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. Maggie from Virginia

    We the people have spoken. We can't stop there. We must remain involved.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. D. Carpenter

    This is a very dark day in American history. Things are going to go from bad to worse.

    November 5, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. ross berg- Buffalo, NY

    The nation has spoken.

    Now let's all do our individual best to help the nation move forward.

    November 5, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. Dan Smith

    Why do I keep hearing from everywhere "First Black President"??? The last time I looked he was only half black,, is this not kinda of discriminating againest one of his parents,, uh,, the white one?

    November 5, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Tesserian

    I really admire John McCain- and I often vote Republican- but one thing that was telling in the immediate run up to victory was this:

    When President-Elect Obama mentioned McCain's bravery, patriotism and service, people cheered and clapped. Whenever McCain mentioned Obama's name, people booed, jeered and heckled.
    That and the last days of the Republican campaign really serve to illlustrate what mean spirited people inhabit the rank and file of the Republican party. It is time for Republicans to do some soul searching- we are going to continue to need a two-party system, and it won't happen with one party badly broken.

    November 5, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. Grace Roberts

    Goodby to the thugs in the White House!

    November 5, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  7. Anonymous

    This is a great time for all america we should all be proud. For the first time in a long time as an african americal I truely feel free. I have prayed for this day for so long and the fact the we as people finally came together as a people is beyound wonderful. I am so excited to be a part of this history making event, an that my children my children were able to vote is this history making event. Now it is time for america to stand by and support this president he is going to be here for us and we need to be here for him. Education is important at a time like this, family is important, and most of all togetherness is number one together we will not fail.

    November 5, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. Rew

    Time to move to Canada!!

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

    What a "win" - 90% of the country voted against Bush - not for Obama - some "win" !!!!!!!!!!

    Four more years of watching an arrogant, self-serving individual spouting off in the Oval Office.

    November 5, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Goddess

    Some people are still in denial. Obama did not get elected because he is a Black Man. He was elected because he understands what the US needs and wants. Enough FEAR. It is time for the US to be the greatest nation again. We lead by example.

    November 5, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Yes, Yes indeed this is a great day and to mr. Obama ; I wish you well, exscuse me I mean President Obama.

    November 5, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Here's hoping!

    I voted in spite of my fear that none of the candidates would do what is best for our country. I still believe that by the end of the primaries we had only mediocre choices left.
    Now I, like so many others, will look forward with hope that President-Elect Obama will do enough good to move us forward rather than backward. I hope that he will be able to satisfy the expectations of his supporters without realizing the fears of his opponents; that he will be able to fulfill the best of his promises without compromising the principles upon which our country was founded. That hope will continue to sustain me.
    God bless us, every one.

    November 5, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. MOB - From S. Africa

    America gives hope to the whole world. You are a good role model. I wish and hope leaders from most African countries will learn from your example. I was impressed by the time it took to release the results immediately after closing. I hope Mugabe is learning.
    Once more, viva USA! World peace is on the way.

    November 5, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. MD for Obama

    TO Nate W:

    I am sick and tired of all this talk about experience. Bush was elected twice, was governor before that, and he SCREWED UP BIG TIME.

    To you and everyone else who is upset by the fact that Obama is our new president remember it is a big world out there – lots of places to live- PLEASE GO.

    November 5, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. Dan Smith

    oh yah,, a financial tip. Invest in "Don't Blame me, I voted for McCain" bumper stickers,, I am guessing within the year they will be a hot commodity.

    November 5, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. Congratulations

    All congratuLations to president eLect obama this will be a HAllmark of racIL conflict being overcome. Please REview all that iS beIng DEbated iN The BrIef Days and wEeks to come though. not all of the country is uNIted behind this Great Guy. EveR must we be watchful of potential enemies.

    November 5, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. MBuvia Greenwood,IN

    The Republicans made fun of being a community organizer-WELL-the country was organized to vote for Obama-that bit the Republicans in the butt! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHH!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. richard ayibiowu

    God continue to bless america for giving democracy to the world. Congrats to all americans.
    Richard, Lagos, Nigeria

    November 5, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Kevin

    This is what it took for people to finally get up and take action.

    November 5, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. Thomas

    No matter what our political side is
    No matter who we wanted to be President

    We had a fair and complete election and Obama was elected.

    He will be OUR president. This is the way Democracies work. When your candidate does not win, you still support fully the winner of the election.

    This accepting of the winner of a democratic election is what makes democracies strong.

    Let's not hear any of this anti-American bilge about "he is not my President".. Yes he is, and every real American will work to support the duly elected President. If you are a Repulican, start planning your come back in 2012. But until then, come next January 20th, we have a President of the United States. One President for all the nation.

    November 5, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. Cheryl in Florida

    The dark years are about to end because of this. A special thank you to all the swing states that came the way of Obama leading this nation to a bright future with new hope. Thanks to all voters that came out. We can be very proud of our country for this great victory!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. Nancy in MN

    YES!!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  23. Lynne M

    It's interesting, but in my town in New Hampshire, turnout was a few points lower this year (84% vs. 86%) compared with 2004 when New Hampshire, revolted by the profligate and reckless President, Congress, and State Government did the only thing a responsible population should - we did our best to vote them ALL out of office. That's when we got a Democrat-controlled state legislature (first time since something like 1910), Democratic Executive Committee, a Democrat as governor, and were the only state to turn from Red to Blue because we were mad at Congress and mad at the President for messing up. New Hampshire is not really a state of yellow dog Democrats or yellow dog Republicans, we're a state that doesn't believe in putting up with irresponsible shenanigans. Yesterday I voted against every incumbent but one - not because all of the folks were doing a bad job, but because I believe that more people should get a chance to serve, a chance to take up the responsibility of government, and to work for the change that we need. Congratulations, President Obama - I have such high hopes for you and am ready to support you and help you achieve the sensible, responsible, thoughtful, and intelligent policies at all levels of government.

    November 5, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. KLEE

    Perfect! I'm Loving It. Congradulations OBAMA/BIDEN

    I have a neighbor that wants to move to Brazil now – because he can't stand the idea.

    But thats they way its going – the old ways are going "south"

    CHANGE – YES WE CAN.....

    November 5, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. DANYC

    I woke up this morning from a really strange dream. I dreamed that an intelligent, well educated guy (who just happened to be bi-racial) had won the US Presidency after 8 years of carnage that was the Bush years. Maybe, just maybe, if we can dream it we CAN DO IT? Oh my god.. we just DID!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go AMERICA!

    November 5, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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