Election Day: Live updates
By-the-minute news on the races important to you. Beginning 8 a.m. Tuesday, we'll have updates from the campaign trail and Lincoln-area polling places. Stay with us into the evening for breaking news and results.
A few more links:
For those following closely today, here's an hour-by-hour look at what to watch, beginning when the first polls close -- journalstar.com
Here's a neat map of Tweets from the two presidential candidates and how they engaged readers on Twitter -- twitter.com
Also, check out this neat infographic by the New York Times showing 512 potential paths to the White House by Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama -- nytimes.com
Need a lift to the polls?
The Lancaster County Democratic and Republican parties are offering free rides to the polls on Tuesday. Voters in need of a ride can call the Democrats at 402-476-2268 or email email@example.com. Or call the Republicans at 402-475-2122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in providing rides is welcome to help the Democrats by meeting at the party's office, 2215 C St.
From Dave Shively, Lancaster County election commissioner:
Phones are ringing more than they do in normal elections (non-presidential years), some missing supplies at voting locations, little issues that are typical. "Presidential elections are so different than everything else."
Shively will be hearing from each polling place beginning at about 9 a.m., so we hope to have a county-wide update by about 9:30, 10 a.m.
Voting is for lovers! Get out! #LNKelectionsby wild dog coffee via twitter 11/6/2012 2:55:12 PM
The polls didn't open till 8 a.m. Tuesday but someone driving a white car showed up around 7 a.m. at Bennet Community Hall Legion Post 280 to vote in the 2012 election. Apparently, they saw something on the Internet that said the polls would open early. (Maybe in other parts of the nation but not in Nebraska.)
Election workers turned that person away and about four others who showed up early.
Kristi Cookus pulled into the parking lot shortly before 8 a.m. To her knowledge, she's voted in every election. Cookus, who lives in rural Bennet, said every election is important but this one might be a little more special. She wants to give President Obama another four years to finish the job he started in 2008: "It's been tough times. I understand how people are at their ends. I've had friends who lost their jobs, too. And it will get better."
-- LJS reporter Algis J. Laukaitis:
Another update from the Bennet polling place:
Bennet resident Barbara Mullenax and her 7-year-old granddaughter, Morgan, walked together to the Bennet Community Hall Legion Post 280 on Tuesday. "I brought her so she'll understand how it's important to vote," Barbara Mullenax said.
Morgan said she may have accompanied her grandmother one other time to vote. Morgan agreed that it is indeed important to vote in this election. Why?
"So the people know who they want -- Mitt Romney or Barack Obama."
-- Algis J. Laukaitis
"Big surge" when polls opened this morning, said election inspector Diana Yearsley at Christ United Methodist Church. A line had already formed outside the door by the time the church at 45th & A opened up to voters at 8 a.m.
"It wasn't eight hours long like Florida or anything like that," Yearsley said. "Maybe six people, but typical of a presidential election."
The election inspector says voters can expect to cast ballots in about five minutes this morning. Forty-one ballots were logged by 8:45 a.m. Yearsley said highest turnouts are expected between 4 p.m. and early evening, but -- at least in her location, typically a higher-volume one -- wait times should't be an issue for voters.
"Just get out and vote."
We've been posting animated editorial cartoons on our site for a few months now. I think many of you will sympathize with this one: journalstar.com
Also, for a list of our ed board's endorsements (these are not endorsements by our reporting staff), check here: journalstar.com
It looks like a big day at the voting booths in Lincoln, perhaps the record turnout some expected. For the past six years, at least, Tifereth Israel Temple at 3219 Sheridan Blvd., has been peaceful on election days at 8 a.m., a few people, but no big lines, and hardly any wait. Today they were backed up from the registration desk out into the hallway at 8:10 a.m., with six voting booths, 40 people had voted by 8:30 and just as big a line waiting. That’s very unusual.
-- Richard Piersol
For the first time that I can remember, voters at the gym in Sheridan School were told to line up alphabetically -- A through J on one side, K through Z on the other. And although there were four official voting booths, voters got creative when looking for privacy to hurry the process along. The tumbling mats stacked in the corner worked great and so did the empty stage on the other side of the room.
Arriving before 8 a.m., I was number 36 and it took 23 minutes.
--Kathryn Cates Moore
Lincoln resident Chris Lyford says he cast his ballot alongside 15 to 20 this morning at Gateway Senior Living, 225 N. 56th street. Said he spoke with precinct judge who told him the crowd was the largest she'd ever seen before polls opened.
"People do try and stop on their way to work," he said.
Most voters patiently waited their turn in line shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday when the polls opened at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. Many said they expected the lines would be much longer if they waited to vote until after work.
The east Lincoln precinct doesn’t include a hot legislative race – Kathy Campbell is running unopposed in her district – but the presidential and Senate races clearly moved voters who had no interest in coming back later. Arriving voters squeezed in the front door as others, one by one, left after marking ballots. The parking lot, though not full, was an active place as cars pulled in off 84th Street.
The same precinct in 2008 drew turnout of 65 percent and was consistent in its support of Republicans at the top of the ticket. John McCain beat Barack Obama 51.9% to 46.5%. In the Senate race, Mike Johanns (53.6%) beat Scott Kleeb (43.9%). You may recall that Obama and Kleeb were the county-wide winners four years ago.
-- Todd Henrichs
Sharing this from our Twitter feed -- from Kristen @K_needs_help -- @JournalStarNews For the first time, there was a line to vote at my polling place. Wonderful to see!
Want to tweet into this chat? Just use the keyword tag #LNKelections, or sign into the chat box above using your Twitter account.
Quite an interesting post from biz reporter Matt Olberding:
When I vote today, in addition to doing my civic duty, I’ll be acting as a guinea pig as well. I’m participating in a research study for the Bureau of Sociological Research at UNL. The study, titled “Voting and Stress Cortisol” looks at the kind of stress caused by voting. I have to give a saliva sample a half hour before I vote and then another a half hour after I vote. Apparently, your cortisol levels can be measured through the enzymes in your saliva. While I’m more than happy to further research into voting and the state of voter’s minds, my motives in participating in the study are not totally altruistic. UNL is paying me $50 to participate.
Projected turnout statewide remains at 71 percent, said Laura Strimple, communications director for office of Nebraska Secretary of State. Said voters can expect returns to be updated every five minutes tonight beginning at 8 p.m. Election results can be found here: electionresults.sos.ne.gov
Unofficial vote count early Tuesday: 70
That’s the number of honks elicited by Goodrich Middle School seventh-graders who used handmade signs to urge people to vote – and honk if they had -- near 13th and Superior. The social studies students spent a week and a half learning about elections before participating last week in Lincoln Public Schools’ student vote, where each got to cast their own votes, according to teacher Cindy Renner.
Zion Perry, 12, said he voted for Barack Obama because of the president’s support for same-sex marriage and opposition to offshore drilling. Perry said he’d watched all the debates and will be disappointed if challenger Mitt Romney wins. Faith Myers, 12, said she voted for Romney. She appreciates his pro-life stance and wants the government to spend less.
Myers, who said she is a Republican, appeared to be in the minority as most students lining the sidewalk identified themselves as Democrats. The school’s tally in the student vote showed the same: 81.37 percent for Obama.
But where there was disagreement there was also cooperation as Myers held up a sign with the help of Emma Smith, 12, who said she was a Democrat.
-- Shelly Kulhanek
Just spoke with Dave Shively, Lancaster County election commissioner. He says his prediction of 71 percent voter turnout still stands. That could be a local record.
For those who are curious, the county has 198 voting precincts, the largest of which is at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Read more here: journalstar.com
UPDATE: Twitter follower @AlisonKnudsen sent us this additional Election Day deal -- 10% off with voting sticker at One More Time, 17th and Van Dorn.
Election Day deals/free stuff, episode 1:
Election Day isn’t just a day to exercise your Constitutional right to vote, it’s also a day to take advantage of discounts. Lots of businesses offer election-related discounts and giveaways. Here are a few that I’m aware of:
Younkers has a coupon for $20 off a $50 purchase, which works out to a 40 percent discount. You can also show them your “I voted” sticker in lieu of the coupon.
Toppers Pizza is offering $5 large pizzas and $5 Topperstix all day today. The company said that when it offered the same deal during the 2008 presidential elections, its website traffic increased 7.4 percent, and some locations in Wisconsin had to shut down because they couldn’t keep up with demand.
One of the more interesting election day offers is JetBlue’s offer to allow people to fly out of the country if their presidential candidate loses. The airline is offering 1,006 free round-trip tickets, which adds up to 2,012 seats, to people who picked the losing candidate in an online poll. Unfortunately, voting is closed, so you can’t still get in on the deal. Destinations include, Mexico, several Caribbean islands and a couple of countries in South America.
-- Matt Olberding
By 10 a.m., the election crew at the Communications Workers of America Local 7470 was already turning a page. And pointing to the fresh, second-page of the ledger. Sign your name and print your address.
“You’re No. 51,” one said.
Is that a lot?
“It is for us. We didn’t have all but 50 for the whole primary.”
-- Peter Salter, LJS writer
For data nerds, the months before an election are like a 6-year-old's walk down the supermarket candy isle. We've already posted links to a view interesting Election Day interactives. Here's another one -- a demographic look at voting trends in presidential races from history: journalstar.com
Some voter headaches at UNL
Election officials at the Nebraska Union are advising student voters to verify their polling locations. By 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, a number of students living off campus had been turned away from the Union's voting booths and redirected to different locations. The university location mostly serves University of Nebraska-Lincoln students living on campus.
"If you're going to vote in this precinct, please be sure you're registered to vote in this precinct," said election inspector Del Weed.
Weed said the polling place had seen a steady stream of voters all day, with 75 votes cast in the union's nine voting booths by late morning. Unlike other area polling places, where voters amass during morning and evening rushes, the university's polling location expected voters constantly flowing in throughout the day, as classes and university events drew them to campus.
By the time polls opened at 8 a.m., a number of students had already lined up to vote. But like in other locations, the officials at the union expect largest crowds between late-afternoon and early-evening, when all of the students' classes have ended. Students still lined up to vote at 8 p.m. will be handed tickets, allowing them to vote after polls have officially closed.
Poll workers recalled the 2008 presidential election, when the line of voters stretched from the Union's west side to its south doors. Weed said he didn't know whether to expect the same turnout in 2012, but he did anticipate that final votes wouldn't be cast until around 8:30 p.m Tuesday night.
While we're talking UNL, here's info on a student-led watch party that is open to the public:
The Lincoln alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority is hosting a election night watch party 7-11 p.m. at Main Street Cafe, 1325 O St. The event is open to the public. The sorority was founded in 1913 at Howard University. The local chapter promotes education, social action and community involvement within the Lincoln community.
Does anyone else know of any local watch parties?
This is interesting: A Pew report that 22 percent of registered voters have let others know how they voted on a social networking site.
More numbers here: pewinternet.org
On the campaign trail?
I don't know how most Congressional candidates spend Election Day. But I can tell you that Korey Reiman, who is challenging Jeff Fortenberry for his District 1 House seat, is spending his in Courtroom 36 at Lancaster County District Court. Reiman, a defense attorney, is representing a man accused of abusing a vulnerable adult at a trial that started yesterday.
-- Lori Pilger, LJS courts reporter
Score one for the parents:
A National CIRCLE poll found nearly 47 percent of young people were much more likely to vote if a parent asked them to, compared to 41.6 percent of young people who were more likely to vote if a friend asked them.
Case in point, I invited my first-time voter son and his first-time voter friend to join me at the polls this morning. My son went -- his friend is waiting until 2:45 p.m., when he will vote with his dad.
-- Erin Andersen
Lancaster County Democrats say they've brought in twice the early voters this year as they had last cycle.
"Most of our effort goes into early voting," said John Yoakum, chairman of the Lancaster County Democratic Party. "Last cycle we had about 5,000 and 6,000 early voters in Lancaster County. This cycle, we more than doubled that. So today, with all those voting early by mail, we've had just a few people ask for rides, and we've taken care of them already.”
Yoakum said he's heard a few poll site complaints today. "Somebody has told me the secretary of state's polling place lookup wasn't working. Even worse, I vote in precinct 1A, Capital Beach Boulevard. Three or four people were having problems because the secretary of state's website sent them to our location and they live in the Belmont area."
We tried the county Republican Party, but no response yet.
-- Richard Piersol
Here's a good political topic for you: Gas prices.
From The Associated Press -- The national average for a gallon of regular gas on Tuesday is $3.46 a gallon. That's an all-time high for Election Day, eclipsing last year's record of $3.41 a gallon. It's also 35 cents less than a month ago.
Lincoln's is slightly lower than the national average -- about $3.43, according to AAA.
Hawaii and Alaska -- $4.27 and $4.12 -- are the most expensive.
Also of note: No matter whether Obama or Romney wins Tuesday, experts predict gas prices will keep falling until year end. AAA is forecasting an average price of $3.10 to $3.30 by Dec. 31.
A couple tidbits from reporters Erin Andersen and Lori Pilger:
From Erin -- In the 2008 election, I stood in line to vote for 45 minutes -- albeit, it was the wrong line. Still, I was voter number 144 at 8:45 a.m. This year, was number three in line and the 51st voter at 9 a.m. Worrisome.
From Lori -- Word has it voting started at the Highlands Golf Course polling site this morning with about 25 showing up first thing at 8. "Vote early, vote often," one poll worker joked. I'm headed that way soon. Have you voted already?
Voters turned out in droves Tuesday morning to the First Christian Church, 16th and K streets.
By noon, the number of ballots cast -- around 200 -- was already higher than the location's total for May's primary: 132.
Around noon, precinct inspector Al Neemann said crowds had quieted down since an early-morning surge. He said 15 to 20 people were already lined up to vote when polls opened at 8 a.m., and voting booths had been constantly occupied since then. Some voters opted to fill out their ballots on the church's sofas to save time.
Despite the crowds, the process took no longer than 10 minutes, said Ashley Turner, of Lincoln.
"You could get in there and get out."
One perk of casting a ballot at First Christian Church: voters were treated to coffee and donuts upon their exit.
"We just wanted to welcome people to our church, because these are our neighborhood people," said Lois Frogge.
There are over 1,100 Lancaster county pollworkers working hard today at 198 polling places. #NEVoteby LancasterCoElectionC via twitter 11/6/2012 6:55:30 PM
Election day deals, free stuff, episode 2:
My favorite original business giveaway so far associated with Election Day: Salon Deja Vu, 1681 Van Dorn St., giving free eyebrow waxes. Here's from the salon's Facebook page: "'Raising the Brow for Women Voters' today at Salon Deja Vu. Women started voting in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th amendment. Let's Celebrate! Any woman that comes into the Salon with her "I Voted" sticker on today ONLY gets a FREE eyebrow wax. VOTE! It counts!"
-- Shelly Kulhanek
Also: People with I Voted stickers get 10 percent off until Nov. 13th at the Lincoln Diet Center.
A refreshing update from East Campus:
No apathetic college kids in the technical communications class Tuesday on East Campus. At least not too many.
In a show-of-hands survey of 13 early-risers, seven had already voted by absentee ballot. They’re registered in other counties, but they didn’t want to miss what – for most – is their first presidential election.
That’s a 53 percent turnout even before Nov. 6 arrived – and that’s better than the 2008 national average that showed 48.5 percent turnout for 18- to 24-year-olds.
But three more students planned to vote before the polls closed, pushing the expected class average to nearly 77 percent, shattering the statewide projection of 70 percent and beating the governor’s challenge.
-- Peter Salter
An easier election night map
Media outlets try to cram as much info as possible into their interactive election maps. Unfortunately, that can make for some confusion among folks who just want to know what states are leaning which way in the presidential race.
This map is clean, simple and seemingly glitch-free: www.guardian.co.uk
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