Like other U.S. states, California is expecting a record voter turnout
in Tuesday's election. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that there were
long lines at many polling stations across the country.
Los Angeles voter Ted Cohen says he was glad to see the crowds at his polling place, the gymnasium of a local community center.
is the biggest turnout I've seen in any presidential election that I've
had the privilege of voting in," he said.
"So whatever side of the
fence you're on, it's nice to see that people are getting back and
voting and at least casting their opinion on what they want to see
happen in our country. I think that's promising. People are getting
involved again," he added.
Cohen's mother, Ruth, is an immigrant from
Israel who was also surprised by the long lines to vote. "I've never
seen it like this," she said. "Since I've been voting here for 38
years, I've never seen it like this. I waited an hour."
She says voting usually takes only a few minutes.
monitors from both major parties - the Democrats and the Republicans - are watching for snags in the process across the country. So are
non-partisan groups like Election Protection, which reports incidents
of malfunctioning voting machines in Virginia, Pennsylvania and
Florida, where poll workers are coping with heavy turnout.
A lawyer named Samantha took a half day off from work to volunteer with the organization in Los Angeles.
think this is a really important election," she said. "I knew that
there would be a lot of voters out today, and it's a logistical
nightmare in way, and I figured if I could use what legal training I
have to support the system and be a part of helping the process go
smoothly today, I was happy to do it."
She says she visited six polling places and found no problems, except for long lines.
across the United States are making their choices for president,
members of congress, and state and local officials. And many also are
voting on state and local issues.
California voters, for
example, are deciding whether to ban homosexual marriage. They also
are determining several tax questions, public transit proposals, and a
measure to promote alternative energy.
Voter Hazel Johnson says
issues like these, as well as the race for president, brought her out
to vote. "Every election is important to me," she said. "There's always
something on the ballot that really needs my input."
Gregory Derevianko, a graduate student in atmospheric science at the
University of California, Los Angeles, voted Tuesday for the second
time in a presidential election. He says casting his ballot was
important. "It's something I enjoy doing, and I feel proud to be able
to do it," said Derevianko.
The biggest U.S. voter turnout was
in 2004, when more than 120 million Americans cast their ballots. That
record is expected to be broken in this election.