, is expected to draw 100,000 people.

While Barack Obama had what might have looked like a comfortable lead in national polls, John McCain was insisting that the race remained tight in the several battleground states that could decide the election.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...