November 4th, 2008
06:47 AM ET
6 years ago

Polls open in historic election

 Residents of Hart's Location and Dixville Notch lined up at midnight to cast their ballots.
Residents of Hart's Location and Dixville Notch lined up at midnight to cast their ballots.

NORFOLK, Virginia (CNN) – Voters headed to the polls Tuesday morning in a historic 2008 presidential election, with citizens across eastern United States casting their votes.

People in the isolated New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch cast their ballots just after midnight. The village, home to around 75 residents, has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960, drawing national media attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known.

Watch: Obama's first win

Democrat Barack Obama won 15 of 21 votes cast, and Republican John McCain won six votes. It was the first time since 1968 that the village leaned Democratic in an election.

Since 1996, another small New Hampshire town - Hart's Location - reinstated its practice from the 1940s and also began opening its polls at midnight. The tally was Obama 17, McCain 10 with two votes written-in for Ron Paul.

Polls opened at 5 a.m. EST in Vermont and 6 a.m. EST in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. EST in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Polls were to open at 7 a.m. EST in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Many voters chose to cast their ballots in the days and weeks before the election. With more states allowing voters to cast early or unrestricted absentee ballots this year, the potential for election-day problems have spread to other states now seen as battlegrounds in the race. Registration and absentee ballot issues topped last-minute concerns among voters in the days before Tuesday's presidential election, with one analyst predicting previous flashpoints may cause headaches again this year.

Of the more than 11,000 problems reported to CNN's Voter Hotline so far Monday, the largest number of complaints - more than 1,500 - come from Florida, where a hotly disputed recount settled the 2000 election. Another 450-plus originated in Ohio, where massive election-day turnout delayed the count in 2004.

The biggest complaints were early voting lines stretching for several hours, names that did not appear on voter rolls or absentee ballots that never reached the people who requested them. Similar patterns showed up among callers nationwide.

Broken voting machines were reported at the Penny Packer school in Willingboro, New Jersey, according to Joe Dugan, chairman of the Burlington County Election Board.

He said a mechanic was working on the machines and they are expected to be repaired soon. In the meantime, voters were being given emergency ballots.


Filed under: Voter Problems
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Mike in Columbus, Ohio

    Voted this morning in a Columbus, OH (Westerville) for Obama/Biden.

    Hopefully Ohio will follow in Dixville Notch's footsteps.

    November 4, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. bill

    cnn why is my post awaiting moderation THIS IS AMERICA POST THE DAM THING

    November 4, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. President McCain

    We are all Americans!

    November 4, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. JJ

    Today is the day when America chooses it's next President. I am praying that choice will be Obama! This is going to be a very exciting and emotional day. If Obama wins, America wins!

    So if you haven't already voted, please do so. Our nation is counting on your vote!

    November 4, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

    IF OMAMA WINS:

    FIRST GET IN LINE FOR YOUR WALFARE CHEEKS, THEN
    GET IN THE SOUP LINE.

    THE FALL OF AMERICA WILL BEGIN!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Peter Weinstein

    The people in Dixville Notch are pretty smart-a good sign for Obama/Biden. As a New Jerseyan, I proudly cast my vote of Senator Obama. This is my 11th Presidential election, but I still got misty eyed.

    Go Obama/ Biden

    November 4, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. lewis KENYA

    Pole sana Kwa kifo cha nyanya yako.Tuko nyuma yako kwa maombi.

    November 4, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. John. Austin, TX

    Already voted Obama
    All my family- of Republicans- voted Obama!!

    A NEW DAY HAS COME!!

    November 4, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. sabuc for Obama

    VOTE EARLY AND STAY UNTIL ITS CAST!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. linda from South Dakota

    VOTE SMART,,,MCCAIN HAS LIED,,, CHECK IT OUT ONLINE,,

    November 4, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. democracynow2008

    I voted for Obama before going to work this morning it was the best feeling ever.

    I have not been excited about voting fo many years as a Democrat.

    Today we have a candidate that will make the country and the world a better place to live in.

    I am praying all day for Obama to win this election.

    We cannot allow 4 more years of GOP Rule over America.

    Get out and vote for Obama

    November 4, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Mac in KS

    It make me sick to read the hate filled bile of extremist supporters of either candidate. Both of these men are good honest patriots who want to serve thier country.. I often wonder why any person would run for office and be subjected to the vicious rants of extremists on either end of the political spectrum. We should be proud of both of these good men whether we agree with their positions or not.

    Grow up. Get educated on the "issues" and then vote. God bless America!

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. robert irving

    I would sincerly hope that all have learned and grown up a bit. We as a country cannot hope to get out of the illegalities of the current GOP administration itf the McCain / Palin tickets ascends to the whitehouse.
    we should be willing to give change a chance. In the same breath we have to be willing to reject that change if it is ineffective come 2012.
    Give change a chance

    November 4, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. JDC

    Brace yourself for 4 more years of "Jimmy Carter." Most people have forgotten or are too youg to recall his mess.

    November 4, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. Bangkok

    I can't believe CNN is still on air today... shouldn't you all be down voting & shouting for the guy you have pumped & loved for the past two years "OBAMA" ...
    Good luck to J McCain...

    November 4, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Faust Capobianco

    i AM SICK OF HEARING ABOUT TAX BREAKS FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. I WORKED FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ALL MY LIFE . AND ALL THE TAX BREAKES DO IS BUY NEW BMW"S AND VACATIONS FOR THE OWNERS. WHEN YOU ASKS FOR A RAISE IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME STORY. "THIS WAS A BAD YEAR." Maybe next year.

    November 4, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. To Maggie from Virginia

    I'm so emotional I can hardly think.

    Maggie, Can you?

    November 4, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Carolyn/Dallas

    Today history will be made. Congratulations to Senator Obama and his entire campaign staff for the extraordinary race that they have ran. You all are to be commended for a respectful campaign and refusal to play gutter politics. Well, I guess Sarah Palin will not be mocking community organizers any time soon.

    Our next President Barack Hussein Obama.

    November 4, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Texas for Obama

    nobama November 4th, 2008 7:23 am ET

    Your "ticker" picture casts a red glow which makes it look like it's straight from hell; is that to prepare us for an "Obamanation" victory?

    You have been living HELL for the last year years. IDIOT.

    November 4, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6