Updated, 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, the scoop from Lafayette polling places;
3:55 p.m. Tuesday, some chat at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, Orinda.
When it comes to voting, residents in Lafayette’s precincts 281 and 366 are taking their civic duty very seriously and in so doing are making the day go by quickly for poll workers at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church at 49 Knox Dr.
“We haven’t had a minute’s peace,” said poll inspector Gwen Watson, who lives in Orinda and was working on the precinct 366 side of the room. “We opened with a long line and the voting hasn’t stopped.”
Watson has been a poll inspector for 12 years. She still gets excited as she watches people filing in to cast their ballots and talks about past elections.
“08’ was exciting when we got lots of young voters who were coming in for the first time (including waves of Obama enthusiasts),” said Watson.
Across the room where precinct 281 voters were casting ballots poll worker, Norma Evans said, “We’ve been very, very busy, which is wonderful. Evan’s precinct has about 290 voters who didn’t receive vote-by-mail ballots and of those nearly 80 percent had voted by 4:20 p.m."
The morning sun twinkled over the ridge as this reporter hied on down to the Moraga library and earned an oval "I Voted" sticker.
At 9:15 a.m., the line was three people deep as the poll workers sorted out that I had signed up for a mail ballot (where'd I put that?) and allowed me to vote with a provisional ballot. Provisional means they will hand-check my ballot and cross-reference that I didn't double-dip my franchise by voting with the absentee ballot and then showing up to vote in person.
At the Moraga library polling place, Josephine Salvo said she voted for Mitt Romney, "because I don't want to have a socialist country. That's the most important part."
At the Moraga library polling place, Patch reader Chris Bratton said she voted for Romney "because I trust that he has our country's best interests in his plan and wants to the maintain the Constitution and history of our country and the values of our country."
Bratton said she felt this presidential campaign had "more untruths being spoken" and the dividing line was clearer between the candidates than recent elections.
"We still have the freedom to vote," she said. "Regardless of how it comes out, we still have a democratic nation."
The polling place at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School in Orinda was somnolescent. The lines were small or non-existent.
Nelly Rickert, election inspector for Precinct 361 at Sleepy Hollow, said one reason was that a lot of people in the precinct vote by mail. It could be as much as 75 percent, she said.
At Sleepy Hollow, Carol Brophy got a ride to the polls and shuttle driver Joselito Tangco got a little lesson in American democracy.
At Sleepy Hollow Elementary, a guy named George said he voted for Obama. "I think Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are full of lies and make up stuff all the time ... and I voted yes on (Proposition) 30."
At Sleepy Hollow Elementary, a 36-year-old man who had recently moved to Orinda from San Francisco, said he voted for Obama. "I wasn't sold on Romney's financial plan ... I'd probably say I was more Democrat, but I've been leaning largely independent going into the election." He said Obama came into office facing the sternest economic crisis in two generations and should be given more of a chance to right the ship.
We asked Lamorindans via Facebook about the crowds at their polling places and got a number of responses this morning:
- I voted at Acalanes High School. Very busy. Precinct 277 has a broken scanner. Had to drop my ballot in the slot. Old school!
- Voted 15 minutes ago at the firehouse in Orinda. We were the only voters there.
- Nothing wrong with old school as long as someone who attended school is counting and the voter didn't leave any pregnant chads. Yes I voted.
- of course! mailed it in 2 weeks ago
- Voted in the WC! Walked right up & got business done at 8 this morning. Even got a FREE BRACELET from Starbucks for Rocking my "I Voted" sticker...
- I just got back from voting at Bentley School. Virtually no wait.
- Absentee by mail ;) no lines!
The local results will be here this evening.
The state and national results will be here.
How did your voting experience go? Are you 18 or recently became a citizen? Was it your first voting experience? Tell us all about it in the comments below.