Election Day in the Delaware Valley

November 4, 2008 4:41:40 PM PST
Throughout the Delaware Valley, voters started lining up before the polls opened, and many waited a long time to cast their vote.Philadelphia

In the city of Philadelphia, there was a line of voters that wound around the block at 10th and Vine Streets in Center City.

Among the voters at a High Street polling place in Germatown was Viola Wilson, in her late 80's, voting for the first time in her life.

Across town in West Philadelphia, the city's oldest resident, 108 year old Ana Henderson, voted. Born in 1900, she cast her first presidential vote years ago for Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"I always vote. Don't think I missed any... maybe one or two," Henderson said.

Also in Philadelphia, Action News was able to find a number of young voters, a group that usually has a low turnout on Election Day.

Today, they voted in record numbers for this presidential election.

"It's just been crazy, the whole city of Philadelphia with the Phillies and the election...I think a lot of young voters are getting out and it's great and I'm happy to be part of it," said Sarah Serdych of Manayunk.

The sagging economy and general sense of unease in this country has young people trying to make a difference.

Recent polls released last month show 75% of eligible 18-29 year olds are registered. And nearly 90% of those people are expected to vote.

CLICK HERE to see Denise James' report on voting in Philadelphia.

CLICK HERE to see Chad Pradelli's report on the youth vote in Philadelphia.

Philly Suburbs

Voting got off to a rough start at Cecilia Middle School in Bensalem.

Construction crews working behind the school struck a two inch gas main around 2:00 p.m. The building, which doubled as a polling place, was quickly evacuated.

The polls reopened an hour later.

In other polling spots, the general trend included very long lines when the voting centers opened at 7:00, with a lull in the late morning until the early afternoon.

In several locations, including Doylestown, it's being reported that approximately half of registered voters cast their ballots before 9AM.

Meantime, voting was a family affair for some in Hatboro, Montgomery County where we were still able to find an undecided.

"This is tough, it's extremely tough, I'm still in limbo right now, I'm really undecided," said Jennifer Curran of Hatboro. "I'll know as soon as I walk in."

CLICK HERE to see Walter Perez's report on voting in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

In Delaware and Chester Counties, it was a similar scene Tuesday morning. Many early birds faced a wait of an hour or longer.

But, by mid-morning, the initial rush was over, and the waits were down to just a few minutes.

One exception was a polling place at the Schuylkill Township building outside Phoenixville, where lines snaked out the door well into the afternoon.

Dana Aaranz waited two and a half hours to vote, but she says "It's the price you pay for having the right to vote."

CLICK HERE to see John Rawlins' report on voting in Delaware and Chester counties.

New Jersey

Action News was at a polling place in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where election officials say that as of 5:00 p.m., they had already seen 50% of registered voters. Even on a big election night, officials there say they see only about 30% of registered voters by the time the polls close.

Some people showed up to the polls still undecided about who they were voting for. Sonny Dyllon had just moved from Obama's home state of Illinois, and walked into the booth still unsure of which presidential candidates was going to get his vote. He believes John McCain is good for small business, and his family has one. But, Obama was still on his mind.

"I think I might vote for Obama, but I know Illinois politicians all too well," Dyllon said.

Action News was also at a polling place in Collinswood, N.J., where officials said they saw double the normal turnout for a presidential election.

CLICK HERE to see Jessica Borg's report on voting in New Jersey.

Delaware

The polls in Delaware were busy all day long, and officials say the number of people who turned out to vote has been unprecedented.

The Democrats can likely thank Delaware Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden for that. But, as voters point out, there are a lot of other contenders on the ticket.

"Everybody's enthusiastic about it, they want a change, they want something different," said Charles Hoard of Wilmington.

18,000 Delawareans registered to vote in the last six weeks alone, adding up to more than 600,000 registered voters.

Democrat Jack Markel is credited with generating his share of the interest. He beat out a presumptive winner, Lt. Governor John Carney, for the Governor's slot. He now faces retired superior court judge Bill Lee for the job.

And while Delaware Democrats outnumber Republicans, at least one major candidate is hoping voters continue a common Delaware practice by splitting their tickets. That's Republican Congressman Mike Castle, who went to the polls hoping to be returned to Washington for a 9th term.

CLICK HERE to see Lauren Wilson's report on voting in Delaware.


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