Today is Election Day in America and — as we awaken from our long, national, somnambulismwe must remember the darkness that brought a heavy depression to our murmuring hearts and a blighted worldview to our unblinking eyes. 


We support Barack Obama for president.  We believe he is the man we need to lead us — not just pull us out of the ditch, but rather rescue us from drowning on the bottom of the ocean. 

America is sinking, and only President Obama can properly win back our international resuscitation.

As the day stretches, we will be updating this post with commentary and
insights fostered throughout the hours until the polls close, and we
invite you to post your insights, knowings and yearnings.

If you hear about, or experience, any “funny business” or voter intimidation, at your local polling place, please do four things:

1. Immediately contact the Obama campaign so they can fight it for others behind you.

2. Then contact Election Protection to go on the record with the harassment.

3.  Finally, post a comment here on Urban Semiotic!  Tell us what happened.  If nothing terrible took place, and you had a reasonably good experience voting, tell us that, too.

4.  Go to Starbucks and get a free cup of coffee for doing your civic duty.   

48 Comments

  1. When I first got in line there were nearly 400 people. I’m writing this from my blackberry. The line is moving pretty briskly, like “it’s a small world” at the disney parks.

  2. Where are you voting, Gordon? In NJ or NYC? 400 people is A LOT! Wowser!
    We just got back, and we both “Voted the ‘A’ Line” all the way. Go Dems! We had about 100 people in front of us. The poll managers are insanely crazy and it’s only been half an hour.
    If you’re not on their voter rolls in Jersey City, you have to “go to court” up the street and get a court order that allows you to vote — and then you come back and vote with a provisional ballot. No provisional ballots this year without a court order.

  3. UPDATE:
    There are nasty robocalls coming from conservative causes targeted at Black and Latino communities.
    1. If a robocall tells you — because of overwhelming voter lines today, only Republicans vote today and Democrats vote tomorrow — do not believe the lie. Go and vote.
    2. If a robocall tells you — immigration police will be at each polling place checking identities — do not believe the lie. Go and vote.
    3. If a roboall tells you — because you are a student voting outside your home state you will lose your financial aid, and your parents will not be able to claim you as a deduction on their taxes — do not believe the lie. Go and vote.
    4. If a robocall tells you — you can “vote via phone right now by pressing ‘one’ instead of going to a polling place today” — do not believe the lie. Go and vote.

  4. From the BBC
    “In the first voting of the day, Mr Obama won by 15 votes to six in the town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
    The town, which has a 60-year tradition of being first in the nation to vote, opened its polls at midnight, with turnout of 100%.”

  5. I voted on 97th street right where I live. My name was not on the roster but they allow an absentee affidavid vote and they gave me another registration card even though I already sent one in!

  6. Love the result, Nicola! In a strange way, I hope Obama loses Ohio to break that state’s hold on electing presidents. No president has ever been elected without winning Ohio. I hope Obama loses that one state just to break that tradition forever.

  7. Gordon! I’m glad you voted. I was surprised you were able to get registered so quickly after moving back to NYC in August. Good for you! I’m glad you’re set in the system now.
    Are you off work today? Is it a float day? Or do you just work a little longer to make up any time you miss while voting?

  8. I left a line off the end of that quote from the BBC
    “It was the first time the town had voted for a Democrat since 1968.”
    I can understand your thoughts in wanting to break such a pattern. A pattern like that places all kinds of expectations on the voters there – almost to the extent of a restriction of their choices.

  9. My normal work hours are 10-6 but because of my leaving early on Fridays I have been coming in early on some days – today, for example, at 9:30. I specifically voted early so that it wouldn’t affect my work schedule 🙂

  10. Awesome commentary David!
    I wish Obama luck and good luck to you all! I won’t be in town for next three days…won’t be online much either – I am keeping my fingers crossed!

  11. Yes, Dananjay, the long lines are very good for Democrats. Over the last 22 months, the Obama campaign registered 1.3 million new voters. That’s his grace and power. In NJ we have 600,000 new voters and in Philadelphia alone, they have over 175,000 new voters — and my rising suspicion is that most of those new voters are Democrat.
    The weather is, so far, really good everywhere.
    Please check your BU.com account and the online portal. Thanks!

  12. UPDATE:
    I forgot to mention that the second we stepped into our polling place — a local school — the fire alarm went off! It was loud and irritating but not one single person exited the building. Everybody stayed for the 15 minutes the alarm was blaring.

  13. I’m seeing on TV, Nicola, that the polling lines around the country are very long and filled with Black, Latino and young people — excellent signs for Obama. Most polling places rarely have lines and most of the people who have voted in the past were older and White.
    Here’s an excellent commentary by SuperGenius Rachel Maddow on how these long lines are a resurrection of the poll tax that was outlawed in 1964:


    Exit Polls will begin to flow in an hour or two.
    By 8-9pm NYC time we’ll know much more because the polls will be closed and ballots will be counted.
    Here’s a great site that shows when the polls close across the nation:
    http://swingstateproject.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3641

  14. Nicola —
    We don’t have more polling stations because Republican Governors do not want minority Democrats to vote. They want to discourage them and push them away. That’s why we need federalized voting for national office because state governors set all the ground rules and they decide how the game is played and ended.
    In the big cities, we don’t even have a cogent evacuation plan for millions of people and the polling places cross their fingers that only a few people will vote because if everyone votes — the whole process melts. Today, the process is fluid on the floor.

  15. I am actually shocked that your system is so bad.
    In the UK we use church halls and local schools as well as other urban municipal buildings (the kids love the day off) to vote.
    You know how remote I am over here – I have less than a mile to go to vote – in the village hall – and I am there and back in 15 minutes.

  16. We have the same sort of all over buildings setup, Nicola, except instead of there being 20 voting booths, we only have 5 or so and each precinct/ward/etc. has to vote at that one booth to keep the count sacred. This morning we had one booth with a line of 75 people and all the rest were empty. It was ridiculous!

  17. “Ohio gozaimasu!” – that’s my japanese joke for the evening. CNN is projecting Ohio for Obama. They are saying that no Republican has ever won without it.

  18. Yeah! Obama is at 200. He needs 270 to win it. He will win California and get 55 electoral votes. That’s 255. If he wins Florida, and so far so good, he will get 27 more. He’ll be at 282 and we can party and go to bed! SMILE!

  19. !!! Now Obama can start with the real work!
    I agree, David. Where was this McCain during the campaign? He began to resemble Bush so much that he just about lost it to himself.