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. John E Lexington KY

    McCain and Palin voiced the bitter, the resentful and those who have no stake in the future, who drill the past until it's dry. Listen to them scream on this page. They will try to trip up the new president, as they did Clinton, then shout how clumsy he is. May the methodical, intelligent, hard-working Obama leave them in the dust they worship.

    November 5, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. saboth

    Republicans have shown they don't deserve our trust. As for McCain, I believe he would have done an "ok" job, but we need radical change in this country, from education, healthcare, down to foreign policy. He isn't the man that would change anything...a washington insider for 20 years. We need a young, fresh, intelligent person, and that is Obama. Sorry, being in the military doesn't qualify you for president or any other leadership position, and being in washington 20 years doesn't qualify you for anything besides running a nice campaign as an encumbent.

    November 5, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. BLB

    Thank you, young people of America. You won this election for us. There is no doubt by the faces in the crowds we saw everywhere on television. Not since my generation in the "hippie era" have I been prouder and more hopeful that apathy wasn't this year's catchword. Remember when you throw your hats up at graduation, that the hope you feel for your futures is a future YOU made possible. Thank you, thank you!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  4. RW

    Nate W, how is this any different than when GW was elected in 2000?
    He had no experience and no known talent, but did say the right things, and didn't he do a heckuva job (on our economy and the military) ? 🙂

    November 5, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. S. Stewart

    To those who say that we should say goodbye to freedoms – benn there done that under Bush. I was in Germany when the wall came down and that was a great moment in history, but this election is a defining moment in history. Finally America spoke and now when we speak to our children we can confidently say that they can grow up to president no matter what cultural background, color or eventually gender.
    I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN and to be able to make a difference.

    November 5, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. Wayne from Ohio

    I was so very happy that Ohio came through. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the return to what this country should be about...An example for the rest of the world....Also I am so very grateful for the win, for it returns one candidate to a position of high trust....Palin can now sit on her porch and alert the US if the Russians invade her front yard. She is now our first line of defense against the invaders....Let's keep her there.

    November 5, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. Karl Orner

    Obama won this election without the intervention of a fleet of attorney's, a bunch of recounted votes, a ruling by the Supreme Court or any doubt that the election was fair, by for and of the people.

    George W. Bush will never be able to make that claim.

    Thank God! Bush will soon be gone!

    I can only hope that Bush doesn't make things worse between now and January 20th!.

    November 5, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. Steve Mahan

    I hope every child in this country can now believe that they can be whatever they want to be through education, making right choices, and working hard. No government can solve every person's problem. Personal responsibility in the home and in society is the answer. We owe this to one another, to this country and to the world. We are the greatest nation on earth and now let's unite behind Obama and show the world that we are a nation built on principles that can not be defeated.

    November 5, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Bob November 5th, 2008 7:10 am ET

    If there was a 65% record turnout in the election, what happened to the other 35%?
    Excellent question. But you have to admit, it's a lot better than the usual 50%.

    November 5, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  10. tonia

    This is a HAPPY DAY for America. It is sad that we still have a few people that are really not proud to be an american with the statements they write. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND SEN/PRESIDENT BARACK!

    November 5, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  11. Palin has more experience than Obama

    I did not vote for Obama but he won so he is my leader.

    Congrats to all Obama backers. I am glad the race is over.

    USA is the greatest b/c we can fight over issue and no matter how much you think the other person is wrong we all have the right to say what we think.

    Again CONGRATS to Obama and all of the USA!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  12. Prior Military MP

    This is the first time in a long time that I can actually say that I am proud to be an American. Last night proved that America still is a place where you truly can be whatever you want. Thank you Barack Obama for making me believe again.

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Jessica, Boston

    The cynacism that our vote would not count (maybe literally), that government is corrupt, that the world can no longer respect America, that we can't trust our leadership... is quickly fading. Obama did that. But so did we. The record number of voters means we are ready to take charge again, with our new leader. That was job one. And I am excited about what we will all do together next. We don't have to agree, we just have to stay involved. This can't be a one time event, we have to keep this involvement up. And I think we will. This is a GREAT time in America.

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  14. GC

    JB, Texas gets it, he won in Houston and I know who I voted for. Its time to eliminate the electoral college vote or have them not speak for an entire state.

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  15. Yes We Can

    Nate W,

    Get a grip. You will be much better off with Obama in the White House.
    Now is the time to bring back HONOR and INTELLECT to the position of the President. Obama Barrack, President-elect, is the person to do this. The majority of Americans have clearly spoken (as McCain gracefully pointed out in his concession speech), and we say enough of that Republican regime. Time to do the work that should have been accomplished in the last 8 years. Lets move forward as a United nation....remember....we are called the United States! YES WE CAN.

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  16. Justin


    I thought we had moved past the time of obviously racial comments. Your comment does nothing but demonstrate your obvious ignorance of the situation. Go back to your basement.

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  17. Miranda B

    WE DID IT AMERICA!! Time to celebrate our ackomplishments...CONGRATS!

    November 5, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  18. Alex

    To Nate and all the naysayers...
    Many of us believe that we need a president who inspires us as well as leads us...Bush did neither, and McCain is a dullard who was only out to win an election. We all need to now give Obama his chance to not only inspire but lead. The people have spoken...and the majority of us feel this is one of America's best days.

    November 5, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. liz

    There are videos of BLACK PANTHERS at the voting people screaming "THank god, I wont have to pay for my mortgage or gas anymore..Obama will take care of us!!"
    Rallies in streets only mentioning about Obama being black!!

    Does anyone else see where this is going??

    November 5, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. Dennis Edwards

    We really don't know if Barack Obama will do a good job but I'm incline to give him the benefit of the doubt. We should support him like we supported President Bush even though he did a terrible job with our country. His administration set us back 2 decades. Now President select Barack Obama's job will not only be to turn this economic mess around but to bring us together as a nation. I will continue to pray for him and his family. And I will focus on how I can do my part to help President select Barack Obama make our country the shining beacon of HOPE and CHANGE in America and in the World.

    November 5, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. zeeman

    ALL mighty God wanted this change, and it;s delivered, time for a change ,time to reconcelliate, time to pray for america and the world.
    Thank God again for NO MORE BUSH.

    November 5, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. Oklahoma Sooner

    It's not about race, people! We now have a president-elect who cares and is interested in reaching across party line and UNITING this country again. We need to see the foresight and INTELLIGENCE in Barack Obama - that's what's important here. We must have some semblance of balance restored and not a country of the super-rich and those who are not! He will be everyone's president just as some of us have had to endure the tyranny of the Bush regime. It's time to change the mindset and give up prejudice. God Bless Us All!!

    November 5, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Happy, Bellaire, Texas November 5th, 2008 7:36 am ET

    say goodbye to capitalism and your freedom
    FYI – Bush and Paulsen were the ones who got rid of capitalism by nationalizing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and their 700B bailout.

    Bush was also the one who curtailed our freedom with the Patriot Act – Can you say "warantless wiretaps?"

    Bush is the socialist. Not Obama (or McCain, for that matter!)

    November 5, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  24. Sarah Moderson

    Congradulations President Obama, we support you fully ,Good luck
    Lets make things right and give hope back to the everyone who needs it. Your right it's time for change.

    November 5, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. Eileen

    American people this is a historical Day! This is not about the Democratic Vs. Republican it truly about all of us who wants a country to be as ONE!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
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