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

Election may shatter voter turnout records

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. dayday

    it's sad day for all you Bush lovin people...I'll take the man with no experience any day, than to live 4 more years under anyhthing that resembles Bush

    November 5, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. Bettina

    Nate, you are a dinosaur, and dinosaurs are extinct (But the extrememely non-experienced Sarah Palin believes they were on the earth 4,000 years ago).
    Say goodbye to the oil regime in Washington. Y'all don't come back, now!

    November 5, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  3. Michelle D

    Free at last
    Fress at last
    Thank God Almighty
    Free at Last
    God Bless to Martin Luther King and all that came before

    November 5, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  4. Chew

    Nate, you're a moron. Appreciate the fact that America has changed for the better.

    November 5, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  5. Michelle M

    Congrates to President Obama. I did not vote because of race, I voted for a man who believed that there needed to be a change. I know that it will not be a quick fix, but I know that it will work out if we as Americans would come together, work together, live together, pray together, get on one accord and be the country that stands for right not wrong. I voted for my children and childrens, children. If we don't get it together now, it will be to late. It's not a black or white thing, it's about all people coming together as one, and making a difference in our world. Then we can all say, I am proud to be an American. Good job

    November 5, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. StevoUPS

    Melting Pot !!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  7. J. Martin

    I remember as a young child the impact it had upon me of how the loosing candidate would so graciously concede to his opponent and would congratulate him. In addition to being taught in elementary school of G. Washington's ability to pick up and lay down his executive power at will. I really don't remember all of facts behind Washington’s ability, but as a child I thought it remarkable that one would forget about his personal gain for the betterment of his country. These two facts among others helped to shape and develop my idea of what America is all about. Obama and McCain last night made me believe that we can have that America again.

    God bless you John McCain. You are indeed a hero!

    God bless you President Elect Obama. It will be hard, but I have faith that you will endeavor to see that your presidency proves to be heroic.

    November 5, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  8. stephen r

    As a Democrat, I would like to say that had McCain won the nomination of the Republican Party in 2000, and been president for these last eight years, instead of George Bush, the Republicans might be in power still. Had McCain been president from 2000 to 2008, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been won. The Republicans picked George Bush to please the religious right, but that might have not been the best choice for the nation or the Republican Party in the long run.

    November 5, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  9. Michael D. B.

    Nate, My Uncle Gary was on the Pueblo, he was tortured and mistreated, he never betrayed our country with his words. Whatever John McCain stood for, he was no American hero, he's just a man with some ideas that are as out of date as the bigotry you just espoused. As a descendant of Salmon P.Chase, one of Lincoln's most esteemed cabinet members and one of the foremost anti-slavery advocates of his time. It saddens me that you are a member of the party of my ancestor.

    November 5, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  10. CJShea

    YES WE CAN! And now we will.

    November 5, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  11. Jerry

    God bless America.....because America will need ALL of God's help with Obama now leading the country. Hold on to your wallets and your guns because you'll need both of them to protect what Obama will be trying to take away.

    People saying they are "proud" of what happened will be singing a different tune soon enough. I find it to be a sad day for our country.

    God bless America indeed.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  12. Steve

    As a moderate conservative who voted for Obama, I was pleased with last night's outcome, especially since it resulted in a convincing victory based on a large turnout of the electorate. Obama struck precisely the right tone in his victory speech, displaying a both a healthy dose of humility and the uncanny ability to reach across numerous divides. Here's wishing him every success as he begins writing his chapter of the American presidency.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  13. Stan

    Prez. Obama---–Blessed be the U.S.A!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  14. Alison From NY, PA, CA, CO

    The human brain is wired to accept a negative message over a positive one. But yesterday our society rejected that and decided to believe in hope and a cause that is larger than ourselves. We decided to believe that there is a better alternative to our present situation, to turn away from our fear, instead turn to hope, unity, open minds and new ideas. We now need to change the same action we took yesterday into personal accountability for change.

    I am filled with so much love and pride for my fellow Americans. I am in my twenties, and have been waiting for my generation to wake up and take ownership of their own country. Thank you. President Obama, we have not given you an easy job, may truth and humility guide your path.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  15. Amy Noir

    Simple we as People elected
    Hope over fear
    Peace over war
    Unity over division.
    It is not about black man or woman it is about the human being.
    I am Proud American.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  16. Will

    I seriously despise the fact that some frustrated voters are attempting to tell me why I voted for a candidate. I did not vote for Obama because he "said the right thing" or because he was black - I voted for him because I believe the US and indeed the Global market needs regulation and because I feel that the Republican party as a whole has forgotten that conservatism is supposed to lead to civil liberties, not destroy them.

    It is unfair and in fact uneducated for any disgruntled supporter of any politician to say that the rest of the country only voted because they were misguided or uninformed. That is an insult to the intelligence of the MAJORITY of the United States.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. PSYCD in Philadelphia

    For those of you who are having doubts about our new president-elect, fear not his intelligence and qualifications. When you think he may not be ready, consider the 21 months he's endured on the campaign trail and the amount of progress he's proven in the Senate. If you're at all concerned about his intelligence, think about Columbia University and Harvard Law. If you feel McCain could've done better, well, I guess you'll never know. But, no one can argue that this man has not inspired America into being active and present in our hard times. I believe McCain would've further divided this country between the haves and the have-nots, between the religious right and those who choose not to claim religion as their own, between the drill baby drills and those looking at alternative energy. Sure, McCain and company have a proven record in the military and with the powerful lobbyists behind pharmaceutical and oil companies. But, that is the type of thing that America does not need. More dependence on a few elite is feeding the wealth to a few, select kings.

    I have hope and I have fears, too. But, I don't doubt that we have a president-elect who is more willing to help than hurt this great country!

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  18. Bryan

    So sad for you Nate. Give the guy a chance. If you are not happy in 4 years remove him.

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

    Now that we have made our choice, we must immediately get down to business to clean up the mess together as we are all Americans. We wasted 8 years, doing wrong, now let us together show all the doubters that we will do it, we can do it. Old Gee Vet, Dick.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  20. Response to Nate W

    Nate W -

    You are mistaken in simplifying Obama's win by attributing it to the fact that he is black; Obama won IN SPITE of the fact that he is black. The world has changed - take a look around you.

    His win is as much a repudiation of McCain and the Republican party as well. Quoted from CNN, "McCain's own reputation was tarnished as revelations about hasty vetting raised questions in voters' minds about his judgment. And by then, his central argument against Obama - that experience was critical - was essentially off the table given Palin's relatively thin resume."

    November 5, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  21. Wayne Vickers

    I am truly proud of the American People for their wisdom in this election. I am a white Canadian male who thinks and hopes that this result will bring stabulity to the world and a respect to the American people for their judgment. This is a true Democratic process that worked.

    November 5, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  22. Gil G

    Congratulations to the American people for participating in this process.

    Now the real work begins. I voted for Senator Obama but had Senator McCain won, I would have wished his Administration just as much success.

    We all don't agree but we are all Americans. Like it or not our successes and failures are tied together dispite our individual partisan views.

    President-elect Obama will inherit a multitude of problems, now we will see if the American people made the right choice.

    We certainly didn't in 2000 and 2004.

    May God Bless America

    November 5, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  23. Stephanie

    I am just so pleased. Obama really makes me feel like there is hope that that YES WE CAN turn this around.

    I am so thankful and relieved that we have made a good choice and that Obama will be the first president that my daughter remembers.

    Thank God and Thanks Americans!

    I thought his point about all of us having a part to play in fixing the things that are broken in our country was inspiring and truly the first time in my life that I feel like I can DO something to help make a difference.

    November 5, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  24. Kay

    History was made last night! This morning, I just sense that we are a more powerful nation. Our newfound strength comes not from the weapons we carry, but the power of our Constitution, our values, and our leadership in the world. God bless America!

    November 5, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  25. Elisabeth Cohen

    I am so proud and thankful to be an american right now. For so long, we have been apathetic and have felt like we had no say in how our government is run. I hope that we can all continue our enthusiasm and work together to make this country a better place for our children. GO OBAMA!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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