This morning, I went to my local city hall to vote. I know, I know...the Obama campaign has been pushing early voting in Iowa and, as a committed supporter, I should have voted early. For me, though, there's just something special, something sacrosanct about voting in the voting booth on election day. I just feel awesome voting "on-the-day-of" rather than mailing in a ballot. Plus, I get a nifty little "I Voted" sticker.
Follow me over the squiggle for an early poll report.
This morning, I went to my polling place just before 8:00 CT to vote before work. In 2008, I went around 4:00 and there were a hundred people in line, so I decided to vote early.
I live in a rural bedroom community about 20 miles outside Iowa's second-largest city. There are roughly 1600 registered voters in our precinct. Our county as a whole is relatively liberal. Democrats have about a 10% registration advantage the last time I checked, but our little town is probably split roughly 50/50 as far as party registration goes. The Obama campaign hit our area really hard with early voting, so I expected the numbers to be low, because nearly everybody I know voted early. The poll worker at the door told me they had a line through the lobby and outside before 7:00 this morning, but there were only 4 or 5 people in front of me just before 8:00.
While I was waiting, the ladies working the poll were getting prepared to report the 8:00 count. So, I slip into the voting booth and fill out my ballot bubble-by-bubble. Yes, I know I can vote straight ticket, but I love filling out the ballot. Plus, 2 personal friends of mine are running for state offices and it gave me great joy to not only mark the Obama/Biden bubble, but also to vote for the directly. It sounds weird, but I enjoy it.
My vote was the last one into the machine before the 8:00 count, and I was vote #104. Nearly 10% of our precinct voted in one hour this morning. I don't know (obviously) what the party breakdown was, but I can tell you that looking through the parking lot and the cars on the street probably 75% of the cars had an Obama/Biden sticker or magnet on them.
It looks like the OFA turnout operation in Iowa is producing great results so far. If my little unscientific slice of voting holds true throughout the day, turnout should roughly match 2008. It's going to be close, but I'm still excited to see Iowa go blue again on TV tonight.
Get out and vote, folks, and then get out THE vote! Let's bring this thing across the finish line in Iowa, and all the other states we need. I'll be making calls later this afternoon and offering rides to the polls after work. Stay in the trenches...we're almost done.