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. Sensible Cape Coral FL

    No administration in history has the accumulated experience of the Bush Administration. Hellava lot of good it did us. So those of you who complain about Obama's lack of experience, try focusing on judgement. Of iourse that has the disadvantage of being SENSIBLE

    November 5, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. Barbara Willis-Brown

    From Birmingham England , Well done USA – I never thought you'd pull it off. I honestly thought racism would win the day, and the best candidate you've had in decades would be rejected because of the colour of his skin. But you did it. That message is reverberating round the world – here's to a really 'united' states!

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. Joel

    I voted for Obama, but I certainly hope the Democrats don't think this is carte blanche to start putting forward wild agendae. This vote was a condemnation of the neocon-controlled Republican party, not an endorsement of left-wing politics. Let us hope that Obama will be a man of his word and work to bring this country together for progress, rather than an agent of radical leftist change.

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. mike

    Nate;
    I am truly sorry yiu feel that way. what Obama is saying is that we need to get beyond race. Leadership is a lot of things and when yu compare the choice of VP and the response to the economic crisis and debate performance and the tone of the campaign can you honestly say that the better leader did not win? Going forward, President elect Obama has chance to be a great president. BUt it is America that was founded on great ideals, that has a constitution-yes we are a nation of laws- that has served us well for more than 200 years that is the great victor last night. Lastly let me tell you as an immigrant to this country who has been blessed, the stature of America in the world will increase– but what Obama represents is the embodiment of a new reality in America– in a world that has always been diverse and pluralistic,America is now demonstrating unambiguously that we can live up to our ideals and that we are tired of the old divisive ways of doing things. Senator McCain gave a gracious concession speech–but even he missed the point when he emphasized how far African Americans had come-he failed to emphasize how far ALL AMERICA for which he has fought has come. Obama ids not a messiah he is human and he will stumble and fail and have some successes. Give him a chance. God bless you and God bless America-the greatest country on earth!

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  5. Voter

    There is only one way that this could have happened:

    COMMUNiTY ORgaNIZERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The American People!!!!!!!

    United We Stand.

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  6. CHANGE?

    This was an election. It looked more like a Prayer vigol. People crying on their knees like Moses just parted the sea. Get a grip... Osama is not the Messiah. I hope he makes good decisions on the job. Thank goodness for Biden. And please stop calling him the first African American President he is half white. He is not a true African American. It seems the news media keeps forgetting that. I think people really need to step back and smell the coffee, You all think hes gonna change the world. He is going to be Pelosi and Reids new puppet. They will call the shots, not Obama. I use to be a democrat until this election. But the media bias in this whole process has turned me off totally. And all these new fresh voters for change who have never been involved with any process really anger me. Lets see all the community service etc that Obama has encourgaged come into play. I will bank on it that these kids go back to their video games now and forget all about politics

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. Ali babba

    Democrats are well known for cutting the military back. This weakens the country not strengthen it. Many jobs will be lost for the faulty thought of saving on the budget. Credit is the real problem with this country. If everyone lived WITHIN their means then everyone would be better off. Getting into debt then squelching on that debt is the reason things are bad off. Companies are laying off because they are in heavy debt, instead of producing only what is needed they overproduce and cut their own necks. As a result our jobs in the process. The president can never change or affect this. The president is an almost powerless trophy title. We have to change our own selfish desires. Live within our means, will mean never going into debt. Yes, you wont have everything everyone else has, but that doesnt mean your life is worth any less. It just means you'll have to wait for what you want instead of getting that selfish instant gratification from credit.

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. andy v

    truly a great day for america, as hope prevails. the white house falls into the hands of a man prepared to make cool, calculated decisions, decisions based on facts. john mccain is a great man, and a great candidate. but this morning, we find ourselves in the hands of a leader capable of taking america back to its place on the moral high ground. congratulations usa, in 8 years, all of you will be proud.

    November 5, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. joel palmer

    To Nate W and all the bitter enders

    1. President Barack Obama

    2. The end of the Republican Party has begun

    3. Impeach Bush Now

    November 5, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  10. Independent

    Democrats have the majority in the House...

    Democrats have the majority in the Senate...

    Democrats now have the White House...

    Welcome to the United States Socialist Republic!

    November 5, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  11. Anonymous

    I am African Amer and am proud of what happened last night. However, I do hope that the "Black President" issue will go away soon. We did not refer to the other 43 as "white president" At the same time, keep in mind this is not going to be easy. It did not get this bad overnight (though it seems it did) and it will not get better overnight. I say give him the same opportunity that would be afforded John McCain and see what happens. If it does not work out then there is 2012.

    November 5, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. Linda

    God Bless America. I am sorry that my parents are not here to experience this wonderful event. I pray that President Obama is given the respect he deserves and I pray that God will protect him and his family.

    November 5, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. JIM...TX

    Nate W...Obama got elected because of the blacks ???? Your redneck prejudice is showing. Blacks now make up a very minor part of the electorate an while most did vote for Obama they hardly were the over riding factor in this election. WHITES( myself included) voted for a change in the CORRUPT , illegal practices of you the Republicans have used to WRECK this country the past 8 years. Make excuses and blame everything/everyone else but in the end you all blew it!

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  14. E Beckert - Virginia

    Thank you President-elect Obama for making your campaign about what you can do for the country, not about "what the other guys can't do". I hope others wishing to be elected in future campaigns will take it to heart focusing on mud-slinging is not the way to go!

    To those concerned about your lack of experience... You ran one heck of an effective campaign and if that is a glimpse of thinks to come, it is self-evident you have what it takes to do the job justice and get the job done!

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. Oliver

    Just everybody please remember, change will take time. Do not expect wonders and change to be happening overnight.
    It took 8 years to screw this country up and this cannot be undone overnight with a new president and a new government. We are all part of this change and everybody MUST support our new president, so he is able together with us to make this change happen.

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. silver

    My husband said at 12:30 – I am so proud of this country...
    So am I
    Now let's get the job done – clean up the messes and keep building the better future for our children

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Laura

    What an incredible time in our history. A true opportunity is upon us now, my prayer is that we put the divisive rhetoric aside. Our country and the world need us to just that.

    I am so proud to be an American today – and I haven't felt that way in nearly a decade.

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  18. Bonnie in Hershey

    Wow, did you see Palin's expression at the concession speech?She (& Todd) had a disbelieving look of smack cold realization all over her face. She knows that she was one of the main reasons McCain lost the election, she knows she was rode hard, used and put away wet by the republican party the last few months, and she knows she must return to her state a failure and face her misdeeds there! Of course, Todd can become even more active in the AIP. Palin 2012? FAT CHANCE!

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  19. American People

    There is only one way that this could have happened:

    COMMUNiTY ORgaNIZERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The American People!!!!!!!

    United We Stand.

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Jane Burns

    We have come so far as a people. Thank you America!

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. mike

    You can be happy or sad. Feeling vindicated or vilified over the new president. Bottom line is, he won and we as Americans should shut up and stand behind him. If you don't, then he won't just fail, we as a nation fail and it don't matter if you make 10k or a 100k a year when it's all worthless.

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  22. martha

    Great job everybody! You elected a president SOLELY upon his empty words and false promises with no backing behind them! What a lovely ignorant country we have.. I hope he does help out education because apparently the people are un-educated! He said CHANGE people, not GOOD change! Hold onto your hats, its' going to be a VERY scary 4 years.. kiss away your freedoms, and this race was ALL about race no matter what you say

    AMERICA, BLESS GOD!! He is the only one who holds hope & change now.

    November 5, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  23. Amanda M, Ohio

    America truly is the greatest country in the world. Forget about parties for one moment, and ponder this. We, the people, elected a man to office last night. We sent two loud and clear messages to the rest of the world without ever uttering a word. We showed the world that America is a place unlike any other- a place where we have the power to change the direction our country is headed in. Yes, we are in two wars. Yes, we are in a recession. Yes, times are hard. Americans, in the face of a national crisis, rose up and said, "It's time to change" instead of clinging to old prejudices and ideals. At the same time, we also sent a message to the world proclaiming that in America, we truly do believe that Jeffersonian ideal that "all men are created equal". As a 24 year old white college educated woman, I chose Barack Obama. I chose him, not because he was black, but because I believe that he is the best choice for our country. I fervently believe he will help us renew this great country. The only colors I see are red, white, and blue (and the white has nothing to do with being causasian). God Bless America!

    November 5, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  24. RoseMary Baker

    America did the right thing!!

    November 5, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Nate W:

    Don't hate. Congratulate!

    November 5, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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