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. Anonymous

    I truly believe the "change" we were promised by Barack Obama will soon be realized. It wasn't just the celebritory parties last night that were held in major population centers throughout our country that confirmed this for me, but rather the huge outpouring of well wishers throughout the world. To see the joy expressed by the citizens of other countries demonstrated the world's acceptance of "change". A new day is here for our relations with others. Finally, old partnerships will be renewed, and new partnerships will be formed.
    GOD BLESS YOU MR. OBAMA........ AND GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES.

    November 5, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. mel

    Nate, you disgust me. Your racism disgusts me, and cleary the rest of the country is disgusted with it too. Barack Obama got elected because he is intelligent, talented, and has a unique ability to unite and lead people. He has so much of the Bush droppings to clean up that you are too ignorant to realize. He is the most qualified to start cleaning up this mess of idiots you elected. Move to Canada if you don't like it. We don't need haters like you.

    November 5, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. indpendent now

    THE NETWORKS SHOULD POLL THESE NEW VOTERS ON WHO THEY VOTED FOR IN THE SENATE AND ON AMENDMENTS. I THINK THEY WILL FIND THEM CLUELESS!!! YOU JUST ELECTED NANCY PELOSI AS YOUR NEW LEADER. DID I HEAR SOMEONE SAY EAR MARKS!!! LET THE PARTY BEGIN

    November 5, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  4. Michele

    I'm a professional single, college educated mom who was laid off in Feb. due from a full time job to slow business. For the past two months, I commute three hours a day on a bus through bad neighborhoods to a job where I am making 40% less, and also one that I am completely overqualified for. I also try to work two other jobs when I can find the work. I can't afford a car or find a job in my field due to the economy. I look so hard every day. After last night, I finally feel like there is a ray of light for my future and Barack Obama is a hero to me. I'm excited for change for the first time in many years and feel like I will have a chance to be a success again.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  5. Alaina

    HISTORY!!!! We are living it, we are seeing it! One day I can tell my grandchildren how this day felt to many Americans. Not just African Americans but, ALL Americans. This is more than a black, white thing, we need CHANGE!! Millions of families lost their homes and they need a CHANGE and another opportunity to make things right!!!!! GOD PROTECT OBAMA!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  6. Intelligent Mind

    Broad generalizations and baseless claims that people elected a man solely because he's black are outlandish and offensive. Independent polls clearly show that voters did not elect Obama on the basis of race. I would have still voted for Obama if he were white, yellow, or purple.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. conrad m

    Here here, Garry B!! I'm the same a Republican/libertarian who voted for Obama. The Republicans used to be the party of fiscal conservatism, but all that went out the window in the last 8 years. The Government should collect taxes to pay for its needs, not to dole out 'stimulus' checks. And those needs should be judged in the same manner as most Americans judge their own needs – Is it necessary? Can I afford it? War in Iraq – No. War in Afghanistan – yes. Bank bailout – hmmmm, but it's deregulation that got us there, so it's clear that more regulation is needed and that is another job of government, to save us from the rampant greed of individuals.
    Let's reduce government spending and use existing tax dollars to pay down our debt. Money then saved on interest payments can go to the government's wish list.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  8. Robert Long

    I truly believe the "change" we were promised by Barack Obama will soon be realized. It wasn't just the celebritory parties last night that were held in major population centers throughout our country that confirmed this for me, but rather the huge outpouring of well wishers throughout the world. To see the joy expressed by the citizens of other countries demonstrated the world's acceptance of "change". A new day is here for our relations with others. Finally, old partnerships will be renewed, and new partnerships will be formed.
    GOD BLESS YOU MR. OBAMA........ AND GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  9. Robert

    Nice to see racists like Nate W alive and well.

    /end sarcasm

    November 5, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. Roy

    To do the right thing, one must say the right thing first and in the end, Obama's message of change and hope delivered the day. I fear expectations are such that no man can possibly live up to them, but I know President-elect Obama will do his best to carry out the mandate the American people gave him on Tuesday. Obamanos!

    November 5, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  11. The New President

    Nate W your are a shame and a disgrace period.

    November 5, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  12. Jack Cole

    "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."

    As opposed to voting for a man because he's white, and says the right thing?

    November 5, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  13. Erika

    Well, look where "experience" got us the past 8 years. I will take President-Elect Obama's calm, steady guidance, good judgment and keen intellect over Sen. McCain's occasionally foolish impulsiveness any day. This includes Sen. McCain's ill-thought-out selection for his VP candidate. I wouldn't want either of those two in charge of nuclear weaponry and other important issues, thank you very much. Oh, and by the way, many of us voted for Obama due to his character and his actions, not his skin color.

    November 5, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  14. Jeff

    There was some discussion during the campaigns about McCain's age. Seriously, can you imagine if something happened to McCain and Sarah Palin was our commander in chief. I would be mortified.

    November 5, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  15. Zero

    I'm glad to see a lot of people happy with how this election turned out.

    Although I don't exactly agree with all of Obama's policies, I'm still pleased to see how much hope he has giving to all of you. I encourage everyone that voted to not stop here. Our country is so great because we have the power to have our voice heard, and not just on election night, but everyday, don't let this magnificent gift go to waste.

    It's great to see so many people out to vote, and I hope this continues in the future.

    God bless.

    November 5, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  16. Jen

    I did not vote for Mr. Obama because he is African American. I voted for him because he exhibits the potential for something different. Mr. McCain (who I happen to like) decidedly lost my vote when he chose Sarah Palin. My generation (born in early 70s) does not necessarily see race. I see this as often a vote on the issues and some may have voted on the color of his skin. I voted for his ideals. It is John McCain's record on issues that influenced me not to vote for him although I have the greatest respect for him as a veteran and public servant.

    November 5, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  17. Aaron

    Being a great speaker and leadership are two qualities that may be correlated, but there is no causal relationship.

    We all know Obama is a great speaker, and I hope that he will turn out to be a good leader. However, no conclusions can be drawn from his past, since he has little real leadership experience, and because of that I am afraid for our future.

    November 5, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  18. Kathryn

    yes we can

    YES WE DID

    Y E S W E D I D

    Y
    E
    S

    W
    E

    D
    I
    D

    November 5, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  19. RA Crouch

    Don't be scared- Democrats have controlled the Presidency, House, and Senate four times in history and did many good things with their full control making America a stronger and better place. 978-0-615-26096-9 OBAMA!

    November 5, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  20. Vlad13

    “Mesmerize the simple minded, propaganda leaves us blinded.”

    – "Hypnotize", System of a Down

    November 5, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  21. Dave S.

    I finally have confidence that America works again! I used to be Republican, I switched my affiliation to Democrat. I have high confidence in Obama and that he will lead us to change that the world will respect and follow. I also am so proud to be an American at this moment, a truly defining time for our people as a whole! I never thought this could happen and it has!!!!!

    God Bless us all!

    November 5, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  22. Helen white Canadian woman, 31

    I remember when Barack Obama's prayer at Western Wall became public, and I hope that he continues to pray with those same sentiments......
    "Lord—Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."
    Excellent choice America! This is your day, and the world rejoices with you!

    November 5, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  23. Kathryn

    When CNN declared Obama the winner, I cried for joy. I cried in relief. I cried for the people who didn't live to see this day.

    November 5, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  24. Tom in San Antonio, Texas

    I'm a lifelong Republican voter, but I voted for Barack Obama, not against John McCain. On balance, I felt that Obama would bring us a better Federal Government when we badly need it. The Republicans have had the reins for too long and they have blown it by pandering to the Religious Right and by demonstrating the stupidity we get when we elect single-issue or narrow-minded candidates. I can only hope that when Obama appoints the top layers of the Executive Branch, he appoints based on competence instead of party loyalty. No more "Good job, Brownie", please.

    November 5, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  25. RT in Virginia

    Thank you America, for allowing me to once again believe in our country, feel proud of this country, and know that ANYTHING is possible in this great country of ours! I have been ashamed of what this country has stood for over the last 7 1/2 years, and today I am elated to know that the people have spoken........and they have spoken clearly! 😉

    November 5, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
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