Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Election Day Open Thread


Lines at our polling place were two hours long this morning, half the scanning machines broke (leaving only two for a very densely-populated urban neighborhood, what a disgrace!), and it was hot as balls in the school gym where we were packed in like sardines waiting to vote. But I did it! Have you voted? What are your polling places like today? And how’s the weather where you are? It’s raining hard here in NYC, and rain often deters potential voters from getting out (with that being historically beneficial for Republicsns), so that’s a bummer. But here’s hoping in places with tighter races and more on the line, the weather is cooperating.

I’m nervous today and keep flashing back to election night two years ago and what a horrible feeling it was watching the results come in. I don’t know whether to avoid the news for the rest of the day or to keep an eye on how things are going. If you fall in the latter camp, here are a few articles you may find helpful: A Field Guide to the Most Competitive House Races in America; The 16 most interesting House races of 2018 and the 10 most important Senate elections; 7 key races that tell the story of the 2018 midterms. (all via NextDraft)

55 comments… add one
  • LadyinPurpleNotRed

    LadyinPurpleNotRed November 6, 2018, 12:12 pm

    I was in line at 6:50 and it took about 45 minutes for me to finish voting. It’s windy here right now, but the rain is holding off. My boyfriend voted yesterday in the middle of the afternoon and it took him over 2 hours to vote.

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  • avatar

    Kate November 6, 2018, 12:26 pm

    I was 8th in line and it took 20 mins. There was confusion around whether to go to precinct 1 or 2 table, and which volunteer was covering which street names. And I had to wait a couple minutes for a free booth. I can only imagine later tonight after work it will be a slog.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom November 6, 2018, 12:27 pm

    I voted yesterday. My husband and daughter voted on Sunday and my son voted weeks ago. Early voting has been huge here.

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  • becboo84

    becboo84 November 6, 2018, 12:30 pm

    My husband voted at 6:15 this morning, and was #26 for the day, which is really high for our small town (that unfortunately went 65% Trump in 2016). I plan on taking the 3 kiddos to vote with me after work. We normally go as a family, but the husband had to head out of town, and we weren’t all going to the polls at the crack of dawn. We live in IL-13 (leans Republican, but considered a possible seat to flip for Dems).

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  • avatar

    _s_ November 6, 2018, 12:32 pm

    I voted a few weeks ago, was able to literally just walk right in and vote. But I did hear tales of long waits even for early voting, and ongoing reports of record-breaking turnout – which sounds good until you remember it only means voter turnout is upgraded from “abysmal” to “poor.” So I’m still bracing myself for crushing disappointment. It’s overcast, foggy, and misty here, but not full out raining.

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    • Copa

      Copa November 6, 2018, 12:36 pm

      My sister waited an hour for early voting! An acquaintance I spoke to said he did it over the weekend and waited two hours in the rain! 😮 I usually do early voting and have almost always had the experience of walking right in and voting, no wait, but seems like that wasn’t the case this time for the people I’ve spoken to.

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  • Copa

    Copa November 6, 2018, 12:33 pm

    I meant to vote early as I usually do, but time got away from me, so I did it this morning before work. I got in line at maybe 7:15, and it took about 30 minutes. I live right around the corner from my polling place, so I decided to bring my doggie with me while we were out for our morning stroll (could’ve easily run him home if it had been an issue, but it wasn’t). He got a lot of compliments and head pats from strangers while we waited. 🙂 Glad I got there when I did because it’s been pretty dreary/rainy here, and within a few minutes the line was out the door and wrapping around the outside of the building.

    I always feel proud and empowered when I vote, and that’s how I felt when I left, but as the day goes on I’ve noticed my mood dropping. I’m nervous.

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  • avatar

    AnotherAmanda November 6, 2018, 12:38 pm

    I have never gone to a polling place. I always vote by mail. So much easier. Where we live now even has collection boxes so no cost.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy November 6, 2018, 2:16 pm

      We don’t have the option of early voting here, unfortunately. Every state should offer early and mail-in votes, and Election Day should be a federal holiday. Voting is broken in this country.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph November 7, 2018, 2:03 am

        For a certain party, this is a feature not a bug.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny November 6, 2018, 12:52 pm

    I sent my ballot in by mail last week (I’m permanently mail-in) so election day is a little anticlimactic for me! I’m really curious to see the stats on how many people came out to vote today though- this is such a high stakes election!

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  • othy

    othy November 6, 2018, 1:07 pm

    My state has started sending out mail in ballots to everyone. If you don’t want to vote by mail, then you can still go into the polling stations. Already, voter turnout has reached 2016 levels, and that’s not including all of the people who are voting today.

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  • avatar

    thatgirl November 6, 2018, 1:11 pm

    I voted at 7:45 this morning. Our polling place was almost empty. No line, no hassles! Took 2 of my kiddos…one voted also, the other has gone with me to vote since she was super young!

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  • avatar

    Purposefully November 6, 2018, 1:20 pm

    I rolled into my polling place (rural firehouse location) at 8:00am, to vote and grab an ‘I Voted’ sticker. Rushed to my FIL’s to drop my daughter off (she is off in honor of the day) before heading to work. I am leaving an hour early today to head to my church to help serve at our Annual Election Day Ham Dinner. I could have voted tonight after the dinner, but I wanted a sticker to wear during the dinner, both as a display of patriotism and as encouragement to others. ♥

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie November 6, 2018, 2:26 pm

      Is this your local version of Pork Barrel politics? Please tell me the pork puns fly during this dinner.

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  • avatar

    bondgirl November 6, 2018, 1:24 pm

    my polling place was relatively empty too when I went to vote this morning. I also heard a few places ran out of the “I voted stickers” prior to 7AM. I was never offered one.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse November 6, 2018, 1:26 pm

    I voted in person today! My state doesn’t do early voting, and absentee ballots are only accepted with a state approved reason. It wasn’t too bad, maybe a ten minute wait.

    I loved voting by mail in WA. I think it would be so much easier for everyone if all states did vote by mail, with designated polling places open for a week. Everyone should be automatically registered at age 18.

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  • avatar

    ktfran November 6, 2018, 1:38 pm

    Voted! Got there around 6:45 and it took about 20 minutes. There weren’t too many people in line, but we also live in this minuscule peninsula in our ward. The bulk of our ward is north and west of us. We would have only been there 10 or 15 minutes had the volunteers had their act together! It was a madhouse. It makes me want to volunteer next year.

    Anyway, voting was kind of lackluster. There wasn’t an important senate or house seat up for grabs. The main vote was for Governor. The choices were horrid. I’m really excited to vote for our next mayor in February.

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  • avatar

    Vathena November 6, 2018, 1:38 pm

    I voted on my way to work around 8am in Alexandria, VA. About 10 minutes in line, not too long but a steady stream. I heard that by around noon we’d had 45% turnout, already much higher than for our statewide elections last year (that was 36% turnout locally, but the Democratic candidate for governor won by 9% and we picked up almost enough seats to flip the statehouse). I also just saw that another area of the state, in VA-1, is already seeing higher turnout than in 2016. There are a lot of Democratic women running in the Virginia congressional races, in seats currently held by Republicans. Many of these seats are flippable; the races are tight! Polls will close at 7pm, keep an eye on VA-10 (Jennifer Wexton), VA-7 (Abigail Spanberger), VA-5 (Leslie Cockburn), VA-2 (Elaine Luria), VA-1 (Vangie Williams). I’ve knocked doors for Wexton and Spanberger and I really hope I helped get them across the finish line. Gosh I’m so nervous.

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    • avatar

      Buzzlebee November 6, 2018, 4:26 pm

      Hello fellow Alexandria voter!!

      I voted at lunch at Durrant and there was no line and was in and out quickly but I’ve never seen a line there midday. From hearing from friends it seems like voting has gone smoothly around here.

      I’m really hopeful for the blue wave in VA. I have particular hatred for Comstock so come on VA 10 voters!!!

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  • avatar

    ron November 6, 2018, 1:40 pm

    We voted at 11:00 on the way back from a meeting. The poll workers said that turnout had been heavy for that time of day. It has been raining on and off all day and was really heavy rain when we voted. One of the staunch Republicans at our morning meeting volunteered that his Republican wife was so angry at Trump that she was voting straight Democratic Party.

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  • avatar

    Allornone November 6, 2018, 2:17 pm

    I received my Vote-by-Mail ballot weeks ago. I filled it out and sent it in the very next morning. I made sure my bf filled his out as well. We live Florida; I’m taking no chances.

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  • avatar

    Rangerchic November 6, 2018, 2:18 pm

    Being in Colorado, we are mailed ballots. However, you can go to a polling place as well. We all turned in our ballots on Sunday along with our 18 year old who voted for the first time! I’m glad she voted.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie November 6, 2018, 2:22 pm

    My client went mid-day and said her poll was packed. I am planning on going in a couple of hours. A relative is running in a local race and the results won’t be posted until tonight. I decided to give into my Jewish roots and not send him a pre-congratulatory bottle of champagne. If he wins, I’ll bring one when I see them in a couple of weeks.

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie November 6, 2018, 4:38 pm

      Definitely more crowded than two years ago. When I left it was beginning to pick up. Still, it’s NYC – it’s not like we’ll be surprised by anything except the three referendums on political funding/community board/community engagement proposals.

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  • courtney89

    courtney89 November 6, 2018, 3:18 pm

    Got to my polling place around 6:20 this morning before work and voted. Maybe 10 people also there voting.

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  • avatar

    kriskros November 6, 2018, 4:08 pm

    In Oregon we all get a ballot by mail and we can either send it in or drop it off at a drop box. It’s so much easier! We are also registered to vote automatically when we get our drivers license.

    This whole waiting in line non-sense is just so ridiculous, when will the rest of the country make it a priority to vote more easily??

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  • avatar

    Ange November 6, 2018, 4:21 pm

    One good thing about compulsory voting is there is generally pretty good organisation at the polls and plenty of ways to vote early, my goodness all that sounds like a slog!

    Good on you guys for going through it, I have my fingers crossed over here.

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  • avatar

    JD November 6, 2018, 4:27 pm

    My lazy butt got my absentee ballot sent to me because I had a feeling it would be cold as butt today and I didn’t want to wait in line and deal with it. So I voted a week ago and I was right, it is cold as balls, windy as heck, and when I went by people were lined up out the door in the cold. Sometimes my laziness pays off!

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  • Lady_Red

    Lady_Red November 6, 2018, 5:45 pm

    I am so thankful that we have mail-in voting in WA! I procrastinated as usual, and dropped it off at a drop box this morning. Apparently our county already had almost 50% of registered voters turn in their ballots before today, so it looks like it’s going to be a pretty high turnout!

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  • avatar

    alafair November 6, 2018, 6:35 pm

    I’m a hiring manager and have been encouraging all of my team to go vote – we make it really easy here and let people go during working hours with no penalty 🙂

    I also voted today – had to do the in person thing because I couldn’t update my address after a recent move before the deadline. (I’m a mail in voter usually). Took about 45 minutes to get the provisional ballot done.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about the house. Here’s hoping we get more rational people in there!

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie November 6, 2018, 7:15 pm

    For those who are interested, there is an interactive map on NYTimes with voter sentiment, Angry, Sad, Afraid, Neutral, Happy, Laughing. Right now Afraid is running about 40-50% the other sentiments trail.
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/05/opinion/election-midterms-2018-emotions.html

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  • avatar

    anonymousse November 6, 2018, 8:44 pm

    I’m on the edge of my seat. I can’t help but remember how aghast I was two years ago while watching the results come in. I can hardly believe it’s been that long. I can’t stop checking for more results. Argh.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl November 6, 2018, 9:58 pm

    A friend came over and watched the baby so I could run over and vote. And I still messed up the judges and had to redo it!

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  • avatar

    Kate November 7, 2018, 5:54 am

    Florida is so bizarre and frankly suspicious.

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    • avatar

      bondgirl November 7, 2018, 10:20 am

      I am so so disappointed in the outcome of their governor race. Was seriously pulling for Andrew Gullum. Same goes for Beto O’Rourke in the Texas’s race for Senator. Really thought they’d win.

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie November 7, 2018, 10:28 am

        Texas was fraught with voting issues including faulty machines, late starts at polling places (necessitating a judge demanding 9 polling places stay open an hour later) and two polling employees (at separate locations) attacking voters (white women attacking women of color) who had questions. One has been charged with a misdemeanor. Another polling rep said that she suspects the employee in question was clearly aiming for a fight or disrupting voting.

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        _s_ November 7, 2018, 2:35 pm

        Texas isn’t a total loss – nobody thought Beto or any of the Texas statewide office candidates had a chance to win, and they didn’t, but they DID get a lot closer than anyone predicted. And Texas did flip 15 or 16 congressional seats – 2 in the US House, 2 in the Texas Senate, and 11 or 12 in the Texas House (in the 12th the Republican lost by less than 50 votes, so will surely ask for a recount). That’s not nothing, and it’s a hell of a lot more than anyone predicted.

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    LisforLeslie November 7, 2018, 6:33 am

    Kate – it’s not that suspicious. Up North, it’s like the South. West panhandle, very much like the South. On the East side you have a bunch of old folks who live in gated communities, most of whom don’t know any PoC even though all of the gardeners, waiters, valets, security people, home health aides are PoC. They are completely and mostly motivated by money. Key West may have been on a collective peyote trip and not known it was election day.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph November 7, 2018, 6:53 am

      Your “East side” description makes me wonder if you know my grandparents. So accurate.

      My grandfather almost certainly voted for Trump (I don’t ask because I don’t want to be even more disappointed than I already am, which is a lot). So I don’t go home for the holidays often.

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie November 7, 2018, 8:06 am

        I spent 4 months with my mom after my step dad passed in Boca. There are a lot of liberals there, don’t get me wrong, my mom is blue through and through.

        Michael Cohen’s folks – as in THE MICHAEL COHEN – live in my mom’s gated community. I’ve got a couple of lovely stories of my mom’s encounters with her.

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        ktfran November 7, 2018, 8:47 am

        I agree with List’s assessment of the panhandle and east coast. I’ve lived it. Don’t forget the center of the state too. Cattle ranches and sugar fields. They’re the reason the inter coastal are so polluted and will protect their interest.

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    • avatar

      Kate November 7, 2018, 9:16 am

      I get all that, but I mean that it always ends up being so suspiciously close and going into legal proceedings, right?

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        LisforLeslie November 7, 2018, 10:06 am

        I think the machine in Florida is decidedly crooked but I think it’s relatively equally distributed – like NY is. I’m much more concerned about the legality of Georgia. Kemp has had 6 judgments against his attempts to restrict voting and he’s still in charge of election results.

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    LisforLeslie November 7, 2018, 6:34 am

    Oh – but my BIL won an Town Council seat in his state. So way to go!

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    d2 November 7, 2018, 7:53 am

    I go early (half hour before the polls open at 7:00 am) and am usually one of the first in line. I could do early mail in, but for me it feels good to do it in person.

    The results this year were particularly exciting – the US house and senate seats for my district were all won by democratic women – two in their first time run!

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy November 7, 2018, 8:00 am

    Ok, so there were some big disappointments last night and it wasn’t the blue tsunami lots of us were hoping for. But! There is much to be heartened by: dems won back the house! The first two muslim women were elected to congress! First Native American elected to congress! First openly gay man elected as governor! Massachusetts elected its first black woman to congress! Democrats oust Walker in Wisconsin and Kobach in Kansas! Max Rose, a democrat, won a house seat in deep red Staten Island! Massachusetts voted to protect transgender rights! Change is happening. It’s not happening as quickly as some of us might like, but it’s happening. There’s a lot to feel good and hopeful about. After these past two awful years, I’ll take it.

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      LisforLeslie November 7, 2018, 8:26 am

      I think the big take away is that the polls were packed. People were pissed. They saw what happens when apathy takes over. The big races were TIGHT. Like nail biting tight. It’s a message: Don’t get comfortable.

      Oh and while Florida may have been won by a total racist – but they also opened up voting to felons who served their time. So the next election is going to look rather different.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh November 7, 2018, 8:46 am

      Logging on to say that in SC-1 Joe Cunningham won against Katie Arrington (forever Trumper). It’s the seat Mark Sanford lost to Arrington in the primary. That seat has been Republican since 1981.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy November 7, 2018, 9:06 am

        That’s great!!

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        Vathena November 7, 2018, 10:24 am

        That’s awesome! And while that racist shitbag Steve King held on in Iowa, I hope for awhile that he was crapping his pants. It was close. (Seriously who’s voting for this guy, ugh!)

        The two candidates I knocked doors for in Virginia, Jennifer Wexton and Abigail Spanberger, both won!! Three House seats in Virginia flipped blue to women.

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      bondgirl November 7, 2018, 10:16 am

      my district has been in Republican control since before I was born, and am thrilled that a woman Democrat has now finally taken over!!!!

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  • avatar

    Miss MJ November 7, 2018, 11:30 am

    I was really disappointed when I woke up. Happy that we got the House and excited for the diversity of the incoming reps, but I live in FL and I’m so disgusted that DeSantis won. I’m trying not to be too deflated, but I don’t think that FL is going to be purple again any time soon. Even with the re-enfranchisement of felons, since the GOP controls everything and can make the process of them registering to vote horrifically burdensome.

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      golfer.gal November 7, 2018, 12:12 pm

      I was actually afraid to look at the results last night. Hugely relieved we won back the house, disappointed we didn’t take both but this will be a thorn in Trump’s side for the 2 years until we can get that monster out of there.

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