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I have to vote early, because I'll be out-of-state on Election Day. I'll be using whatever authority my law license provides to do election protection, once again. Beginning with the '04 election, Virginia has been my home away from home on Election Day. This year will be no exception. So, once again, I prepared to take advantage of early voting, which began today in Maryland.

Right now, I'm safely ensconced on my girlfriend's couch now, watching my beloved DC United take on the Chicago Fire in the final regular-season match, before the teams head to the playoffs -- but, an hour and a half ago, I thought I'd try to go vote, before the game started. My girlfriend lives in the "wrong" county, but there is an early voting center about 6 miles away across the county border, in my home county, Montgomery County. Know this about Montgomery County: It is one of the bluest counties in the country. Although it was represented for years by the last moderate Republican in the House, Connie Morella, it is as safe as safe gets for a Democrat these days.  When you vote in this county, it  is more an expression of democratic duty than a desire to help Democratic candidates. Few races are ever in doubt, and there is no chance of a GOP Presidential candidate winning the state.

So, when I found a line that wrapped around and up and down the halls of the senior center, and then out the door, I was a tad surprised. I knew there was no way I could stand on the line and still see any of the game. So, I headed back to the girlfriend's house, figuring out when I could return. If the line I saw in a solid Democratic county is reflective, then there's no enthusiasm issue. People are determined to come out and vote for Obama and the Democratic ticket, even in a state -- and county -- that's solidly Democratic.

Very encouraging.

Poll

How are the lines in your district?

14%8 votes
10%6 votes
23%13 votes
16%9 votes
12%7 votes
21%12 votes

| 55 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I suppose the coming mega-storm might be a factor (10+ / 0-)

    I know that I have some free time on Tuesday and again on Thursday, before the early voting closes -- but with a potential natural disaster and near-certain power outages approaching, I want to get my vote in before the storm hits Monday. No doubt, that's a factor for all those standing on line. Still, it's really exciting to see a line that was so long -- and all those people determined to wait, possibly for hours, to cast their vote.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:22:54 PM PDT

  •  Posted a comment on my 2 hour wait to vote (6+ / 0-)

    in the open thread.

    I think it's this heavy because of the approaching hurricane, but, still, I teared up when I saw the line wrapped around the building. People really are charged up, again.

    Radarlady

  •  I am also... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FischFry, radarlady, JanetT in MD

    ...a Maryland voter and mega DC United fan. Have been since their inception. I will be early voting in MD as well, just not today...

    "Good to be here, good to be anywhere." --Keith Richards

    by bradreiman on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:27:43 PM PDT

  •  Gooooooaaaaaallll!!! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FischFry, radarlady

    "Good to be here, good to be anywhere." --Keith Richards

    by bradreiman on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:30:35 PM PDT

  •  Ballot questions (4+ / 0-)

    They say marriage and gambling are bringing folks out.

    •  Whatever... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, ms badger

      ...it takes. I know MD is as blue as the Bora Bora outer reef but numbers are good as well as down ballot...

      "Good to be here, good to be anywhere." --Keith Richards

      by bradreiman on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:35:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ballot question are big ones, to be sure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady

      I just wonder how many came out and stayed to wait on those lines just for the ballot questions.

      If I'm indicative, I'm ambivalent about two of the four questions -- not the Dream Act o for marriage equality. I don't know that I'm keen on the gambling. I would welcome the tax revenue, but wonder what it will cost us in the end. As for the gerrymandering -- while I appreciate the push to get Bartlett out of the House, I cannot condone the absurd map the Maryland Dems came up with.

      I'm sure that there are folks who feel strongly enough to stay and vote on the marriage or gambling bills. Maybe even the Dream Act bit (though it seems that non-citizens would be more engaged on the issue). I'm not questioning that there are those who are determined to vote on those questions, but I suspect that's small minority.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:42:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My more positive spin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radarlady, ms badger

        is that the nonstop ads in the DC market have convinced MD Dems that Romney is worth voting against, even in a blue state with the electoral college system.

      •  I spoke with a few in line today while waiting (0+ / 0-)

        to vote in Baltimore City.  Everyone that I spoke with agreed that the gambling issue was a non starter for them.  The money will not go to the schools as promised.  That was what the lottery was supposed to be allocated for and it went into the 'general fund'.

        •  It is different (0+ / 0-)

          There will be money going into the education trust fund and spent on school construction. That is guaranteed under the law we're voting on. Will that mean additional money being spent on education and schools? Maybe. Maybe not.

          It will, without a doubt, increase tax revenues for the state -- the general fund. How is that a bad thing?

          The state wants to build the Purple Line from PG County to Bethesda. They want to build the Corridor Cities transit way which will facilitate Johns Hopkins Science City construction north of Rockville. Finally, in Baltimore, they want to continue the Red LIne expansion.

          There is, maybe, the money for one of those projects coming from the federal government. The others won't get built, unless the state can come up with new revenues.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 07:45:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Lines were very long (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, ms badger

    .... around the block, according to photos posted by locals on FB this morning.

    Going to go try my luck shortly... polls are open until 8, and they've been very busy all day, across Mont. county, according to the county website.

    Approaching weather probably is encouraging folks to get it done early, too.  

  •  minor unrelated note re: Connie Morella... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady

    I had her for a teacher back in the very early 70s... at Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, a very nice person, good instructor... was just mildly disappointed back then that she was going to run as a Republican... but as her subsequent career bore out... she was the only kind of Republican who could have been reelected for term after term in a really Blue district like that....

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 02:55:41 PM PDT

  •  An hour wait here in Louisiana (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Purdue219, ms badger, Woody

    for early voting. I proudly voted FOR our president and against Former Democrat turned Turncoat Tea-Publican Congressman Rodney Alexander. Had to vote for "No Party" candidate as no Dem even bothered to file.
    Not much on the ballot except the usual crop of Constitutional Amendments designed to enrich someone's bank account.
    Since almost no signage or bumper stickers though maybe the Christian Right wouldn't turn out for "Morman Mitt", but doesn't look to be the case. Pretty sure most weren't voting for our President, but I could be wrong.

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 03:00:29 PM PDT

  •  I will return on Sunday (7+ / 0-)

    The line was too long for my family to vote today in Maryland. My 80 year old mother couldn't take the 3 to 4 hour wait.   We are going back tomorrow.  The reason we are going to the vote is to keep President Obama in the White house, marriage equality, and the dream act.

    My mom loves the President. She grew up in the Jim Crow South and is over joyed that she lived to see Obama elected. She remembers Jim Crow and its hardships for our family. She thinks the push to move more power to the States is a bad move...they can't be trusted to protect our liberties.   She believes in marriage equality and the Dream Act.  So we will vote tomorrow.  OBAMA/BIDEN 2012.

    Oracle2021: Reality according to Mitt Romney "Why tell the truth when a lie will suffice...the bigger the lie the bigger the pay off"

    by Oracle2021 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 03:06:03 PM PDT

  •  same here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady

    in balto. city. My wife went to vote early today and the line was down the hall, up another hall and out the door!
    Great News! Lets go B-More!

  •  Vamos United ;) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady

    Little sketchy there at the end but great stuff...

    "Good to be here, good to be anywhere." --Keith Richards

    by bradreiman on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 03:17:30 PM PDT

  •  Long line of happy voters in Charles County, MD! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little Flower, Woody

    Waited 1h20m in a 300+ voter line here at the sole early voting site in Southern Maryland's blue (if slightly less affluent) Charles County. Spirits were high, folks were genial, courteous, solicitous of lost oldsters and the many disabled.  I first saw the cars crowded together from a distance, from my spot at a traffic light, half a mile away.  I spontaneously started clapping and whooping with joy.  And when I eventually walked over, I applauded those standing in the line as I made my way toward its end.  There were smiles, a few cocked heads, but I was simply ecstatic.  I know we're close to being a minority-majority county, and a bit over half of my neighbors in line were black.  But there were children there, too, and first-voting teens, and discussions about the coming storm (Sandy), storm surges and sandbags, and political issues, too.  It was just wonderful.  (And so were the election officials inside.)

    •  Did any of them (0+ / 0-)

      specifically indicate being motivated to vote against marriage equality?

      •  didn't get the sense they were anti- (0+ / 0-)

        But we're a bit different from PG, StM, and Calvert, despite the votes of our representatives in the MD legislature (for which I firmly chided them).  Having an on-again, off-again memory, I had already filled out my sample ballot, with a strong YES on Prop 6, and those who asked to read it through indicated agreement with my stand on 6.  There was far more conversation about Prop 7, the gambling issue, which older Charles Countians will remember from when we had slots back through the 60s.  I see NO anti-6 signs around, and I get only Ms for Equality e-mails, so I have no other data to provide you.  

  •  Morgantown WV: I voted early on Wednesday. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purdue219, ms badger, SoCalLiberal, Woody

    The county clerk says that the voting was heavier than normal. Today my wife and kids went to vote and she said the lines were very long.

    Obama won't win WV, but we hope to carry the county. Even more inmportant, we have many competitive down ticket races.

  •  I voted today in Baltimore City (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal, Vrolki

    at the Coldspring site.  My daughter (18 and her first time voting) waited about 2 hours to vote.  I am going to diary a misleading handout by the Sobhani camp which made me as well as many others in line very angry.  It painted Obama as being against same sex marriage.  Many tore them up.  It pictured Obama on the front and a 'sample' ballot on the back against Question 6 checked.  Very very misleading although probably not against the law.  

  •  Howard County Maryland had long lines too! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ms badger

    I had to stand in line nearly 30 minutes. A gentleman standing in front of me said he had stopped at the Columbia early voting location and was told the wait was twice as long. A voting official that lead me to my booth said this was the busiest she had ever seen.

    " And the pity of it is, that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.” Rod Serling, "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street"

    by PurpleThistles on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 04:14:17 PM PDT

  •  Waited in line..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalLiberal, Woody

    .... about an hour to get to vote, but the line was moving pretty quickly, overall.  They had over 20 voting machines in our Early Voting location in Silver Spring.  From the judges' reports (posted outside, per their rules) -- as of 5pm, over 1500 people had voted in that location.  The overwhelming majority were Dems. (which is normal for this county, of course.)

    Saw lots of signs -- many advocating FOR question 6 (ratifying marriage equality).  NOT ONE sign against.  In this part of the state, marriage equality is not a controversial issue -- it's just the right thing to do.

    Then I got to see our state governor, Martin O'Malley, showing off his singing and guitar-playing chops at McGinty's Pub.....  For those who don't know, Gov. O'Malley has a band, they play a lot of Irish songs, jigs/reels, etc.  And yes, he can sing pretty damned well!  

    I think the lines were long in part due to the weather forecast -- people want to make sure they get their vote in before the storm!   Early voting continues through Thursday.  

  •  I will be doing Voter Protection in VA this year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    as well.  

    I did it in 08' and can't wait to do it again this year.  It's the best type of volunteering.  A friend of mine voted in Maryland today (I'm pretty sure in Prince George's County though I don't know exactly where).  She told me she waited over 3 hours in line to vote, maybe 4.  

    Now, about that.  I'm happy that so many people are voting.  It shouldn't take that long to vote.  I come from the Beverly Hills school of voting.  No one has to wait in line (for more than a minute) in order to vote.  It's easy, a cinch, and takes only as long as you want to spend time studying the issues on the ballot.  EVERYONE EVERYWHERE should have the same easy experience.  3-4 hour waits in line to vote is presumably good for Barack Obama who needs a large voter turnout but it's ultimately bad for democracy.  Citizens should not be required to go through that.  

    Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

    by SoCalLiberal on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 05:33:24 PM PDT

  •  Noticed the same thing at my polling (0+ / 0-)

    place in PG County--there was a two-hour wait, and this is a very Democratic county as well, so it's safe to say virtually all the votes were for Obama.  Even though it was a long line, people were remarkably courteous and pleasant; people were cool about others leaving the line temporarily to go to the bathroom, get coffee, and so  on.

    The middle-aged African American woman in front of me said that while she was sure that Obama would win our state, she still wanted to vote to spite the people who were trying to suppress her vote.  This makes me wonder if there won't be a backlash against efforts by groups like True the Vote to suppress minority voters, which might just help Obama.  

    (Will repost this comment on my blog, wantsomewood.blogspot.com)

    Don't crash the gate--take back the keys.

    by lungfish on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 07:15:19 AM PDT

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