November 5th, 2008
06:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Election may shatter voter turnout records

 Voters waiting to cast their ballots in Chicago.

Voters waiting to cast their ballots in Chicago.

(CNN) - Americans hit the polls Tuesday in numbers that officials across the country believed would shatter election turnout records.

Although more than 24.4 million people had already cast early or absentee ballots by Monday, the continued high volume of voters had people across the United States braving long lines.

"People were there in the rain, in the cold, with their children. People close to the 100-year-mark, with their walkers and their chairs," said Elmira N. Luckey, a mental health counselor who voted in Richmond, Virginia.

Luckey said she heard some people in the line complain about the rain, but added all those complaints were followed up with "But I'm here, and I'm gonna stay here."

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Filed under: Race to '08
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Eric

    Nate, you're stupid - Americans voted their conscience, and voted to end the regime of failure your so-called 'conservatives' had implemented. An Obama presidency is the best thing to happen to this country in a very long time, and you need to crawl back in your cave in West Virginia like Bin Laden and deal with it.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. RIchard Kevn Cross

    Welcome to the new Babylon, Please don't Thank God for the liberal, moral lacking, non-ethical decline that has befallen our country. I pray for our nation as a whole and the poor direction it has taken. God help us ...

    November 5, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  3. Gary, Detroit

    Everyone say goodbye to Betty Boop !

    November 5, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. SBowens

    Thank you CNN for allowing us to share our joy on your network, I watched CNNl most of the night and will probably the rest of the year. I too cried with joy to see our young people of all races together in TimesSquare and Grant Park, and in snapshots all across the country to see all races come together for one cause, my heart is over joyed with love and admiration for our Country. To me this is another chapter in the Bible to show this Nation, created under God, Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All, that "God is God" and what He ordains He will maintain. President Elect OBama and his family had to sacrifice a lot to get him to this point, God does not make life easy for us when we have a mission directive from him; to see the love of Kenya and America come together after so much past opression is so "awesome". This truly is "our" miracle U>S>, accept it, receive it, and continue to work for the common goal of moving our nation forward. SBowens/ATL-GA

    November 5, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. Carol

    Nate, you have a right to your opinion. I have a different one.

    Barack was elected because he was the right man to elect.

    November 5, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. Dan in New England

    To those who say this is the end of capitalism and personal freedom, I say we have had, and can have again, capitalism with effective regulation. And to personal freedom – this country was founded on the ideal of personal freedom and personal responsibility. I head a lot from Obama on the campaign about personal responsibility. And again last nite about making this our government again. Personal freedom need not perish. But personal responsibility must again raise up in importance. We must lead by example – in the environment, in the use of force, in our dignified treatment of humanity. To, appropriately I think, steal a republican line, its morning in America, again.

    November 5, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Mack W

    We are all Americans, aren't we. In other words, stop hating and work with what we've got.

    November 5, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. Amy

    This is NOT a sad day. We did not vote for Obama because he is BLACK. We voted for him simply because he is the one who will provide a future for our children. Obama has the correct attitude, patience and clarity. John McCain has an awful attitude, bitter, cold and quite simply old school. We cannot afford old school beliefs.

    November 5, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. W Spivey Merritt Island, FL

    That's because we had a great pair to vote for in President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    November 5, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. Diamond Evans

    As a young American college student i never thought i would see this day. This is truly a beautiful thing. Thank you so much America!!! You have given hope to so many of us students by showing us that we can be anything we dream!!! Because we are this country's future and we dont have to limit ourselves to what career paths we will take. I am also proud of my fellow students for getting out there and letting our voices be heard. Now the world will know that the youth of American does have a VOICE!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  11. Fuller

    Hey, my name is Jason Fuller and Im 18. I voted for the first time this year and Im happy to see how many others my age vote in this election. These people felt like they were making a difference in the world. I have never been happier to be an American than I am now. At the brink of collapse we all need to hold true to each other... not to a man, the senate, or any other political groups... but to our neighbors, friends, strangers. Here's to the future of AMERICA!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. Lisa Ciardulli

    To Nate W...Did you ever think that many people didn't come out to elect a man at all, but a party. A party with basic principles that remain steady regardless of the person who is leading the charge. I'm a value voter, as I am sure many people are. And I value a woman's right to choose, the environment, anti-gun laws, regulating big business, and low national debt (which, by the way, is what we had the last time a democrat was in office).

    November 5, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. CHIVA2K

    It's funny how republican fanatics are crying that Americans turned out not to elect a man with experience, sure mccain has experience 8 years of failure with bush thats experience!

    November 5, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  14. Angela S.

    What a great day for the USA!!! As an American living in Europe I am seeing this election from a little different perspective. As an American I am very proud to have voted for Obama. I see Obama's victory as an indication that we as a nation have matured enough to look beyond our racial differences and move toward working together to solve the problems that plague all of us. I believe that President Obama will do a lot to change the rest of the world's opinion about the USA, which by the way has become very negative over the last eight years.

    November 5, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  15. sad

    How sad it will be when the people he is going to tax more for people who sit on there butt stop working my husband and I are some of those people he plans on taxing to help people doing nothing its gonna stink when people like us just stop working cause we arn't gonna bust our butts for other people my husband works seven days a week twelve hour days for what we have any of you lazy bums can do the same he didn't go to school to make that much ..

    November 5, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. Georgia voter

    Mr. Obama, I am one of the votes you did not earn, but you have my full support, blessings, and encouragment to prove to ALL citizens of the United States, and all contries of the world, that you will do the right things for ALL the people of this great USA. We are blessed to live in a Democracy, and the decision has been made for Barrack Obama to be our President. Those who voted Republican must encourage ALL Americans to support OUR elected President. It is the responsibility of EVERY American, of any and every ethnic background, to support the man that was voted into office. He is OUR President, and he deserves the full support of the ENTIRE United States of America. God is good, and He will be with us always, and we should all pray that He blesses and supports Barrack Obama in what are sure to be the most difficult, yet rewarding, days of his life as President of the great United States of America.

    November 5, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  17. Glen

    I have been a registered voter for 13 years and this was the first time I exercised my civic duty to vote. As a Virginia resident, I was concerned at how Virginia would play out and I must say that I am quite proud of my state and the several other battleground states that decided to bring change to Washingtonand indeed to our country. In spite of his negative campaign, I am honestly proud of John McCain, not only by his service to our country, but in the kind words in his concession speech. As a previously Republican-minded American, I was ashamed at the number of people who booed Obama's name at McCain's concession speech. I am proud of myself, proud of Virginia, proud of my country and proud of my new President.

    Congratulations President-Elect Obama. May God grant you the wisdom, strength, courage, and conviction necessary to bring our country back to the position of utmost respect it deserves amongst the world.

    November 5, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  18. rm

    @Nate W:

    If you did not listen to Barack Obama last night, he said that he is the President of all people, even the people who did not vote for him, and than includes you. We need to come together as a nation. Listen to him and you may just understand why so many Americans voted for him, he is change. Try to erase the divisive, negative rhetoric you absorbed from McCain/Palin. I bet you will be refreshed and inspired.

    November 5, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  19. Nick T.

    Congratulations if your candidates won. My condolences if your candidates did not. However, the best thing that you can do for yourself now is to get fully behind your newly elected leaders. If they should fail, you shall fail also. It is in your best interest, then, to do what you can to make sure that this doesn't happen. Stay engaged; not just on election day, but everyday inbetween.

    November 5, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  20. W Spivey Merritt Island, FL

    Yes we can.

    November 5, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  21. R Frazier

    Regarding the content of the Article... I'm not seeing the total participartion really rising. Maybe there was a West Coast collapse. Presidential electios always have heavier turnout. In the last 20 years, Pres. years have 58-66% of citizens voting. In 2004 125.7 Million(63.8%) voted. That was the biggest number due to ever increasing population numbers, but not as high a percentage turnout as 1992 when 113.8Mil(66%) showed up. The popular vote with those two candidates is 117Mil with 96% precincts in. The record would be north of 125 which seems very possible. But they were wondering if we'd see 130M, which would reflect a large turnout of new voters. Of course, some could have sat this out. It will be interesting if this race actually succeeded in bringing a body of new voters permanently to the table. It could be the usual... one group gets turned off and stays at home while another comes out in support.

    November 5, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. Cobra

    Bye Sara Palin. Please go back to Alaska and take care of Stevens.
    Gop please do not field any more candidates like her.

    November 5, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  23. J. Bowen

    Congratulations to Celebrity-elect - oops, I mean President-elect - Barack Obama and to his Minister of Communications, Oprah Winfrey.

    November 5, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. Jess M

    I am a white, highly educated female, who was born and raised in a part of this country that tends to think in very narrow terms. I not only voted for Barack Obama, but volunteered for his campaign from the start, NOT because he "says the right things or because he's a black man", but because he is about INclusion not EXclusion; because he willingly listens to all sides; because he understands that everyone in this country deserves the same rights; because even though there are still people out there that think this election was all about race, he is already reaching out to you to say 'I hear even your concerns, and I will prove to you that this election was about so much more.' THESE are the reasons I voted for him, and THESE are the reasons it's an excellent day, indeed!!

    November 5, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    AMERICA AS WE KNOW IT CHANGED LAST NIGHT,

    AMERICANS WILL PAY THE PRICE FOR NOT BEING EDUCATED BY VOTING FOR OBAMA.

    BUSINESSES WILL BE GOING UP ON THERE PRODUCT AND CORRUPTION IN THIS COUNTRY WILL GO WAY UP IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.

    NOW THAT WE PUT A CROOKED MAN TO RUN THIS COUNTRY AMERICANS MUST LEARN FROM HIM AND BE LIKE HIM WHICH MEANS CORRUPTION WILL BE THE WAY OF LIFE FROM NOW ON

    November 5, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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