Liveblog: The polls open!

Join us here for campaign observations, poll watch reports and up-to-the-minute news on this historic Election Day. And share your voting experience and win/loss predictions in the comments below.

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7:00 a.m. – Just 12 hours before the polls close. Get out there and vote!


7:07 a.m. – In a story line that could have been lifted from a Lifetime Original Movie, Barack Obama’s grandmother Madelyn Dunham had already completed and sent her mail-in ballot before her death from cancer.

According to election officials it will be counted.

Eli Sanders, reporting for the blog The Stranger, called chief election officer for the state of Hawaii Kevin Cronin after a coworker wondered aloud about the status of Dunham’s vote.

Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.

So, while the woman who helped raise him will never get to see a President Obama, she may just have a hand in electing him.

Bob Spencer


7:19 a.m. – Listening to a preternaturally chipper Ohio poll worker on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” I haven’t had enough caffeine or pancakes (thanks to my kid who got up early to make breakfast!) to take Joe Scarborough on MSNBC yet. Here’s hoping for a smooth Election Day in my old home state and, of course, in Colorado too.


7:32 a.m. – An Election Day fun fact from the Pew Research Center:

Many more Americans are turning to the internet for campaign news this year as the web becomes a key source of election news. Television remains the dominant source, but the percent who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since October 2004 (from 10% then to 33% now).

Election news Internet readers also skew a bit less partisan than TV or newspaper audiences.

TCI readers, I salute you!


7:47 a.m. – Election Day observation from Twitter user @Mlsif: Hands that once picked cotton are helping pick a president today. This fact fills me with awe.


7:54 a.m. – Mi Familia Vota and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), two nonpartisan organizations, have announced a three-point strategy for Election Day in Denver, Weld and Pueblo counties.

The plan includes distributing door hangers and canvassing door-to-door in Latino neighborhoods, reminding individuals to vote. The organizations will also provide Spanish assistance to voters with poll questions.

All of the actions are part of a national a drive by the organizations to get more than 1 million newly registered Latino voters to the polls.”

At the same time, Voto Latino, another civic organization partnering with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 and Latina Initiative, has reached out to thousands of young Latino voters in the state. Today Voto Latino will be focusing specifically on Latino turnout in Denver, Adams, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Boulder, Pueblo and Weld Counties.

The group registered nearly 30,000 young Latinos in key battleground states from January through the primaries.

Erin Rosa


8:06 a.m. – CPR’s news segment reports that Denver Clerk & Recorder Stephanie O’Malley is backing off her earlier claims that voters should not expect election results until mid-day Wednesday. She’s now predicting close to midnight.


8:23 a.m. – Election protection groups are already reporting that some 700 Colorado voters have called 866-Our-Vote to report problems casting a ballot.

Naomi Zeveloff


8:43 a.m. – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a message to Secretary of State Coffman!

If you’re in downtown Denver right now, you might notice a plane with a banner flying overhead with the words “Make Sure Your Vote is Counted” and a number to Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s office. That’s a message to the secretary, who was harangued by a federal court judge for purging people off the voting rolls late last week, even though he entered into a settlement with the Advancement Project, a voter protection group, to stop the practice.

The aerial spectacle is courtesy of Colorado Progressive Coalition, which has decried Coffman’s purges. According to the Advancement Project, the secretary may have illegally removed as many as 30,000 names from the books during the 90-day federal no-purge period leading up the election.

“A lot of people don’t know that they’ll show up at the polls and their vote won’t be counted,” said Jason McKain, co-executive director of Colorado Progressive Coalition, explaining the rationale for the banner. “We want to make sure that people have [Coffman’s] phone number and they call him directly.”

According to the Advancement Project settlement, purged voters will be able to vote provisionally. Their special provisional ballots will then be verified before anyone else’s in the two weeks after the election.

McKain says that Colorado Progressive Coalition is spending $1,000 to get the message out this morning. An anonymous donor who is “interested in the secretary of state’s behavior” provided the funds.

Naomi Zeveloff


8:56 a.m. – A study by Working Assets and the Student PIRGS proves with numbers and math and stuff that “text message reminders to new voters increased an individual’s likelihood of voting by 4.2 percentage points.” So make sure you Text Out The Vote today!

Jeff Bridges


9:14 a.m. – Happy Birthday to the most trusted man in America! Walter Cronkite celebrates his 92nd birthday today.


9:26 a.m. – PBS’ “Newshour” will tweet national race results on Twitter first rather than its television broadcast. Who knew Jim Lehrer and Gwen Ifill were so cool?


9:53 a.m. – For years I’ve heard that Democrats want good weather on election day and Republicans pray for rain. The Weather Channel found some scientists who actually proved it. According to their examination of every county in America, if it rains on election day Republican vote share goes up 2.5 percent while overall turnout goes down by .89 percent.

So the national weather forecast looks like good news for Obama in Colorado and good news for McCain in Virginia (and Senator Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina).

Denver’s forecast: mostly cloudy, high of 64-degrees. Good weather should mean even higher turnout for an election set to break all previous records. Likewise on the Front Range. Showers, stiff wind are predicted on the Western Slope with temps in the high 50s. The Vail Valley is likely to see yucky snow/rain mix and a high of 39-degrees.

Jeff Bridges

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Wendy Norris

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