November 6, 2012

We go voting in Madison, Wisconsin at about 10 a.m.

Here's how it looked at our polling place at the First Congregational Church on University Avenue. No line out in the main hallway...

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Or around the corner...

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The inner sanctum:

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102 comments:

phx said...

I really miss the older voting booths.

Bob_R said...

Same basic type of turnout at my polling place in Blacksburg, VA, but there were long lines at other places around town.

FloridaSteve said...

So Ann, did you make your decision again this year while strolling to the polls? eyeroll..

FloridaSteve said...

Strange occurrence today at the polls. I go to vote and the all the "A-Q" last name lines have almost no waiting. The "R-Z" line has almost 30 people in it. That is one strange statistical distribution of last names.

EMD said...

I'm surprised they let you take a photo inside the bowels.

MadisonMan said...

Is that the big basement room? My kids went to UADC there (It was a Day Care then, now it's rebranded as a "Discovery Center"). I love old buildings like that one.

Ann Althouse said...

"So Ann, did you make your decision again this year while strolling to the polls? eyeroll.."

Why would someone who doesn't read this blog think he could get personal answers to questions he directs at me?

By asking that question you identify yourself as a nonreader of this blog.

Michael K said...

Hmmm. That's big Obama country, isn't it ?

Ann Althouse said...

"Is that the big basement room? My kids went to UADC there (It was a Day Care then, now it's rebranded as a "Discovery Center"). I love old buildings like that one."

Yeah. There is a smaller room upstairs that they sometimes use, but we go down a couple flights of stairs for the biggies.

wyo sis said...

It looks like our polling place at about 7:20 this morning. Mind you, we are a very small rural town.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hmmm. That's big Obama country, isn't it ?"

Yes, this is University Heights, immediately west/south of the University.

Shanna said...

I'm hoping for the same when I go vote!

The "R-Z" line has almost 30 people in it.

lots of smith's.

MadisonMan said...

It's too bad this post did not warrant a 'Men in Shorts' tag. Darn this early snow!

Tank said...

Looked like my voting place at 10:40 AM. I waited zero minutes to not vote for Zero or the other guy, whatisname. Couple other races/issues I did vote on.

Captain Curt said...

No lines this morning in my solidly blue precinct in Los Angeles. Only one of the five voting booths was occupied when I got there.

Inga said...

Guess what, no lines in my polling place in Waukesha County.

Ann Althouse said...

"Strange occurrence today at the polls. I go to vote and the all the "A-Q" last name lines have almost no waiting. The "R-Z" line has almost 30 people in it. That is one strange statistical distribution of last names."

Wow. At our place they split just at the letter that would separate me from Meade: A-L/M-Z. And my line was shorter, making it all the more poignant.

Lauderdale Vet said...

This is the first time I have seen actual lines at my polling place (Fort Lauderdale, FL) in 12 years. Today there were lines. People were shyly cracking jokes about what could be different this time around, being careful not to discuss one candidate or another.

edutcher said...

We go to City Hall, even though we're a village.

Michael K said...

Hmmm. That's big Obama country, isn't it ?

10 am should be a little sparse, but I thought the same thing.

That's awfully sparse.

Drago said...

Inga: "Guess what, no lines in my polling place in Waukesha County."

The Republicans are all at work. They'll stop by at noon or right after 5pm.

MikeR said...

In Baltimore in a very black neighborhood, very long lines, longest I can remember. 'Course, no one doubted which way Maryland is going. Much more likely that the Same Sex Marriage proposition will be close.

Maguro said...

Everyone in Madison is busy poring over their copies of the NYT editorial that roesch-voltaire was handing out door to door last night.

Paco Wové said...

Fairly crowded at 7am in deeply purple Iowa. Perhaps not quite as big a crowd as 2008.

garage mahal said...

If Tammy Baldwin wins I hope at her acceptance speech she just says "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT!" and drops the mic.

Shouting Thomas said...

Where's the room where they suppress the voters?

Do they squeeze them into a tin can or something?

Drago said...

Captain Curt: "Only one of the five voting booths was occupied when I got there."

I'm not sure you want to use the word "occupied" given recent history.

I would suggest "in use".

Shawn said...

Wow! You were able to use a phone? At my city hall, poll workers walked up and down the line erupting at people for having a phone. We were told it had to be turned completely off and put away or we'd have to leave.

TWM said...

Curious, no lines at Inga's nor Ann's place. Pray tell, does that mean anything past no one being in line now?

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Strange occurrence today at the polls. I go to vote and the all the "A-Q" last name lines have almost no waiting. The "R-Z" line has almost 30 people in it. That is one strange statistical distribution of last names.

Wow. At our place they split just at the letter that would separate me from Meade: A-L/M-Z. And my line was shorter, making it all the more poignant.


You're a Romantic, Madame.

Must be something about women named Ann.

Ann Althouse said...

"If Tammy Baldwin wins I hope at her acceptance speech she just says "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT!" and drops the mic."

So... you like assholes. Noted.

Inga said...

LMAO Garage! I am so damn sick of that commercial!

gloogle said...

I, too, am surprised you were allowed to take photos at the polls...

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.E. said...

If Madison isn't turning out, then Obama is toast -- and WI turns red, finally!

In my neck of the woods - Waukesha County (highly Republican), I hear there are long lines. Haven't voted yet but going soon.

Drago said...

If Tammy Baldwin loses I hope at her concession speech she just says "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT!" and drops the mic.

mccullough said...

Voting in a church inevitably raises the question: who would Jesus vote for?

M.E. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

M.E.: "If Madison isn't turning out, then Obama is toast -- and WI turns red, finally!"

College towns turn out in the late afternoon since they all go to sleep at 2am.

Inga said...

M.E. I voted earlier in Waukesha County, no lines.

Rusty said...

Soooo. All those people yesterday were there for Springsteen, then?

Steve said...

"If Tammy Baldwin wins. . ." until today I'm sure Garage would have said "When Tammy Baldwin wins." Call Freud, your slip is showing.

Expat(ish) said...

Yeah, I was struck by the phone thing too. And I'm not sure I'd like someone behind me taking my picture while I vote....

OTOH, I am actually in favor of 100% livestreaming HD camera coverage of every single inside/outside polling place in America.

Stop a LOT of fraud.

_XC

garage mahal said...

until today I'm sure Garage would have said "When Tammy Baldwin wins." Call Freud, your slip is showing.

You're damn right I think she will win. The only commenter here that has said so to my knowledge.

MadisonMan said...

I, too, am surprised you were allowed to take photos at the polls.

Why? It's a public facility. There is no expectation of privacy. It's not like you can see who the people are or who they are voting for.

Rusty said...

Inga said...
M.E. I voted earlier in Waukesha County, no lines.

Maybe you were in the wrong place and only thought you voted.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
"So Ann, did you make your decision again this year while strolling to the polls? eyeroll.."

Why would someone who doesn't read this blog think he could get personal answers to questions he directs at me?


C'mon Ann. We gots to know!


garage mahal said...

I've heard from in the past from the GAB it's illegal to take a photo of your ballot and disseminate.

Quayle said...

The Obama voters aren't out of bed yet.

jrberg3 said...

Barely anyone at my polling location in a very red part of Indiana around 7:45 this morning. I was there earlier in the morning in 2008 (6:30 or so, polls open at 6) and had to wait about 30 minutes to vote. Not sure what that means, will have to dive by at lunch to see if there are more people. Also, this is the first year we've had early voting and I heard a lot of people went that route.

jrberg3 said...

"C'mon Ann. We gots to know! "

check the archive. read the posts, it is already there.

marshall2twr said...

My wife and I were #43 and #46 at our polling place in eastern Iowa. We had to wait in line 30 minutes at 7:15 AM this morning (opened at 7 AM). Even in 2008 we didn't have to wait in line.

By the time we left the line was double when we arrived. There were alot of new voters based on the same day registration/provisional ballot line. This is most likely due to recent redistricting. The poll workers were helpful in that regard, making sure that people were at the correct location, or redirecting them if they were not.

TWM said...

"Also, this is the first year we've had early voting and I heard a lot of people went that route."

Early voting does make a noticeably difference at some polling stations. Especially here in red Tennessee. We like to get our voting done with and my guess is you're seeing the same thing.

Steve Ducharme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gaijin42 said...

East side Madison (near East Towne) had no line. I walked in, handed a ballot, and voted. Madison of course will still come out red, but the question is how deep of a red, and will it outweigh the upstate Blue.

FloridaSteve said...

Why would someone who doesn't read this blog think he could get personal answers to questions he directs at me?

By asking that question you identify yourself as a nonreader of this blog."

Oh for crying out loud Ann that was what was intended by the "eyeroll".. We really do need a "sarcasm" font for online discussion. Sometimes your readers might feel more familiar with you than they should. Guilty as charged in this case.

X said...

there was a line at 7am at Fire Station #17. 49th to vote. saw lot of neighbors. everyone seemed chipper. some brought their kids, some brought their dogs. husbands and wives joking about cancelling out each others votes.

firstHat said...

I voted in a very blue town in very blue NJ and there were no lines where there had been in 2008. This along with very very few Obama signs (and only a few more Romney signs) suggests that the Democrat vote is lagging here.

TosaGuy said...

"Inga said...
M.E. I voted earlier in Waukesha County, no lines."

Kathy Nicholas' plan to have all Waukesha Dems vote in one spot worked. ;)

X said...

gaijin you got your colors correct! russert did not want you associating dems with reds.

Broomhandle said...

You must mean red in the mid-century sense.

Gaijin42 said...

doh! I need to go back to remedial Crayola obviously!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I regret very much that no amount of enthusiasm on my part will change the allotment of electoral college votes by my very blue state. For Republicans in California, voting is something of a symbolic act, at least as far as the presidential election is concerned. Anyway, I'll get to cast another vote for the great Darrell Issa, as well as a vote against some of our execrable ballot initiatives. I haven't voted yet, but the wife reports no line at the polling place in our mostly red county.

garage mahal said...

I was #1639 at 11:00 at my polling place. Triple the number from 2010 at the same time. Good news, I'm in one of the bluest wards in the state

LarryK said...

At my polling place slightly west of Ann's, there was a line and a 20 minute wait to vote when I arrived just after 7 AM. I voted and walked out around 7:25, and the line was almost entirely gone - it looked nearly as empty as these pictures.

It was nothing like 2004, when people in my west side neighborhood were fired up to vote against their great Satan, GWBush. The line that day was over an hour long (again at just after 7 AM), and appeared to be as long when I left as when I walked in.

Just one data point, but positive for Romney-Ryan.

John Foster said...

That's racist!

chickelit said...

harangue mahal notes: If Tammy Baldwin wins I hope at her acceptance speech she just says "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT!" and drops the mic.

We expect that from you, garage, but not her.

nsassy15 said...

Just voted in City of Waukesha ward 35. I was voter number 805 (wards 35 + 36) at 10:20 AM.

In the Walker Recall, wards 35 and 36 combined produced a total of 2,795 voters with Walker taking 75% of those votes. This is a good sign for Romney.

1/3 of the total voters in the Walker recall have already voted, and these wards are far more busy after work hours (4 - 8 PM).

There were lines at 10 AM, which I did NOT see in the Walker recall and I voted around the same time of day. I am expecting a HUGE turnout in WOW (Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington) that helps to turn this state red.

Conserve Liberty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanna said...

In Central Arkansas just voted. There was no one in line for s-z (although there were a couple people at the other lines) but all 5 voting spots were taken (we use paper ballots, so I just used the table). This was 11am.

By the time I left there were 5 or 6 people behind me. No doubt how Arkansas will vote, but there is a mayors race and medical marijuana on the ballot.

rehajm said...

"If Tammy Baldwin wins I hope at her acceptance speech she just says "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT!" and drops the mic."

So... you like assholes. Noted



Speaking of assholes, that's pretty much Barney Frank's last acceptance speech, though Barney had a little less flair...

Conserve Liberty said...

My Polling Place is for two Precincts in a purplish area of St. Louis County, MO. In 2008 there were 1396 voters registered and 1178 cast ballots - nearly 83%. In 2004 85.5% of 1335 voters registered cast ballots.

Polls open at 6:00 and I arrived about 7:20. I was voter #168, so they were pushing about 2 voters a minute through. The line was about 20 people deep before the check-in tables and then 5 or 6 people before I got to a voting station (I chose the paper ballot option). I finished and was in my car before 8:00 - so about half an hour all in.

My wife voted half an hour behind me and says the line (20), the time waiting (<half hour) and the trend were the same - about two voters a minute.

That's absolutely typical for a big election.

Interestingly, this time the Board of Election Commissioners didn't discriminate allocations of (faster) electronic voting machines between Polling Places - they all got the same ratio of paper to electronic regardless of historical vote totals.

FWIW in 2000 and 2004 56.x% voted for Bush. In 2008 59% voted for Obama. In all three elections 58.x% voted for Akin (R) as our Congressman, so there was a lot of crossover voting for Obama.

but I am a robot said...

Just voted.

My decision, of course, was informed by my penis.

That's how we're supposed to vote, right? Listen to our genitalia?

Darrell said...

How long did I have to wait to vote?

Four years.
But it was worth it.

PatCA said...

In my mostly GOP district, voting was heavy! Meaning you had to wait a few minutes for a booth. Never saw that before.

I guess they're fired up EC or not!

KLDAVIS said...

Voted over lunch last Wednesday at the Cook County Administration Building, the only early voting location in downtown Chicago. I was expecting to wait at least a half hour...all told, door-to-door took less than 15 minutes, and most of that was voting down inept judges. There's no joy in Obamaville this year.

aronamos said...

In Northern Virginia, the wait is a solid hour or worse, even at mid-morning.

ricpic said...

Usually 10 AM is fairly busy if there are a significant number of senior citoyens in a district. I have no idea but maybe they are relatively scarce in Althouse's district.

roesch/voltaire said...

I voted at 8:30 this morning and was number 275 with only a small wait while about 30ty of us lined up to vote-- and most encouraging in my community which has many of the older generation, I saw four under thirty folks signing up to vote; they must have read the editorial :)

David said...

It took me two hours ten minutes in line to vote in SC this morning.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow! You were able to use a phone? At my city hall, poll workers walked up and down the line erupting at people for having a phone. We were told it had to be turned completely off and put away or we'd have to leave."

It's funny that people these days assume that if a photograph was taken, it was taken with a phone.

I used a Panasonic Lumix camera.

And I fuzzed out the face of the one person who might have been recognizable.

All pictures were taken from a respectful distance.

This is a major, public event, and I'm photographing something of public importance, not infringing on anyone's privacy.

Icepick said...

Professor Althouse, is it safe to assume this is a lighter turnout than 2008? How about for the recall election?

Also, does WI have early voting?

Sorry for the questions but I am curious. I'm going to check archives for some answers.

Icepick said...

And way back when I find this bit in the archives: Mitt Romney gives some advice to the new President.

Ann Althouse said...

I was the 600th or so voter in my district, btw. I talked to a poll worker who said it was more crowded earlier. i have more flexibility with my hours so I avoid the before-work/after-work times that some people need to use.

"Usually 10 AM is fairly busy if there are a significant number of senior citoyens in a district. I have no idea but maybe they are relatively scarce in Althouse's district."

This neighborhood is partly student rental property and partly rather expensive houses. The houses were traditionally owned by UW faculty, but I think these days faculty are more likely to live in somewhat less expensive neighborhoods and there are more people in the professions and the tech industry.

The faculty holdovers like me tend to be older. You can't assume older people don't work! And faculty have flexible hours. So... to the extent that I'm typical: I'm a bit old, I work fair amount, and I have very flexible hours.

Seven Machos said...

I second the question above. It would be really great to compare to past elections at the same polling location, and if possible note the time of day then v. now.

Serious question. No eye roll.

Seven Machos said...

...Compare the number of people at the polling place and the mood...

James said...

East side Madison (near East Towne) had no line. I walked in, handed a ballot, and voted. Madison of course will still come out red, but the question is how deep of a red, and will it outweigh the upstate Blue.

Heh...

James said...

Wisconsin has two weeks of early and absentee voting, ending on the Friday preceding the election day.

Icepick said...

Thanks for the info, James.

Here's Althouse's post following results in 2008.

Live-blogging the election returns!

Early in the post she has pictures of her polling station, but nothing that allows for a direct comparison. The best indication I see of turnout is this quote:

Althouse: 5:48: Polls about to close in a lot of places at the top of the hour, so let's while away the moments by looking at the sedate polling place where I arrived at 9:15. Enter:

DSC09597

Vote:

DSC09601

Drop by the church-school bake sale:


DSC09600


The DSCs designate photos, of course.

So it sounds like it's usually sedate there. The Professor mentions that she can choose her times to avoid crowds, but based on what I saw driving around this morning a lot of polling places in the west Orlando area will likely have lines at all times.

I'll go looking for the Walker recall stuff next.

Icepick said...

And here's an old post about pygmy hippos:

Rare pygmy hippo for President!

"Rare pygmy hippo offers hope."


It actually relates to an earlier link I provided!

...

Rasmussen is reporting he has no idea what's going to happen.

Icepick said...

Here's Althouse's post on her voting experience during the Walker recall vote last June.

Civic duty accomplished: We have voted. Here's the text:

Too late to try to influence us with late-breaking indictments and 25-year-old love children. We took a nice walk — er — over to the First Congregational Church where they'd made a polling place out of the big downstairs auditorium instead of the usual little ground-floor room. There was no line, but I was #220 at 8:15 a.m. The polls opened at 7, so maybe there were lines earlier — citizens who'd moved on into the workplace.

"Did you absentee vote?" I was asked as I checked in.

"No, I prefer the theater of in-person voting," I said, and the woman checking me in said that she did too.

The mood in the place was somber. I didn't bother to take a blue folder that's provided to hide the ballot as you go from the place where you draw a black marker line completing the arrows that point at the names of the candidates you like to the machine that sucks in the ballot and makes that reassuring noise that tells you the ballot is now truly and securely collected. But the young woman after me wielded the blue folder with great care as she approached the machine. So secretive! You know what that means.

Here in Madison, Wisconsin.


So, Professor, did you see many blue folders today? :)

Also, 220 votes by 8:15 in June, 600 votes by around 10:00 this time.

marbee said...

My vote was #911, fitting I'd say!

chickelit said...

Wow, pretty empty-looking polling places/churches.

What after all are churches in Madison now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of freedom of expression?

Meade said...

but I am a robot said...
"Just voted.

My decision, of course, was informed by my penis.

That's how we're supposed to vote, right? Listen to our genitalia?"

Sort of. But only if your penis is a vagina.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Back from voting. The L-Z line had six people in it, the A-M had none. Apparently they just divide the alphabet in half rather than dividing the number of registered voters in half. Listen to me, engineers should run everything. The world would be a much better place.

Sorun said...

I like Wisconsin's ballots. Big paper ballots that you mark with a pen, connecting two arrows to mark you choice. I don't trust electronic voting machines.

Sorun said...

I see on FNC there are big lines (some hours long?) in Florida and Virginia. But in Madison, no waiting. I wonder why the big difference.

Bart DePalma said...

We Republicans in CO were in a hurry this year and out did the Dems in early voting. My family mailed their ballots a couple weeks back.

My rural mountain county is well above 80% turnout now.

MadisonMan said...

I like Wisconsin's ballots. Big paper ballots that you mark with a pen, connecting two arrows to mark you choice.

Agreed. And that very satisfying noise the scanner makes when it sucks in the ballot.

Curious George said...

"Sorun said...
I like Wisconsin's ballots. Big paper ballots that you mark with a pen, connecting two arrows to mark you choice. I don't trust electronic voting machines."

+1 No straight ticket option this time though.

Mrs. X said...

I voted at 12:30-ish, upper west side of Manhattan, ground zero of liberalism (me excepted). The line was out the door--something I have never seen, not in 2008, just never.

I have no idea what this means.

I was voter 242 in my district and the polling location houses about 6 election districts. We were not affected by Sandy, so that can't be the issue.

Erika said...

My work is a polling place and I was a few minutes late clocking in after not being able to find a parking spot. The lot was full all day, even with two other polling locations within one square mile. We don't have absentee voting in Texas other than for the disabled, but we do have early voting for two weeks and it was busy then too. I look forward to seeing the turnout numbers. We won't furnish any surprises, nationally, of course.

sydney said...

I was a poll observer at my own polling precinct. There was a steady line all day long from opening to about 6:45PM. I had a bad feeling for Romney looking at the crowd. Mostly college kids and women I know who vote with their vaginas. It was slower than usual because 4% of the ballots cast were provisional. The poll workers there told me that was an unusually high number. Even if Romney had won by a close margin, you can bet the Democrats would have found the votes they needed in those provisional ballots.