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. Marypat Robertson

    The United States is the best country in the world.......where we have overcome! As a mother of a biracial 4 year old son, we can look at President Obama and say "Look what you can do!" God Bless America, Senator Obama, Senator Biden and their families.

    November 5, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. Scott

    What a moment

    I know people think of Obama as an african american. I think of him as American. Kenyan, via Hawaii, white and black grandparents raised by extended family

    He is a melting pot, as we all are.

    Good luck

    November 5, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  3. Debbie in Missouri

    We woke up early, we waited in line, and now we have our new President.

    Thank You America !!!

    God Bless America!!!

    November 5, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  4. Garry B

    This is a wonderful win for the Democrats and as a Republican who voted Democrat this year I would like to post one caveat. This historic win should not be viewed as a blank check for personal agendas and political party special interests but as a vote for change. I am not sure of anyone else but I am looking for RESPONSIBLE government. I am tired of the petulant, the self serving, the power hungry cult of the NeoCons. We need a government that embraces the diverse and complex nature of the electorate and one that will work to fix that which is broken, daunting as that task may be. The Republicans ignored the first rule of holes, as described by my grandfather,when it is deep enough,stop digging. I am hoping that the Democrats who are now truly in control and now have the chance to make things better will learn from their abject failure.

    November 5, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  5. Jared From New Jersey

    Last night was a good night for america. I'm glad that at the end of all of this america got the president it needed and in the process McCain took a moment to be the man i thought he was, even if i didnt think he should take the highest office. Politically we may dissagree, but he is still a great american and that was solidified yesterday and should always be remembered.

    Thanks John, and Congrats Barack!

    November 5, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  6. d&r

    I am very pleased with Obama's win. However, it is a shame that the John McCain I would have supported in 2000 didn't show up until last night's concession speech.

    November 5, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  7. E. Wilmott

    I am overwhelmed and overjoyed. Obama is such a dignified man, whose intellect is beyond compare. No, I didn't live through the times of the Civil Rights Movement but can attest that I was indeed a part of making history for African Americans on this year. This is one of many victories to come! Congratulations to Barack Obama and VP elect Joe Biden! America got it right! God bless the U.S.A.

    November 5, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  8. Ken Osbon

    As a former Republican, veteran and former Marine I was proud to cast my vote for Obama. His election says a lot about this country. We must support him to get this country back on track./KO

    November 5, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  9. David Stuart

    This election day is uplifting: record participation; senators Obama and McCain both full of dignity and respect, and a nation that may now be ready , in the main, to move on to a kinder ,gentler , more fulfilling version of national community. After years of anguish over the direction of this nation, I am at peace this morning. Thanks to all of you who stood in line and made democracy work again.

    November 5, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  10. Illinois Mom

    This is my first comment that I have felt compelled to write. Thank you to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Virginia for coming through! It's is truly a brand new day!

    November 5, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  11. jb

    Why does Texas just "not get it"?

    November 5, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  12. John

    Never thought it would happen in my lifetime. I am so pleased to see someone of some intelligence back in the White house to lead this country out from the darkness into the light.

    Say good by to Gitmo, the Patriot Act, and all other perversions developed by Bush and gang. Can't wait for the hearing to start to see that onion peeled back to see what really happened.

    For those who say "Good by to your freedoms", you already did that under Bush. Lets pull together and push this country in the right direction.

    November 5, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  13. Argiro Lekas

    THANK YOU AMERICA! Having grown up in the 50's and 60's and witnessing racial prejudice – our country has turned the leaf on a page of history that is no longer. I hope the world sees how far America has come this election day. IT IS A NEW DAY IN AMERICA!

    November 5, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  14. Kelly

    WOW!!!! What a great day for our country. I am so proud and thrilled, and know that, as Obama said during the campaign, our country is far better than the last 8 years. I believe my daughter will grow up knowing that even during difficult times, America truly is the land of opportunity!

    November 5, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  15. Wendell

    I was up at 4am....at the poll at 5am.....Voted at 6:45am....Cried tears of joy at about 11pm. It was all worth it.

    This is the proudest moment of my ENTIRE AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIFE. America, I have only two words: "Apology Accepted."

    November 5, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  16. ROSALIND REBACK

    I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN AGAIN – I AM PROUD OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO CAME OUT IN RECORD NUMBERS AND HELPED TO TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE, THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE (NEXT THE SUPREME COURT). I BELIEVE SO STRONGLY THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL RESCUE OUR COUNTRY, OUR ECONOMY AND RECAPTURE OUR RESPECT GLOBALLY. HE WILL MAKE THE USA ONCE AGAIN THE PEACEMAKER AND BEACON OF HOPE TO ALL PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD. GO AMERICA...............ROS REBACK TAMARAC FLORIDA

    November 5, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  17. Nate W

    Very sad day for America, as Americans turned out not to elect a man with experience, not to elect a man with credentials, but to elect a man because he says the right thing, and because hes black. Truly a sad day. I really hope I'm wrong, and he does a better job then I expect. But I doubt he will.

    November 5, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  18. Jody

    I am so PROUD today and filled with hope for our world. And I am grateful to Barack Obama for risking his life and giving us back ours. What a wonderful wonderful thing to have elected this man as our President.

    November 5, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  19. daniel

    I am a McCain supporter, but he lost, Obama won. Obama had everything going for him, the economy, the minority vote, the idea of change, record amounts of cash flow to turn the tides in battle ground states, 95% of the press, 95% of talk shows, OPRAH! as well as every other important minority endorsement, several non-minority endorsements, ALL comedians, most of hollywood, and all the popularist vote... whew... BUT, the key thing here is that Obama has become a sign of hope and a sign of change. Even though most freely admit they have no idea where he really stands on issues, Obama has electrified politics like no one before him, I have a good feeling about this, that from this point in history, the people will finally feel the confidence to take back their government which is so rightfully theirs to do so. Also, race relations in this country and world perception just took a turn in the right direction. Congrats to Obama, Godspeed to him and let's see what he can do

    November 5, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  20. Liv

    Thank you, America, for taking our country back. We'll all be walking a little taller with our heads a little higher today.

    November 5, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  21. elaine of calif

    I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MORE NEGATIVE AND NASTY PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION THAN THE ONE HILLIARY AND MCCAIN HAD CONDUCTED...OBAMA HAD TO RUN AGAINST HILLIARY....BILL...REV.WRIGHT...FOX NEWS...THE PITBULL AND MCSAME....BUT HE STILL PREVAILED....YES HE CAN AND YES HE DID....HE OVERCAME SO MANY CHALLENGES TO GET WHERE HE'S AT I'M SURE HE'LL FIGURE OUT A WAY TO OVERCOME THE P ROBLEMS WE NOW FACE AS A COUNTRY.....GOT HOPE...

    November 5, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  22. Fabian Blache III,, Louisiana

    Without the support of our White brothers and sisters this could never have happened. Even more specifically, White women, who supported President Elect Obama by a vast margin.

    Thank you for your integrity. Thank you Hillary supporters for your allegience to your party and your willingness to give a good man a chance.

    We've just crossed the broad street of division and exclusivity. It feels really good!

    November 5, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  23. Mike

    Lots of praise for God. Hmmm, I think it was Obama and the people who voted that actually did the work. This is what we were trying to steer away from; another theocratic state. Separate your politics from your church.

    Good job everyone. Excellent turnout. You guys show some promise. Now it's time to get to work.

    Mike in Canada

    November 5, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  24. Megan

    For the first time in over 20 years, this man makes me want to be an American.

    November 5, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  25. Mauro

    Goodbye hatred and fear, hello hope, and change!

    Thank you for renewing my faith in America, which was severely strained during the last eight years.

    Congratulations to Obama and to us all.

    Good luck, America!

    November 5, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
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