Voting officials say turnout in Los Angeles, California, and neighboring Orange County was at least five percent higher than in the last presidential election, based at least on early indications.
Los Angeles Registrar of Voters Conny McCormack said problems were minimal, and included a shortage of supplies in a few precincts. "We have 4,604 voting precincts today," she said. "We have about a dozen of them that are having some problems right now. That's not too many." She said the problems were resolved.
Many people consider this election important. "Vitally important," emphasized one voter. "Probably next to the first time I voted, which was for John Kennedy, the most important time."
Voter registration in California favors the Democrats, but the state's Republican governor, the former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, says households like his are divided. He voted early Tuesday with his wife, Maria Shriver. She is a member of the Kennedy clan and a lifelong Democrat. He is a Bush supporter. "The latest poll looks very good," he said. "It's 50-50 right now. I mean, that's in our house. We don't know about the rest of the state."
Western states where the vote was expected to be close include Colorado, New Mexico, and the island state of Hawaii.