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2012 Election Watch: Live Blog


Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 5, 2012 Last Updated: November 16, 2012
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President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images and Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images and Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

For live election updates and interesting snippets of information, stay tuned in to our 2012 election blog.

Voting Information: To find your polling booth location, visit your state’s Secretary of State website. 

Articles to Read: Obama, Romney Focus on Voter Turnout in Final Hours  *  Sandy Spurs Voters, But Many Displaced  *  How to Find Your Polling Site in NYC  *  Congressional Races Remain Close  *  Final Push for Tuesday’s Election Bid  *  Bloomberg Endorses Obama on Climate Change Stance  *  Presidential Campaigns Head into Great Unknown  *  Presidential Candidates Dodge Key Issue on China Trade  *  Iowa Officials Say Election Observers Will Be Arrested  *  Tight Election Could See Repeat of 2000  *  A Presidential Debate With a Difference  *

For more articles, visit our special election topic.

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2:15 a.m. Wednesday — Colorado, Washington Legalize Marijuana

Voters in some states on Tuesday were asked to approve a ballot measure to legalize marijuana.

Colorado and Washington State voters voted yes, paving the way for the state to legalize the drug for recreational use, and tax it and regulate it in a way similar to alcohol.

But there’s a buzz killer: marijuana is still federally illegal. “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” commented Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through.

“That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

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11:30 p.m. Tuesday — Networks Proclaim Obama the Winner

President Barack Obama essentially secured his reelection bid on Tuesday night.

Obama won the key battleground state of Ohio, early exit polls show, as well as other key states including New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

“We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned,” Obama said via his Twitter account.  He added, “This happened because of you. Thank you.” 

After numerous polls, it was projected that Romney would have needed to take a number of these key swing states to win.

The president also took California, which has a whopping 55 votes, as well as Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. He also took much of the Midwest and all of the northeast United States, including New York.

Romney, however, had a strong showing in much of the southeastern United States as well as Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, Missouri, and others. He took the battleground state of North Carolina.

Florida was the most hotly-contested state and if Obama’s victory was not so decisive, the outcome of the state risked repeating similar events in 2000 when there was a mass recount of votes for Al Gore and George W. Bush.

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11:08 p.m. Tuesday — Excitement Builds in Obama Camp

Punctuated by screams every time numbers increased for Obama, Election Night fever was palpable at Lakeside Center, McCormick Place, in Chicago, according to Epoch Times reporter Shar Adams.

With a massive stage draped with massive curtains and flags, huge screens down each side highlighting poignant moments and people in the Obama journey, the vast conference hall is filling up with supporters.

The crowd became deafening as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer announced that California, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Washington State had gone to Obama.

In electoral votes, that put Obama at 238 to Mitt Romney’s 191.

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10:57 p.m. Tuesday — Senate Race in North Dakota Too Close to Call, Democrat Slightly Leading with Nearly 50 Percent of Vote In

The closest race is in the state of North Dakota right now. It is the race for the Senate, which is nearly tied with 48 percent of the vote in, according to CNN.

Republicans are projected to win by wide margins in North Dakota in the presidential race, the House race, and the governer’s spot, leaving Democrats’s sole chance to be the Senate seat.

State attorney general Heidi Heitkamp has a slight advantage over new Republican congressman from the class of 2010, Rick Berg. Heitkamp has 51 percent of the vote, and Berg has 49 percent. Minutes ago, those numbers were tied 50-50.

The seat was held by longtime Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and strong supporter of the Simpson-Bowles plan, which was the result of a study ordered by President Barack Obama to improve the nation’s fiscal health.

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10:40 p.m. Tuesday — Montana Democrat Defends Senate Seat

Current Montana Sen. Jon Tester successfully defended his Senate seat. The Democratic incumbent won 57 percent in today’s election, according to preliminary results by AP.

Tester, Senator since 2007, owns an organic farm and likes to portray himself as a hands-on politician who stays clear of party politics. He ventured into politics in the late 1990s, serving the state senate for two terms.

Still last week, polls gave the Republican challenger Denny Rehberg good chances of unseating Tester. Rehberg is a former Lieutenant Governor and Montana’s single House member.

According to USA today, the Senate Race was Montana’s most expensive ever, with $40 spent, mostly on attack ads.

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10:35 p.m. Tuesday — Democrat Elizabeth Warren Projected to Win Massachusetts

CNN has projected Democrat Elizabeth Warren to win over Republican incumbent Scott Brown in a high-profile Senate contest that is billed an important race to help Democrats retain control of the Senate.

The Washington Post credited heavy turnout across Massachusetts Tuesday morning, and state officials said it was possibly a record turnout.

The Senate race registered the largest campaign spend in Massachusetts history, according to the Washington Post.

A Harvard Law professor, Warren gained national attention for having conceived of and established a consumer protection agency for President Barack Obama in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. She was also appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to chair a five-member panel tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was authorized to spend $700 billion to stabilize the American financial system.

Warren’s role as special advisor to the secretary of the treasury for the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau became highly controversial when Republicans refused to allow her to run the agency.

Republican incumbent Sen. Brown won his seat in a special election in 2010 to fill the seat held by the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy.

With over 50 percent of the votes in, Warren has 53 percent of the vote, while Brown has 47 percent, according to CNN.

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10:45 p.m. Tuesday — Romney Wins All Five Votes in Nebraska

Nebraska and Maine are two states that split Electoral College votes. Obama also won all four votes in Main, exit polls show.

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10:44 p.m. Tuesday — Romney Wins Arizona, Gains 11 Electoral Votes

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10:23 p.m. Tuesday — Connecticut’s Chris Murphy Gives Victory Speech

Democratic Senator-elect Chris Murphy defeated Linda McMahon with 53 percent of the vote to her 45 percent, MSNBC reported.

In his victory speech, Murphy evoked his mother, who he said grew up in a housing project in New Britain. He said that his race was about a promise that America made to her: People should get the tools they need to make better lives.  

“Health care should be a human right,” said Murphy. Companies should not outsource jobs to other countries, but they should instead bring jobs back to America, according to Murphy.

“It’s time to invest in our country. Time to bring our soldiers back from Afghanistan,” said Murphy, wearing a wide smile. He gave up his House seat to run for the Senate seat.

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10:12 p.m. Tuesday — Exit Poll Update

Exit polls released by The Associated Press show that Romney took Utah with six electoral votes, while longtime Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah secured another term. Romney also won Montana, which has three electoral votes.

According to AP, Obama won New Hampshire, a key battleground state. Other exit polls are showing that he also took Wisconsin and New Mexico. New Mexico has five electoral votes.

NPR and Fox News are showing that Romney and Obama have 163 and 162 votes, respectively.

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9:58 p.m. Tuesday — Donnelly Wins Senate Seat Over Mourdock in Indiana

Indiana’s three-candidate Senate race found Democrat Joe Donnelly the winner by 48 percent, with Republican Richard Mourdock at 46 percent. Libertarian Andrew Horning followed at 6 percent.

Donnelly served three terms in Congress, representing Indiana’s 2nd District, and he is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, which is a group of Democratic U.S. congressional representatives that consider themselves moderates.

Mourdock had a challenging campaign after a video was televised that gained national attention, in which he said that pregnancies from rape are “something God intended to happen.”

Former Republican Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar held the state senate seat since 1977. Mourdock replaced Lugar in the race for Indiana’s Senate.

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9:53 p.m. Tuesday — McCaskill Leading Akin in Missouri

With an estimated 10 percent of the votes in, CNN is showing incumbent democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill leading Republican challenger Todd Akin 54 percent to 40 percent in the Missouri senate race.

In August, Akin set off a political firestorm when he said that a woman was not likely to get pregnant from rape, because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin’s comments drew criticism from women’s groups, unions, and Republicans, including calls for Akin to withdraw from the race.

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9:42 p.m. Tuesday — King Wins Maine

Angus King has won Republican Olympia Snowe’s senate seat in Maine, MSNBC reported.
The popular former governor is an Independent.

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9:30 p.m. Tuesday — Candidates Running Neck-and-Neck

With polls open in just nine remaining states, the two presidential candidates are dead even at 153 electoral votes apiece, according to Fox News.

Recent projected wins for President Obama include Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and now all eyes are on Ohio and Florida.

With the president winning Michigan as expected, this is the first time since the 1970s that both a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan respectively, have lost in their home states.

North Carolina and Virginia are still too close to call, accord

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9:21 p.m. Tuesday — Florida Race Extremely Close

Of all the battleground states, Florida is looking to have the tightest margin of victory for either candidate.

With around 70 percent of the votes counted, Fox News is showing that Florida is only separated by 200 to 300 votes.

North Carolina also appears to be extremely close, with major media outlets showing the candidates neck and neck.

But in Ohio, another state both candidates frequented, it appears that Obama has taken a lead, albeit a relatively slim one. Fox News and NPR shows that he has a 54-percent lead over Romney’s 45 percent. CBS News has a similar figure.

Obama also took the electoral vote in Pennsylvania, Fox and NPR are showing.

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9:14 p.m. Tuesday — Nelson Holds Onto Senate Seat in Florida

In Florida’s senate race, senior Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson defeated Republican challenger Congressman Connie Mack, winning 56 percent of the votes, with Mack bringing in 42 percent, according to CBS news reports.

Nelson was first elected to the House in 1978 and won a senate seat in 2000. In 1986, Nelson was the second member of Congress to fly in space on the Space Shuttle Columbia.

In House races in Florida, the vast majority of winners are Republican. Republican incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen won Florida’s 27th district with 61 percent, while Democratic challenger Manny Yevancey earned only 37 percent, according to NBC news reports.

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9:13 p.m. Tuesday — Exit Poll Update

Obama has now taken New York, Michigan, and New Jersey, as well as 123 votes in the Electoral College, according to CBS News, Fox News, NBC News, and NPR. NBC News reports that Obama has 128 votes.

Romney took North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, exit polls show. He now has 154 votes in the Electoral College.

Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida are still too close to call, according to NPR.

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9:08 p.m. Tuesday — Murphy Wins Race Over McMahon

Three-term congressman Chris Murphy has defeated Linda McMahon for the Connecticut senate seat, according to The Associated Press.

McMahon was formerly the head of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. This was her second bid for the seat.

Between her two campaigns, she spent nearly $100 million. Just five weeks ago, polls showed McMahon ahead of Murphy. McMahon encouraged Obama Democrats to split the ticket, knowing that Obama would likely sweep the state. Scott Brown, Republican candidate in Massachusetts, used the same tactic: his campaign materials encouraged voters to vote for Obama and Brown.

The hope that the Republican Party would take over the Senate is considerably diminished with the Democratic senate victory in Connecticut.

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8:58 p.m. Tuesday — Ohio Judge Denies Restraining Order Over Voting Software

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a statement on Election Day supporting a judge’s decision to deny Green Party candidates’s request to block the use of certain voting software.

Husted wrote: “This suit was completely baseless and caused unnecessary concern and confusion. All Ohioans’ votes are tabulated at the local level and separately reported to the Secretary of State on Election Night through a secure connection. The system is not only safe, it is much improved since the last presidential election. As the world watches Ohio tonight, they will benefit from more accurate and timely reports of voting results.”

Green Party candidate Bob Fitrakis sued Husted on the basis that certain software used in the Ohio election would allow officials to see and change people’s votes. The judge was not convinced.

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8:50 p.m. Tuesday — Virginia Senate Race Close, Allen Leading

Just one-and-a-half hours after polls closed in Virginia, one of the key senate races between Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine is still too close to call, but Allen is up more than 50,000 votes with a six-point lead, according to Fox News and CBS.

With 11 House races being decided, Fox has projected that 9 of the incumbents—7 Republicans and 2 Democrats—will retain their seats, with 3 still undecided.

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8:43 p.m. Tuesday — Rep. Chris Murphy Projected Winner in Connecticut Senate Race

Both NBC and Fox News are projecting Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy to win the Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Joe Lieberman.  He is on track to defeat his Republican challenger Linda McMahon.  

USA Today called a Murphy victory at 8:30 p.m. EST.

McMahon, who made her fortune in professional wrestling, spent $42 million of her own money on her campaign.

The Connecticut Secretary of State did not yet have results posted as of 8:45 p.m. EST.

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8:24 p.m. Tuesday -- Exit Poll Update

Mitt Romney is projected to win Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, according to exit polls tallied by Fox News, CBS News, and NBC News.

These states would give Romney 40 votes in the electoral college, according to CNN, Fox News, and CBS News’s exit polls.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is projected to take Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Washington D.C., the exit polls show.

Preliminary exit poll results are showing that it is too early to tell who will be the victor in several battleground states--Florida--the largest swing state in the nation--North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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8:04 p.m. Tuesday — Strong Voter Turnout Throughout US

People wait to vote as others figure out which voting booth to go to after receiving their voting information at the MS 167, Robert F. Wagner Middle School, on Nov. 6. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

People wait to vote as others figure out which voting booth to go to after receiving their voting information at the MS 167, Robert F. Wagner Middle School, on Nov. 6. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Voters eagerly showed up in large numbers for today’s General Election, enduring hours-long waits at some voting stations, media report.

In Connecticut, voter turnout was “off the charts,” the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting an election official.

In crucial swing state Ohio, WKB-27 television reported long lines. In more urban areas, voters had to wait for about half an hour. For both the presidential and the senate races, Ohio is considered a tight race.

In Florida, another battleground state, some counties experienced waiting times of almost 4 hours, according to WFTV. At some precincts in Orlando, there were issues with voting machines, making voters wait in today’s heat.

Many residents in communities that were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy are making their civic duty a high priority, despite the devastation.

Read more.

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7:32 p.m. Tuesday — Polls Close in Nine States

As Polls close in nine states, networks like CNN, Fox and NBC are projecting early wins for both candidates, with Mitt Romney carrying Kentucky and Indiana and President Obama carrying Vermont.

Three other states, including the key swing state of Virginia, are still too close call. The other two states are South Carolina and Georgia.

Polls in Ohio, W. Virginia and North Carolina closed at 7:30 EST. The states are too close to call at this time.

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Did You Know? — What Happens if the Candidates Tie in the Electoral College?

There are 538 electors, so it is possible for the candidates to get 269 electors in the Electoral College each. If there is a tie in the Electoral College, the election goes to the House of Representatives where each state casts a single vote to decide the president. The Vice President is decided in the Senate so each senator would cast a single vote to determine the Vice President.

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7:13 p.m. Tuesday — Will Third-Party Candidates Affect the Outcome in Swing States?

No third party candidate is expected to win the presidency this year, but they could affect results in swing states. On 25 state ballots the Constitution party will be competing for votes. Constitution candidate Virgil Goode Jr. is unlikely to win many votes in his home state of Virginia; but, with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tied in that state he could tilt the balance. The Libertarian Party, represented this year by former Republican governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, is on the ballot in 48 states. Johnson will win no states, but in swing states like Ohio and New Hampshire he could influence the outcome.

Some argue third parties don’t affect the votes cast for major party candidates, saying people who vote for third parties are rejecting both Democrat and Republican parties and would not vote for them anyway. Others argue third party candidates can draw votes away from leading candidates dividing the vote and giving the opposition party the edge. Some still blame Green Party nominee, Ralph Nader for Al Gore’s loss in 2000. Although Nader received only 1.7 percent of the vote in Florida, the deciding state in 2000, that 1.7 percent translated into 97,000 critical votes that could have won Al Gore the state, they say.

Green Party candidate, Dr Jill Stein, is on the ballot in 38 states this year while Rocky Anderson, former two-term mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, is on the ballot in 15 states as presidential candidate for the year-old Justice Party.

Speaking by phone from Utah, Anderson said minor parties struggle to get heard over the noise of the big parties, but he says people’s concern about the influence of money on government is increasing. He is hoping the Justice Party can field many more candidates next election.

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6:45 p.m. Tuesday — Obama Calls on Redditors to Vote

President Barack Obama again went on Reddit to ask the website’s users to vote.

In August, Obama answered questions on the popular social media site and this time he said, “I’m checking in because polls will start closing in this election in just a few hours, and I need you to vote.”

“Millions of Americans have stepped up in support of this campaign over the last 19 months, and today we decide what the next four years look like--but only if we show up,” Obama continued in his Reddit post that was published at 5:30 p.m. EST.

Obama said that regardless of “your political persuasion,” Redditors should cast their ballot.

Read more.

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6:08 p.m. Tuesday — Election Protection Runs Voting Help Hotline, More

Non-partisan group Election Protection has a hotline, a website and a mobile app meant to help voters resolve problems on Election Day. The hotline is 1-866-OUR Vote, the website is www.866ourvote.org, and the mobile app is available on iTunes or Google Play, or by texting OURVOTE to 90975 to download.

The group’s slogan is “Working 365 days to advance and defend your right to vote.” They want to hear voters’ stories, and they have relationships with local election officials, who have the authority to intervene in case of election problems.  

Election Protection is prepared to file emergency lawsuits if necessary on Election Day.

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6:07 p.m. Tuesday — Poll Troubles

At one polling station in Pennsylvania there was a giant mural of President Obama right next to voting booths. The mural was painted on the elementary school’s wall a few years ago. Some Republicans were upset about having to vote next to the image and petitioned something be done. Tuesday morning a judge ordered the mural be covered.

Tim Miller, deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee, tweeted a photo early Tuesday morning of Judge John Milton Younge’s order that the mural be covered with paper for the duration of Election Day.

Only President Obama’s face was covered by paper.

Other technical difficulties or voting machines not working are being reported nationwide.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, some voters said they had to stand in long lines, were turned away, or the machines were not working. “Initially, the electronic voting machines were malfunctioning and several voters had to use paper ballots before the problem was remedied,” reported CBS Pittsburgh.

Election Protection reported on their website that Pennsylvania is a “hotbed” of voter and poll worker confusion and they are “receiving multiple reports of voter confusion and incorrect poll worker instructions centered on Pennsylvania’s convoluted voter identification process.”

In Texas, some voting machines were not turned on properly, delaying voting.

“We’re already seeing reports of voting machine malfunctions in a number of states, causing long lines and frustrations for voters,” states a news release from Election Protection.

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6:06 p.m. — Pennsylvania Machine Switches Obama Vote to Romney

A voting machine in Pennsylvania was taken out of service after a video posted on YouTube showed the device switching a vote for President Barack Obama to Mitt Romney.

The YouTube video that appears to have been recorded with a phone shows a person attempting to press the button for Obama, but the machine only registers Romney.

NBC News confirmed that voting officials stopped people from using the machine after the video was uploaded.

Read more.

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6:00 p.m. Tuesday — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Vote, But Be Patient        

In this file photo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (C) rings the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on the first day of opening since Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31 in New York City. Bloomberg voted on Election Day and urged New Yorkers to not only vote, but also to be patient as the city worked around power outages and damage. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

In this file photo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (C) rings the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on the first day of opening since Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31 in New York City. Bloomberg voted on Election Day and urged New Yorkers to not only vote, but also to be patient as the city worked around power outages and damage. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Early Tuesday morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cast his vote.

“I encourage all New Yorkers to cast their ballots,” he said in a press conference. “People all around the world would like to have our freedoms, and to keep them and extend them we have to exercise them.”

Bloomberg, along with many New Yorkers, had to wait in line to reach the polling booth.

“Be patient, it’s worth the wait to be part of the process. I will say that I talked to an awful lot of people who were just so enthusiastic that they had a chance to vote—that was the main topic of conversation.”

The Board of Elections has run into several unusual problems this Election Day; including not securing enough fuel for the generator at a big tent set up as a polling site in the Rockaways—one of the hardest hit areas from Hurricane Sandy.

Late delivery of machines to some sites and late openings were also reported, said Bloomberg.

“If these were the only problems the Board of Elections encountered today we should consider ourselves very lucky, but unfortunately based on its history that is not likely to be the case,” he said.

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 5:55 p.m. Tuesday — NASA Image of the Day: Election 2012

Astronauts Leroy Chiao, Edward Michael Fincke and Greg Chamitoff have cast their votes while aboard the International Space Station (ISS), thanks to technology that allows the crew to vote from space. The American flag patch shown is the one attached to Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit, taken in 2006 at the National Air and Space Museum’s Garber Facility in Suitland, Md. (NASA) 

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5:30 p.m. Tuesday — New Jersey Voters Given Extension

New Jersey voters submitting ballots by email or fax have been given an extension till Friday.

Voters, many of whose homes were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, responded enthusiastically to a directive from New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno earlier in the week. The directive allows voters to submit their ballots by email or fax. That has now been extended provided that applications for ballots are lodged today.

“The response to this expansion has been remarkable, reflecting the civic commitment of New Jersey voters to exercise their franchise even as they are displaced from their homes.” Guadagno said in the new directive issued today.

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5:16 p.m. Tuesday — Campaign Spending Peaks in Swing States

Obama and Romney cookie trays beckon shoppers at the Oakmont Bakery on Nov. 6, in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a swing state. Cookies are the least of the expenditures in swing states. Candidates, parties and advocacy groups have poured money into the swing states. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Obama and Romney cookie trays beckon shoppers at the Oakmont Bakery on Nov. 6, in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a swing state. Cookies are the least of the expenditures in swing states. Candidates, parties and advocacy groups have poured money into the swing states. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The 2012 presidential campaign was a record setting year for campaign spending. ABC News reported that the overall dollars spent for each candidate are $931,471,420 for Obama and $1,022,753,733 for Romney. The figures came from the Center for Responsive Politics, and include candidate, party, and outside advocacy group spending.

Dollars flowed like water in the swing states. The top five states for spending were Florida ($167,037,580), Ohio ($144,793,830), Virginia ($122,789,820), Colorado ($69,551,600), and North Carolina ($55,995,570), according to ABC News.

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Did You Know? — Second Tuesday in November: Good Reasons

Election Day was set in November because fall harvest was over by then, and the mostly agrarian voters could then travel to the polls, according to almanac Infoplease. Winter had not yet taken hold to make roads impassable. Most voters had a travel a long way to their county seats to cast their ballots. Election Day was set for Tuesday because the distance often required more than one day’s travel, and to travel on a Sabbath, or Sunday, would have violated Christian precepts. November 1, All Souls’ Day, was a holy day honoring the departed. That is why the second rather than the first Tuesday is Election Day.

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5:13 p.m. Tuesday — Romney Says ‘Silent Majority’ Will Decide Race

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (C) a visit a campaign office in Richmond Heights, Ohio, on Election Day. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (C) a visit a campaign office in Richmond Heights, Ohio, on Election Day. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney invoked the spirit of former President Richard Nixon when he said that the “silent majority” will vote on Election Day and will decide the outcome.

Romney and running mate Paul Ryan on Tuesday were taking part in last-minute campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania—two key battleground states.

“People care very deeply about what’s happening in the country today. You know, we’ve always spoken about a silent majority. The silent majority became very vocal in the last few years. First with the tea party movement and then with the movement across the country to get behind our campaign,” Romney told WTVN radio in Ohio, reported CBS News.

“We have these rallies that are every bit as large and a good deal more boisterous than what we’re seeing on the other side of the aisle,” he said in the radio interview. “I think people realize a lot is at stake and that’s obviously a very positive sign for the election outcome today.”

In 1969, Nixon said that a “silent majority” of U.S. citizens supported the war in Vietnam, despite popular anti-war sentiment.

While in Cleveland, Romney said that Tuesday is “a big day for change,” reported The Associated Press. Ryan described Romney as “running on fumes,” following a heavy campaign schedule over the past several days.

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4:55 p.m. Tuesday — Crowds of people on the Upper West Side line up to vote early Tuesday morning before work.

After waiting line outside the MS 51 school, people make it inside to vote in Brooklyn, New York City, on Nov. 6. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

After waiting line outside the MS 51 school, people make it inside to vote in Brooklyn, New York City, on Nov. 6. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

People line up waiting to vote for the presidential election at the MS 51 middle school in Brooklyn, New York City, on Nov. 6. Many people complained that it took longer than 2 hours to vote. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

People line up waiting to vote for the presidential election at the MS 51 middle school in Brooklyn, New York City, on Nov. 6. Many people complained that it took longer than 2 hours to vote. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

 

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4:43 p.m. Tuesday — Ohio Senate Seat Race Contentious

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is the Republican nominee for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat.  Mandel is a former Marine who fought in Iraq.

Mandel spoke against the auto industry bailout in a debate last month with his opponent. “I would not have voted for that. I couldn’t have,” Mandel said, adding the bailout deprived some nonunion retirees of the value of their pension, the Toledo Blade reported.

The auto bailout was a popular policy with Ohioans.

His Democratic opponent Sherrod Brown made the successful auto industry bailout a central issue in his campaign and in the debate.  ”This job is about real people, with real famili.es, and real problems and real goals and dreams. And yet Josh Mandel called my vote for the auto rescue ‘un-American.’ I call that vote doing my job to fight for their jobs,” Brown said, according to the Blade.

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4:33 p.m. Tuesday — Trio Compete to Replace Maine’s Olympia Snowe

In Maine, three candidates are vying for moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat.  Snowe earlier said she was retiring out of disgust with the sharply polarized gridlock dominating Congress. Although a Republican, Snowe sometimes voted with Democrats.

Maine’s former Gov. Angus King, a member of the Independent Party, is a popular figure and has taken a distinctly non-partisan stance.  He is running for Snowe’s Senate seat as an Independent, and he will not say which party he would caucus with, The Week reported.

King’s two competitors are Republican secretary of state Charlie Summers, and Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Dill.

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4:20 p.m. Tuesday -- South Carolinians Voting on Machines Audited by Government

South Carolina residents are casting their votes on machines that are being presently audited by the state’s Legislative Audit Council, an investigative body, according to the Columbia Free Times.

Republican Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell ordered the inquiry into the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines.

Some South Carolina residents have said that some of the machines are not working.

“Totally disorganized, broken machines, no instructions, getting yelled at for not knowing things nobody told us,” voter Laurel Posey told the Free Times.

Investigators with the state’s Audit Council were checking to see if poll workers were trained properly on how to use the machines and looking into the machines themselves. “With any machine there are always good things and bad things,” an official, who was not named, told the paper.

“If those machines malfunction, there’s no way to independently check what the actual voter’s intent was,” Susannah Goodman, the head of the Voting Integrity Program at Common Cause, told the Charleston Post & Courier in July.

The state has experienced a strong turnout so far, reported The Associated Press.

State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told AP: “All our reports are that there’s a heavy turnout throughout the state.”

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Did You Know? — The Second Election

Washington once again had to be talked into running for president in 1792. He said he was too old and his health was not good. Partisan splits were developing and becoming bitter. The Republicans, forming under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson, were barraging the Washington administration with negative press. The Federalists were beginning to take shape under the leadership Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

James Madison convinced Washington to run once more by saying he was the only person who could unify the country.

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4:18 p.m. Tuesday — Connecticut Senate Race Up In the Air

In Connecticut, Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon are vying for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat. Lieberman left the Democratic Party to become an Independent after running for vice president on Al Gore’s 2000 ticket, and he is now retiring.

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill said that the state is ready for an expected heavy voter turnout, the Westport News reported.  Only two polling places had to be relocated because of Hurricane Sandy. In Connecticut, 75 to 80 percent of voters usually vote, among the higher national rates, according the Pew Center on the States.

FactCheck.org has accused both Murphy and McMahon of using deceptive ads against each other.

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4:10 p.m. Tuesday — Obama Plays Basketball, Calls Supporters on Election Day

President Barack Obama did not campaign much on Tuesday, but played a game of pickup basketball to ease the tension brought about by Election Day as his campaign awaits the results.

According to the Washington Post, Obama played with six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former NBA player Randy Brown, former Illinois treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, ESPN writer Andy Katz, personal aide Reggie Love, childhood friend Mike Ramos, and friend Marty Nesbitt.

U.S. President Barack Obama shoots a basketball while participating in a 'Let's Move' clinic with members of the NBA, WNBA and the Harlem Globetrotters April 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama shoots a basketball while participating in a 'Let's Move' clinic with members of the NBA, WNBA and the Harlem Globetrotters April 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama has played basketball on every Election Day during his presidential run, except for one during the New Hampshire primary in 2008 after he lost to Hillary Clinton, reported NBC Chicago.

The president also returned to his hometown of Chicago on Tuesday to await the results, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Obama also cold-called several campaign supporters in Wisconsin.

“How you feeling out there? We’re so proud of you and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done,” Obama told a campaigner in Wisconsin, according to the Daily Telegraph. He added, “She was very nice to me but she didn’t initially know who I was.”

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3:49 p.m. Tuesday — Detroit Poll Watcher Threatened With a Gun

A poll watcher in Detroit was threatened with a gun on Tuesday, according to the Michigan Republican Party, which issued a statement condemning the threat.

“This morning, a legally credentialed poll watcher was threatened and intimidated while attempting to perform his legally allowed duties of observing the election process at precinct polling location 289 in Detroit,” the Republican Party said in a statement.

It added that the poll watcher, who works as a lawyer, was told by a voter to show his credentials and when he produced them, the voter was not satisfied.

Read more.

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3:40 p.m. Tuesday — Citizens in North Carolina Prepare Poll Station

NORTH CAROLINA—James Carroll prepared a table where ballots are being cast at a firehouse training station. Pat Fischer and Evelyn Tuck also prepared tables. The only difference between their tables was that one was dedicated to Republicans and the other to Democrats.

Carroll said that this year’s election is really important. He hopes “people get out and vote, for freedom and liberty.”

Fischer said that she believes voting is a right in America. “We should all exercise that,” said Fischer.

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3:13 p.m. Tuesday — Celebrities Support Candidates to the End

Celebrities have stepped up to support presidential candidates right to the end, donating money and time in the last few days.

On Monday, rock legend Bruce Springsteen performed at a campaign rally for Obama in Wisconsin. The Boss and wife Patti then traveled via Air Force One to Ohio for the next campaign.

“It was pretty cool,” Springsteen told reporters, saying it was the first time he had flown on the presidential plane.

According to federal campaign finance disclosures, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Zach Galifianakis, and Renee Zellweger were among celebrities who made large donations to the Obama campaign in the last few days.

Supporting Romney, actor Kelsey Grammer, Denver Broncos executive John Elway, and former game show host Bob Barker have made four-figure donations.

Both presidential candidates have attracted rockstar support during the campaign, Jay-Z customizing one of his most popular songs: “If you’re having girl problems, I feel bad for you, Son. I got 99 problems but Mitt ain’t one,” in Ohio Monday. Dave Matthews supported Obama in Virginia , Stevie Wonder in Ohio, John Mellencamp in Iowa, and Katy Perry in Wisconsin.

For Romney, Kid Rock appeared with Congressman Paul Ryan last month in Rochester, Mich., and Jon Voight, Meat Loaf, and Kelsey Grammer appeared for Romney last week, Politico reported.  

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Did You Know? — Washington Not Eager for the Job

Washington was not thrilled about leading the country, according to historian Ron Chernow, in the biography Washington: A Life.  

Smithsonian Magazine published an article in February 2011 that said it took Congress until April 1789 to assemble a quorum to ratify the election because the roads from their homes to the capitol were so poor.

Chernow wrote: “He savored his wait as a welcome ‘reprieve,’ he told his former comrade in arms and future Secretary of War Henry Knox, adding that his ‘movements to the chair of government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.’ His ‘peaceful abode’ at Mount Vernon, his fears that he lacked the requisite skills for the presidency, the ‘ocean of difficulties’ facing the country—all gave him pause on the eve of his momentous trip to New York. In a letter to his friend Edward Rutledge, he made it seem as if the presidency was little short of a death sentence and that, in accepting it, he had given up ‘all expectations of private happiness in this world.”

Washington was 57 years old.

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1:57 p.m. Tuesday — Empire State Building to Beam Out Blue or Red Winner

The Empire State building will beam out a blue light for a Democrat/Obama win or red for Republican/Romney, depending upon who wins the election Tuesday night.

The 1,454 feet iconic office building has teamed up with CNN, who will display the results via a massive vertical LED-illuminated “meter” which has been set up on the spire of the building, according to the CNN website.

The four-sided tower, which sits on top of the building, will be illuminated in patriotic red, white, and blue vertical stripes and the mast will be lit with blue on one side and red on the others.

When the results come in, however the tower lights will change to either all red or all blue. If it is a tie, both red and blue lights will beam out.

CNN, which has set up strategic cameras, will then broadcast the image around the world.

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1:47 p.m. Tuesday — A Convergence  in Cleveland

Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Vice President candidate Paul Ryan have descended on Cleveland, Ohio, to campaign in the swing state simultaneously.

Biden landed first,  heading out in a motorcade as Ryan’s plane landed, according to pool reports. Ohio, boosted by the Obama auto bailout,  is one of the critical swing states to watch tonight. Both campaigns are confident they can win the state.

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1.36 p.m. Tuesday — Obama Looks Forward to Election Night

In a buoyant mood, President Obama congratulated Mitt Romney on a “spirited campaign” during an informal stop at a campaign office in Chicago Tuesday.

The President said that he was confident he had the numbers but acknowledged that both campaigns had worked hard. “I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today,” he said.

Obama thanked volunteers in the small campaign office, saying that despite all the television ads, fund raising, debates, and electioneering, the campaign comes down to “these incredible people.”

“It’s a source of great optimism for me whenever I come to Election Day because I end up having so much confidence in the decency and goodness and wisdom of the very folks who are working so hard trying to move their own small piece of this country forward,” he said.

The President then picked up a cell phone and called a few people

“Hi is this Jill? This is Barack Obama. This is your president. You’re working so hard I had to say thanks. No, it is. I’m calling some of our best volunteers up in Madison,” he said to one volunteer.

Obama said that he was looking forward to tonight’s results and that he expected to have a good night: “But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf.

“Again, I want to congratulate Governor Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well. Okay?” he reiterated.

As the President’s flotilla of media and advisors were packing up to leave, the president reportedly reached for a Starbucks cup and took a sip.

“That’s coffee, not tea—I thought that was my tea,” he said, quipping to the owner of the coffee, a volunteer, “You don’t have a cold do you?”

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1:27 p.m. Tuesday — Puzzled Voters at Remodeled School

ATLANTA—In a steady rain, voters milled around outside the drastically remodeled Lakeside High School, trying various locked doors before finding the polling place inside to be a soaring, bright atrium, according to Epoch Times reporter Mary Silver.

The biggest crowd came before 8:00 a.m., according to poll workers.

Atlanta, Ga., residents get out of the rain and vote at the newly remodeled Lakeside High School. (Mary Silver/The Epoch Times)

Atlanta, Ga., residents get out of the rain and vote at the newly remodeled Lakeside High School. (Mary Silver/The Epoch Times)

Theresa Spiller arrived by bus, uncertain if she had found the right polling place. She had not received her registration card in the mail, she said.  

For her, the most important issue is health care because she was suddenly struck by a life-threatening, disabling illness. “I’m new to Medicaid,” she said. “I’m not used to not being able to work.”

The second most important issue for her is the war in Afghanistan, because her son is in the military. “I believe my president now is going to make it work,” said Spiller.

Poll worker Kay Adams said she thinks that voting is “a privilege we have as citizens, and we need to make our voices heard.”

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1:15 p.m. Tuesday — Citizen Wants Strict Term Limits

ATLANTA—Randy Miller, who works in a small business in Atlanta, Ga., voted early in order to avoid disrupting his work on Election Day. He wishes there were strict term limits so that no one could become a career politician.

“Pay them well. Take care of them, but two years and you’re out and can never come back,” he said.  

Miller said he thinks that people form relationships and biases when they stay in office too long, and the friendships and obligations developed over time can block public servants from doing the right thing.

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1:01 p.m. Tuesday — New Jersey Voting Via E-mail and Fax, But Problems Reported

Still reeling from the effects of mega-storm Sandy last week, New Jerseyans are being allowed to e-mail or fax in their vote on Election Day.

Those who were forced to flee their homes due to flooding and other problems, as well as first responders, can send in their vote through either of those two methods, reported The Atlantic Wire.

It marks the first time in the Garden State that voters can send in their ballots remotely, yet residents affected by the storm could only send in the ballots if they had registered in advance.

However, voters who attempted to cast their ballot via electronic means reported problems to the NJ.com news website, saying that they did not receive ballots from the e-mail or fax system.

Read more.

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12:57 p.m. Tuesday — Door-to-Door Campaigners Busy on Election Day

By Kelly Ni
Epoch Times Staff

Traveling by foot and overcoming perilous unknowns, such as barking dogs, to gain votes may be one of the oldest methods in campaigning, and despite advances in technology, door-to-door campaigning remains highly effective and popular today.

“Face-to-face contact with a voter is very important,” according to Satinder Sahota, president of Local Victory, an online guide with advice and articles on winning political elections.

Although candidates want to be in touch with voters as much as possible, some people may feel that there are too many people coming to their door, according to Sahota. “But there are also people that feel that they will vote for somebody because they came to their door,” she said in a telephone interview.

On Election Day, you might see an increase in door-to-door campaigners if you have not voted yet.

Read more.

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12:38 p.m. — Patriotic Cupcakes in Georgia

Max Miller, chef and owner of Everbest Market in Atlanta, baked red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and American flags to give to those who had voted. (Mary Silver/The Epoch Times)

Max Miller, chef and owner of Everbest Market in Atlanta, baked red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and American flags to give to those who had voted. (Mary Silver/The Epoch Times)

ATLANTA—Max Miller is chef and owner of Everbest Market, a new restaurant in Atlanta, Ga.  

Miller made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and American flags to give to those who had voted Tuesday.  

“We figured voting is a patriotic thing, so we made patriotic cupcakes,” he said. “I absentee voted because I knew I’d need to be here.”

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12:27 p.m. Tuesday — New York Governor Asks New York Voters to be Patient

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated new voting rules for New Yorkers at a press conference Tuesday.

Crowds of people on the Upper West Side line up to vote early Tuesday morning before work. (The Epoch Times)

Crowds of people on the Upper West Side line up to vote early Tuesday morning before work. (The Epoch Times)

He also urged voters to be patient.

Anyone in the metropolitan area can vote in any polling place—rather than being restricted to their designated site.

New Yorkers displaced by hurricane Sandy will need to sign a simple affidavit at the polling site in order to vote.

“It’s more of a situation than usual at polling places,” Cuomo said at the press conference. “It’s important we vote, it’s important the system works. This is an important election, a critical election.”

Cuomo said that New Yorkers will need to be patient at polling sites today; many sites have moved and the new rules may cause crowding.

“Whatever your preference today, please vote and exercise your right,” Cuomo said.

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Did You Know? — The First Election

Americans chose George Washington as their first president on the first Wednesday in January of 1789, according to History.com. No one opposed him, but he did not want to run. Alexander Hamilton convinced Washington that it would be wrong to refuse.

Washington insisted on term limits.

According to the Constitution, each state could decide how to choose the president. Pennsylvania and Maryland were the only ones that held elections. In every other state, the legislature chose electors who chose the president. Each state elector had two votes. The candidate with the most votes became president, and the runner-up became vice president.

A majority of electors wanted John Adams for vice president. Hamilton was afraid that Adams might accidentally tie with Washington, embarrassing everyone. Hamilton orchestrated a few votes for other candidates to make sure Adams did not tie Washington.

The electoral votes were: Washington 69, Adams 34, John Jay 9, John Hancock 4, and others 22.

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10:38 a.m. Tuesday — Media Prepare for Election Night in Chicago

 

The sun comes up over Chicago on Election Day, Nov. 6. (Shar Adams/The Epoch Times)

The sun comes up over Chicago on Election Day, Nov. 6. (Shar Adams/The Epoch Times)

It’s a beautiful day in Chicago, not the 70-odd degrees it was four years ago, but it’s clear, crisp, and sunny, according to Epoch Times reporter Shar Adams.

International and local media have been pouring into the city since Sunday in preparation for the Obama campaign election night event, which will be held at McCormick Place on the edge of the city.

McCormick Place is North America’s largest convention center, consisting of four interconnected buildings located on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Hall E, where the main event will take place, can hold up to 17,000 people. Media have been allocated workspace in a separate hall, which has been broken into acres of desks, replete with lamps, power packs, and massive curtained-off sections for major broadcasters.

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9:15 a.m. Tuesday — Candidates Provide Link to Polling Places 

Messages from both presidential campaigns encourage people to get out and vote today.

A message from the Obama campaign sent at 5:34 a.m. Tuesday said: “If you haven’t voted already, make a plan for when you’re going to the polls and confirm your polling place and hours.”

The Romney campaign said: “Please vote, and make sure your friends and family do too. Today is the day we decide what kind of country we are going to give our kids and grandkids.”

Both statements included links to assist people find their polling places:
http://www.barackobama.com/lookup
http://www.mittromney.com/states/new-york

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The Polls are Open!

At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, polling sites in the Eastern Time zone opened up. Voters started lining up early to cast their vote before work. Polls close at 9 p.m.

If you’re in New York, text “NYCVOTES” TO 877-877 to find out your poll site location. Spanish speakers can text “DONDE” to 877-877 to receive prompts in Spanish.

New York voters displaced by the storm may vote by affidavit at any New York State polling site.

“However, only the presidential and the US Senate races will appear,” says NYC Votes. The organization is encouraging everyone to get out and vote. 

“Democracy only works if we head out to the polls and cast our vote today,” an email said.

To vote in local New York races, voters must go to their assigned poll sites

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 Sandy Spurs Voters, But Many Displaced

Stranded on Long Island, Jack Suben, 58, is a long haul from his polling site in Seagate, Brooklyn. Despite a power outage and gas shortage, Suben says he is going to do all he can to make it to the voting booth Tuesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order early Monday evening, allowing displaced voters to vote at any polling site using an affidavit ballot, according to his Twitter.

Hurricane Sandy has left many parts of New York without public transportation.

“I have no power, no gas to get to Brooklyn, no heat. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to vote and that pains me,” Suben said.

Read more.

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 Obama, Romney Focus on Voter Turnout in Final Hours

CHICAGO—In the final hours of campaigning, the presidential candidates have crisscrossed the country, making their cases to voters in swing states while focusing on turnout.

President Obama campaigned in swing states Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa Monday, appearing before a fired-up crowd after performances by rock star Bruce Springsteen. He ended up in Iowa “where the journey began.” 

“The state has always had a special place” for the President and first lady, according to campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki in a press briefing Monday. She added that the “hold room” at the event was actually the old Iowa campaign headquarters.

Read more.

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Hey, Partisans: Chill Out

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, Americans will choose their leader and set the next course for the world’s only superpower. During an intense, closely fought campaign, relationships can fray, and voters can become caught up in the dire warnings and rhetoric of both political parties. 

“No pressure” is the advice given in a statement from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Bryan Hatcher is director of Center Development and Education for CareNet at Wake Forest, and offered his expert advice.

Election season is like “your favorite sports team, March Madness,” he said. “I get pretty passionate and that can be a good thing. This is a very exciting time.”

Read more.

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Voting booths stand ready as students return to school on Nov. 5 in East Village, Manhattan. Public School 188 will be used as a polling center in Tuesday's presidential election. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Voting booths stand ready as students return to school on Nov. 5 in East Village, Manhattan. Public School 188 will be used as a polling center in Tuesday's presidential election. (John Moore/Getty Images)

How to Find Your Polling Site in NYC

NEW YORK—Although many New Yorkers have been displaced since Hurricane Sandy hit, residents can still only vote at their designated polling place on Tuesday.

To find out if your polling site has moved, search for the your address on the Online Poll Site Address Locator on the Board of Elections (BOE) website. 

Read more.

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Congressional Races Remain Close

CHICAGO—While the presidential race remains tight in the lead-up to Nov. 6, congressional elections also contain some nail-biting races.

According to Kyle Kondik, analyst and house editor with the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia, there are likely to be a number of changes in both the House and the Senate, and many are just too close to call.

Republicans currently hold a majority in the House by 25 seats. Kondik predicts that they will maintain a majority, but that redistricting will see demographic changes for many candidates. He added that the House could lose up to seven seats.

“It’s just a matter of how many seats they end up losing,” he told reporters at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., adding, “It doesn’t look like the Republicans will add seats.”

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For more articles: visit our special election topic.

Read more.




   

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Barry Bassis