In Staten Island, Voter Excitement Overrides Concern in Close Congressional Race

Jackie Bischof

Curtis High School in Staten Island hosts voters from the 18th, 19th and 20th electoral districts. Photo: Jackie Bischof

Gloria Smith is having a long day.

She woke up shortly after 4 a.m. to arrive at Curtis High School near the north shore of Staten Island by 5:30 a.m. By 11 a.m., she’s had her eye on the hundreds of voters that have already streamed through the door of the school. She’ll be spending her whole day there, answering questions from nervous first-time voters, directing the queues of impatient people, doing her job as a Democratic Party poll watcher.

She is not looking forward to this evening’s after-work rush, but was buoyed by the early morning voter turnout.

“It was amazing to see how many people came out and voted so early. I feel wonderful,” she said. “People feel like they are taking part in progress and they’re energized.”

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St. Pete, Fla: Prominent Republican is Voting Obama

Posted 5:06 p.m. — Fazal Fazlin, a retired businessman and philanthropist from St. Petersburg, FL has been a longtime member and big donor to the Republican party, but this year he’s had a change of heart.

“I’m a Republican, but I think on the federal level I really got tired of President Bush’s policies in the world,” he said.

Fazlin, who is also a Muslim, feels that the attitude of the Republican party towards Muslims has put “him over the edge.” He said that especially in St. Petersburg, Muslims are leaning towards the Democratic party this year.

“I think the Republican party has energized the muslim party to vote for Obama,” he said.

Fazlin, whose main circle of friends are actually not Muslim, but a mix of people of all backgrounds, said that after he decided to vote for Obama, “many of them followed too.”

Fazlin, whose known in political circles in Florida to throw fundraisers at his estate, offered to use his home for a fundraiser for Obama.

“The more I met the man, the more I liked him,” he said.

— BY INSIYAH SAEED

Fazal Fazlin discusses his choice for President 2008

Video by Al-Jazeera English

As Election Day Arrives, Some Background on Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has yet again maintained its status of being a swing state in presidential elections.

Four years ago, President George W Bush, who was then seeking re-election on a Republican Party ticket, and Senator John Kerry, the Democratic Party candidate, engaged in a bruising battle for votes in the Keystone state. Continue reading

Eyewitness: Heavy Voting in Omaha

IN OMAHA? We welcome your comments about your Election Day experiences.  Please give us your thoughts in the “comments” section below this post.  Thanks!

Posted 9:21 a.m. — On a day when eyes are on Omaha to see whether the city will vote for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964, an eyewitness reports a big crowd this morning at a polling place in the city’s downtown precinct.

Will Omaha swing Democratic?  Heavy turnout at one of the city's downtown precincts.  SARAH BAKER/Special for The Ballot Box

Will Omaha swing Democratic? Heavy turnout at one of the city's downtown polling places. SARAH BAKER/Special to The Ballot Box

In the line is former Nebraska Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate Mike Johanns, reports Sarah Baker, an Omaha eyewitness for The Ballot Box.

The Douglas County Election Commission estimated turnout in the Omaha area would reach 68 percent. Continue reading

Final Poll: Presidential Race Tied in Omaha

Posted 12:13 p.m. — The last Rasmussen Poll taken before Tuesday’s election indicates the presidential race is tied within the Omaha area.

This is it.  The front door of the Omaha headquarters for the Barack Obama campaign.  BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

This is it. The front door of the Omaha headquarters for the Barack Obama campaign. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box

According to the Web site fivethirtyeight.com, voters in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District polled 51 percent for John McCain and 48 percent for Barack Obama.

The three-point difference is within the poll’s plus-or-minus five-point margin of error. Continue reading

Archbishop Warns 220,000 Omaha-Area Catholics: Do Not Vote Obama

Posted 3:23 p.m. — The archbishop of the Omaha archdiocese released a letter Saturday implying his flock of 220,000 should not cast their votes for Barack Obama because of the candidate’s stance on abortion.

Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss  Photo/ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA

Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss Photo/ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA

Without explicitly forbidding an Obama vote, Archbishop Elden Curtiss wrote in his letter, “Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has stated with clarity that Catholics who vote for a candidate precisely because he or she supports abortion and/or euthanasia would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil.”

Omaha has become an unlikely election battleground as some polls show the presidential candidates nearly tied within the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska, whose boundaries overlay the core of the Omaha metropolitan area.

Because Nebraska allots its electoral votes proportionally, Omaha’s one electoral vote seems to be in play.  Obama has opened three Omaha offices with 15 paid staffers in an effort to flip the area from the Republican column for the first time in a presidential race since 1964. Continue reading

Allegations of Voter Intimidation in North Philly

Volunteers being trained on canvassing at North Philly for Obama Office

Volunteers being trained on canvassing at North Philly for Obama Office

Posted at 4:04 p.m. — Voter intimidation characterized the heated presidential campaigns in the swing state of Philadelphia last weekend, leaving residents confused about the election.

North Philadelphia was one of the target areas, as opposing camps used all manner of tricks to discredit their opponents and portray their candidates in favorable light.

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