The swing state of Iowa is in full swing on election day...so far reports coming in on the process...
Live Tweets on voting in Iowa at this LINK
FROM DES, MOINES:
Turnout appears to be high in the metro area, with only a few minor Election Day glitches reported.More after the squiggly line thingy....
“I think it’s heavy everywhere; but we’re not calling into the precincts to see what turnout is,” said Jamie Fitzgerald, Polk County auditor. “It’s just too busy for that.”
A ballot reading machine at Plymouth Congressional Church in Des Moines needed to be replaced this morning. Two other county polling places started the day without power.
“That’s why we have paper ballots,” Fitzgerald said. “If there are any issues or interruptions in terms of powers or malfunctions, we’ve still got the paper ballots. Everybody’s vote counts.”
Elsewhere in the state, poll workers at a Dubuque church dealt with faulty voting machines. Voters at St. Columkille Catholic Church were filling out ballots by hand shortly after the polling place’s 7 a.m. opening, according to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald. Reports indidicate the machines were back and running by 7:45 a.m.FROM THE QUAD CITIES:
Election Day is in full swing as Quad-City voters hit the polls on their way to work this morning.FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS:
Polling sites in Rock Island County opened the doors at 6 a.m. to small and mid-sized crowds, but lines grew as early morning workers hurried to cast ballots before their workday began.
In Scott County, Election Day began at 7 a.m., and at least two sites in Davenport had lines of voters waiting since 6 a.m., officials said.
Voters waiting in line this morning said they were “anxious,” to vote and to have the long, drawn-out campaign over.
Rosemary Rinaldi, who greeted voters at Duck Creek Park Lodge in Davenport’s 6th Ward, said her morning had been “extremely busy,” sensing there was higher voter turnout than in 2008.
“People are eager to vote and willing to wait in line,” Rinaldi said.
Her site had more than 300 voters between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to George Bleich, chairman of D64 precinct. He also said turnout seems busier than in 2008.
Historically the 6th Ward has leaned Republican.
At a voting site at First Christian Church in Davenport’s 5th Ward, which has leaned Democratic, D54 precinct chairman Richard Heishman reported that turnout initially was busy and has remained steady, but not more than in 2008.
“We didn’t open till 7 a.m., and there was a line since 6 a.m.,” Heishman said. “There was a line in 2008, too.”
Precinct officials at 5th and 6th wards voting sites reported no problems this morning.
Davenport Police Capt. Dale Sievert confirmed that as of 11:30 a.m. police had not received any reports of problems at voting sites.
Heavy voting was still going on by 12 noon in Council Bluffs.FROM GLENWOOD:
“We’ve been busy,” said Sue Senden, poll judge at Precinct 13, the Senior Center. “It’s been a nice stream. We had people waiting in line for the first three hours.”
According to her figures, 173 had cast their ballots by lunchtime, she said.
“There have been no problems and everybody has been great,” Senden said.
The same could be said at nearby Precinct 15 at the Masonic Temple, where 137 people had voted by noon, said Patti Ford, poll judge there.
“That’s very good for this precinct,” she said. “And, things have gone very smoothly.”
The county auditor says a few voters in Pottawattamie County are upset about being late for work after problems at voting precincts.
Marilyn Jo Drake says glitches happened Tuesday morning at about 10 of the 40 precincts, causing a wait in at least two locations.
Drake says delays of 15 to 20 minutes caused "a little bit of anger in a couple of precincts.
She blamed the problem on identification labels that allow voters to confirm their information without having to handprint it on rosters. Some of the labels got put into the wrong "port" of the voting machines.
Drake says "we had some workers panic" but fixed the problem as quickly as they could.
The problem didn’t affect counting of ballots.
For the 14th time, Lyle Jones cast his ballot in a presidential election.FROM SIOUX CITY:
The 71-year-old stopped by American Legion Post 141 in his hometown of Glenwood Tuesday morning.
“It’s our civic duty,” he said. “It’s the only time we have to voice our pleasure. Or displeasure.”
Jones noted the voting age was 21 when he first cast a ballot, in 1960. That year he supported then-Vice President Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy.
As he left Jones greeted an acquaintance as she entered the American Legion. The hall hosted voters from Glenwood Wards 2 and 3, with friends and neighbors exchanging pleasantries on both sides of the room (and aisle).
A “steady stream” of voters made their way in on a sunny morning, according to ward three chair Denise Jacobsen.
“We’ve been steady. The sun is shining, people are in good spirits,” she said. “We hope more start showing up so we’re not bogged down tonight.”
After months of television ads and dozens of campaign rallies, Siouxland voters got their chance to weigh in Tuesday. Polls opened at 7 a.m. in Iowa and South Dakota and 8 a.m. in Nebraska.AND WHAT ABOUT THE EARLY VOTING?
In Iowa, polls were busy but with few lines, in part because up to 40 percent of voters cast their ballots early.
At Faith Lutheran Church on Hamilton Boulevard in Sioux City, about 85 people had cast ballots within the first 30 minutes after polls opened. Woodbury County election officials set up additional voting booths at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Geneva Street in Sioux City to handle crowds.
Nearly 2,500 people had hit the polls in Plymouth County as of about 11:45 a.m., according to the county auditor.
In South Sioux City, a Somalian interpreter was brought in to help at the polling place in First Luterhan Church on Dakota Avenue. Click here here for more.
No problems had been reported at Siouxland polling places in the first hours on voting Tuesday.
Iowa Secretary of State's Office spokesman Chad Olsen said Story County had problems with electronic poll books used to check in voters. He says poll workers reverted to paper copies, so voting delays were minimized.
Record early voting in Iowa has made daytime voter turnout tough to read, the Secretary of State’s Office said.
“It’s hard to gauge by lines at the polling places what our turnout’s going to be, because we’ve never had literally almost of half of our people voting early before,” said Chad Olson, chief of staff for Secretary Matt Schultz.
With absentee ballots still arriving, Olson counts more than 637,000 early votes cast in Iowa for this election.
“It pretty much shattered the old record of 545,000,” Olson said, noting a 25 percent increase.
About 1.5 million Iowans voted in 2004 and the same in 2008, Olson said. About 40 percent of Iowans will have voted early if those totals stay true in 2012.