Live Blog: Battleground

Nov 7, 2012
Originally published on January 8, 2014 2:11 pm

**Refresh this page often for the latest updates.**

A quick head's up on what this is. The Battleground is an aggregation of NPR member stations' content produced during election night. It's curated by the staff at NPR Digital Services, including Eric Athas, Teresa Gorman, Will Snyder, Kim Perry and Erin Teare Martin. The list of participating stations and states is posted at the bottom.

The big story tonight is that Obama has been projected to win a second term as President. Working down from there, the Democrats will retain control of the Senate while the Republicans still have a majority in the House. There will be more women in the Senate than ever before, led, in part, by Elizabeth Warren's win over Scott Brown in Massachusetts.

Plenty of ballot initiatives drew national attention, as well, including same-sex marriage questions in Maine and Maryland and marijuana issues in Massachusetts, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon and Washington. You can scroll through this feed to find out how those stories unfolded throughout the evening.

Last week NPR's election coverage made a child cry. Good news, Abigael, the election is over...we think.

12:02 -- A big win in Maine for gay rights. WBUR with the update:


Midnight EST -- Washington (KPLU)

Citing reports, KPLU is saying legalized marijuana has been approved in Washington

11:56 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

The no on 64 campaign has conceded, so Colorado’s constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for recreational use has passed. 

11:54 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)

WLRN tells us that people are still waiting to vote in one Country Walk precinct and the state might not be called tonight.

11:41 p.m. EST

A wild (and surprisingly short) night that results in a projected Obama reelection. Over a dozen stations contributed to the Battleground and gave us a comprehensive picture of local elections, state elections and, of course, the presidential election.


But it's not over. We're still following a couple of ballot initiatives including one to legalize marijuana in Washington. 

11:40 p.m. EST -- Oregon (KPLU)

From KPLU's Jake Ellison: Oregon voters appear to be rejecting Ballot Measure 80 -- to allow the sale and growth of marijuana. Chris Lehman is at the Yes campaign headquarters in Portland.  

Obama will get a second term as president after reaching the needed 270 electoral votes to win the presidential race, NPR projects.


11:31 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

With about 80 percent reporting, we're watching results in the 6th Congressional District. As of now, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney is up on Republican challenger Richard Tisei, 49 percent to 46 percent.
WBUR's Deborah Becker reported earlier that, as the lead began to shift to the incumbent, election watchers began leaving Tisei's party in Peabody. Here's her on-air report during WBUR-FM's election special:

11:27 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

One of the big stories for women tonight:

11:19 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

The AP and NPR calls Ohio for Obama.

11: 16 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

"The mood remains muted” at Colorado’s GOP headquarters as results continue to come in, KUNC reports. Obama still leads in the swing state.

11:10 p.m. EST -- Colorado, Washington and Oregon (KUNC, KPLU and OPB)

Here's a check-in on three marijuana legalization measures in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. 


Colorado’s constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for recreational use continues to lean just a bit more to Yes, and in a twist, Larimer County voters may reverse a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the same night. 


Polls have closed in Washington and KPLU reporters are awaiting results on the state's ballot measures, including the legalization of marijuana. If the measure passes, possession of marijuana will be legal as early as December 6.


Marijuana legalization is also on the ballot in Oregon. OPB is holding a live-chat

11:11 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

A look at Tim Kaine's HQ just before his victory speech:

11:07 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

McCaskill accepted her Senate win Tuesday night.

11:06 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

A lot of chatter about the recent states being called for Obama (California, Washington and Hawaii) but the narrative should still be focused on Ohio. Here's the latest:

11:02 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

WBUR chats with retiring Congressman Barney Frank about Joe Kennedy III who just won his seat. 

10:59 p.m. EST -- Wisconsin (WUWM)


10:54 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Republican George Allen concedes the Senate race in Virginia. The Old Dominion keeps two Democratic Senators with Tim Kaine's victory tonight.

10:48 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)


10:48 p.m. EST -- Florida

Perhaps the tag line for our Battleground project?

10:46 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

The big prize of the night is producing good numbers in its largest county for Obama.

10:44 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

Todd Akin has conceded the Missouri Senate race to incumbent McCaskill. Akin's name has become eponymous with his infamous comments about "legitimate rape" from an interview in August. 

10:43 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

In swing county Jefferson County, Obama is leading with 130,838 votes vs. 121,982 votes for Romney.  “Jeffco” is the microcosm of Colorado’s status as a swing state: 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat, and 1/3 independent. 

10:40 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Scott Brown has kind words for Elizabeth Warren as he concedes the Massachusetts Senate race.

10:38 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

It's going to the wire in Virginia. Romney still leads but some Democratic precincts haven't reported yet.
Less than 25,000 votes separate Romney and Obama, with 83% of precincts reporting. Fairfax still to come. 

10:36 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

Despite word that Ovide Lamontagne would challenge the gubernatorial results in NH, we're seeing this concession:

10:35 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Sounds like the party has started at the Warren HQ:

10:33 p.m. EST -- Maine (MPBN)

Question 2, which would legalize same sex marriage is leading with 20 percent of precincts reporting.

10:30 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

This just in from WBUR:
10:15 p.m.: We'll obviously have much more on this big story. For now, the topline news is that Warren, a first-time politician, has topped Brown, who swept into the Senate in a stunning 2010 special election upset to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
As the AP notes, Warren "becomes the first woman elected to the Senate from Massachusetts."
10:25 p.m.: WBUR's Meghna Chakrabarti is at victorious Warren headquarters, where Gov. Deval Patrick is now speaking. He said:
It's a good night. You did it.
When we talk about grassroots, we're not just talking about a strategy. We're talking about a philosophy.

10:24 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Another ballot amendment passes. This one is in Virginia and has to do with eminent domain. From WAMU:
Voters have approved the amendment to the Va. constitution limiting the use of eminent domain, AP reports #wamuvote
And background on the amendment from Waldo Jaquith:
Amendment 1: Eminent Domain
Shall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?

10:21 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

The energy is up at McCaskill’s watch party in Missouri as she remains ahead, but the campaign is waiting for the official call before any victory speech (as is St. Louis Public Radio.) 

10:21 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

Tom Borgerding with an update from Ohio's GOP HQ:

10:15 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Getting out the youth vote at Colorado’s GOP headquarters.

10:10 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)

In Florida's Country Walk County, voters are still waiting in line.

10:12 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

Where the magic happens. 

10:12 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

It's official from WBUR:

10:10 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

The tide starts to turn in the Virginia Senate race, but plenty of precincts left. 

10:09 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

Results are coming in on the McCaskill - Akin Senate race in Missouri. McCaskill is pulling ahead.

10:00 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)

10:06 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Kirk Siegler reports that Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio said it could be a long night and half-joked that the crowd should pace itself and do like Sen. Mark Udall advises "double fist" with one glass of beer and another of water. 

10:03 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)

Proposal 6, “The Bridge vote,” which would have required voter approval every time Michigan wants to build a bridge to Canada -- is going down, and going down big, Michigan Radio reports. Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun and his family poured more than $31 million into trying to get the proposal to pass, but it drew bipartisan opposition. 

10:00 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Medicinal marijuana passed in Massachusetts, but the assisted suicide measure is currently too close to declare a winning side.


9:57 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

We’re still waiting on conclusive results from Colorado tonight. A scene from the GOP HQ as the wait continues.


9:56 p.m. EST -- Indiana

Democrat Joe Donnelly upsets Richard Mourdock for the Indiana Senate seat, NPR projects. Mourdock had been leading but the Republican made controversial comments about rape recently, which hurt him in the polls. 

9:55 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

Another one for the Obama column:

9:53 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

Prognosticating from one of WOSU's reporters?

9:48 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Reports are coming in that Elizabeth Warren will be the winner for the Massachusetts Senate seat. If so, she'll complete a come-from-behind victory over the incumbent Scott Brown. Here's a picture from WBUR's Meghna Chakrabarti at the Warren HQ.

9:46 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

9:46 p.m. EST -- Pennsylvania (WESA)

NPR calls Pennsylvania for Obama.

9:41 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

9:39 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

A Kennedy returns to Congress from Massachusetts:
Kennedy III Tops Bielat, Wins 4th District
According to The Associated Press, Democrat Joseph Kennedy III has won the 4th Congressional District race, topping Republican Sean Bielat.
Kennedy III will return the famous political family to Congress, and replace retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.

9:37 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Ten of Colorado’s 64 counties have reported results so far in the presidential race. Obama is ahead, but only just, with 421,569 for Obama and 359,139 for Romney.  


9:38 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

From WAMU:
Election officials in Virginia say those in line when polls closed may have to wait until as late as 11pm to vote. That's according to Nikki Sheridan with the Virginia State Board of Elections.


9:35 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

We have a call for the Ohio Senate seat and it belongs to the Democrats.

9:30 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Will Colorado legalize the recreational use of marijuana?  The amendment is ahead, though only a small number of precincts have reported so far

9:29 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Meghna Chakrabarti from WBUR tweeted this photo of Michael Dukakis talking with Bob Oakes at Elizabeth Warren's HQ.

9:24 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

WBUR sums it up well. Right now it's a waiting game.
They may be looking at a map of Ohio here, but photographer Dominick Reuter captures Scott Brown supporters watching returns at Brown's party. With 20 percent reporting, Elizabeth Warren leads Brown, 52 percent to 48 percent.

9:16 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

Report on GOP "get out the vote" from Tom Borgerding.
Party says it knocked on nearly 3 million doors during campaign. AG Mike DeWine says urban counties, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton will tell whether ground game succeeded. So long night appears certain.

9:15 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Larimer County in northern Colorado won't be releasing any voting totals until about 9:45 p.m. EST since voters are still in line at the polls, KUNC reports. 

9:12 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio

Follow the numbers in Michigan’s key races in this constantly updating post.  In one contested race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow is pulling ahead from her contestant Pete Hoekstra.

9:10 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Obama is on track to win Romney's hometown by a wide margin.

9:07 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

According to the AP, Maggie Hassan wins the New Hampshire Governor's race.

9:06 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)

9:03 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

Rev. Jesse Jackson is at Democratic Headquarters tonight. Jackson says he is watching the Ohio Senate race between U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and State Treasure Josh Mandel. The reverend says Brown is an advocate for the middle class, especially in the poorest Appalachian counties.


9:00 p.m. EST

Big projections at the top of the hour from NPR.
Romney picks up Kansas, Nebraska (at least 3 of the 5 congressional districts), Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming
Obama is the projected winner in Michigan, New Jersey and New York


9:00 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

A scene from the Rep. Todd Akin watch party.

8:58 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

WBUR checks in with a representative from the Elizabeth Warren campaign. She's running against Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy's old seat. 

8:56 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Tim Kaine is gaining ground on Republican George Allen in the Virginia Senate race.


8:53 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Attendees of a Colorado GOP watch party gather to wait for the polls to close,  KUNC reporter Nathan Heffel tweets. Although the polls close at 9 p.m. EST, if a voter is in line before the poll closure, they will still be allowed to vote.

8:50 p.m. EST -- Washington (KPLU)

For the first time in Washington, voters could only vote by mail this election. KPLU spoke with last-minute voters who brought their ballots to official dropboxes, which are open until 8 p.m. PST.




8:49 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

We're hearing the count is going to take awhile tonight in New Hampshire so we'll refer you to this story about the "Snipper" and the "Clipper," a couple that voted for Obama in 2008 but for Romney today.
At the Lamontagne victory camp, Jack “The Clipper” and Linda “The Snipper,” (last name Acorace) -- who own and operate a barber shop in Belmont -- say they spent the day holding Lamontagne and Romney signs at their local polling place. The Acoraces are Independents who call themselves “committed” supporters of both Lamontagne and Romney, despite the fact that they both voted for President Obama four years ago.  “We’ve been very disappointed in President Obama. He’s put us deep into debt, and everything that he plans costs more money,” Linda says. “We’ve been hoping and praying he doesn’t get in again.” Linda’s husband Jack agrees, saying the next president will be making important appointments, and “I don’t want two more liberals in the Supreme Court.” 


8:47 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Chris Chester at WAMU gives us an update on the count for President in Virginia:
With 1152/2258 precincts reporting, Mitt Romney is leading Barack Obama 53-44 percent in Virginia, according to the State Board of Elections.


8:44 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

The other big ballot initiative in Massachusetts (and one we're following in a couple of states) is a vote to legalize medicinal marijuana. With only 1.4 percent reporting, it's winning 62 to 38 percent. In the meantime, here are the details on the question.


8:38 p.m. EST -- Connecticut

Democratic candidate Chris Murphy is projected by WBUR to win his Senate race in Connecticut. 


8:33 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

Provisional ballots could be a big factor in Ohio. 
Dana Walch, deputy director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, says that there could be between 20,000 and 25,000 provisional ballots cast in Franklin County. The chairman of the Hamilton County board of elections believes that County could have as many as 20,000 provisional ballots, according to a report by WVXU. Those ballots won’t be counted until 10 days after the election.


8:31 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Long lines=poll tax? So says Senator Mark Warner.


8:30  p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio

We can’t say we’ve heard this one before.

8:27 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

The ballot initiative to allow assisted suicide is currently winning 53% to 47%. Here's some background on the initiative.


8:25 p.m. EST -- Washington (KPLU)
KPLU's Jake Ellison tells us about a unique form of exit (or entry) polling. 
Rich Gantner, general manager at Seattle's 5-Spot restaurant, said they decided to conduct a "very informal" poll by painting the doors red and blue, for Romney and Obama respectively. Patrons enter the door to place a "vote" for their candidate.

Every time the red door opens the elephant raises its arms. Every time the blue door opens the donkey kicks.

8:24 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)

Exit polls are showing that the five ballot proposals that called for amendments to the Michigan Constitution, including adding collective bargaining rights to the state constitution, are headed for defeat.   


8:25 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

WBUR's political team offers some election analysis. Give it a listen.

8:22 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

More updates on the count in New Hampshire:

8:17 p.m. EST -- Maine (MPBN)

Angus King is projected by NPR to win his race for the Senate in Maine. He ran as an independent but is expected to caucus with the Democrats.


8:11 p.m. EST -- Florida

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, has been re-elected in Florida, NPR projects. He was challenged by Republican Rep. Connie Mack.


8:11 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

Looks like we'll be waiting for results in New Hampshire.

8:10 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Coloradans are still voting. Their polls close at 9 p.m. EST.

8:10 p.m. EST

Big projections as several polls close. NPR projects Obama to pick up Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois and Washington D.C. Romney projected to pick up Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi.


8:07 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

The first voting totals released by the Ohio Secretary of State show Obama leading  Romney. Obama has 383,700 votes to Romney’s 190,000 in the early voting period.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown leads Republican challenger Josh Mandel in the early voting period. Brown has 434,716 votes to Mandel’s 211,905.


8:06 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio

Exit polls in Michigan show the presidential race in Michigan is too close to call, Michigan Radio reports.
“We'll have to count them.”  


8:05 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

The only battleground state in New England is starting to count the votes.


8:05 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Beacon reporter Mary Delach Leonard shares a scene of the calm before the storm at the site of Democratic candidate Sen. Claire McCaskill’s watch party.


7:59 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

First votes are coming in from Ohio:

7:57 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

The ground games were in full-effect according to WAMU:

7:55 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio

Line wait time worries continue into the evening. The NAACP in Detroit is asking that polls stay open late for voters, Michigan Radio reports in their election live blog. 


7:52 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Coming up in just a few minutes we'll start getting results for Massachusetts hotly contested Senate race. Plus Massachusetts has two ballot initiatives of national interest, one on medicinal marijuana and the other on assisted suicide. - Will


7:45 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

The latest voter turnout numbers in Colorado via the Secretary of State as of 7:10 p.m. ET: 2,007,747 with 719,597 Republicans, 677,473 Democrats and 588,430 unaffiliated.


7:45 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Not a surprise here:


7:40 p.m. EST 

Just so everyone understands what we mean when NPR projects a winner, it's based on exit poll data and statistical crunching. If the hard count of numbers changes, we'll be sure to update the results. - Will

7:33 p.m. EST -- West Virginia

And West Virginia goes to Mitt Romney with a projected call. The current Electoral College count is Mitt Romney 49, Barack Obama 3.



7:38 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

A public service announcement from WOSU:
Nick Houser – The polls are closed in Ohio. If you are in line by 7:30, you can still vote.


7:33 p.m. EST --West Virginia

And West Virginia goes to Mitt Romney with a projected call. The current Electoral College count is Mitt Romney 49, Barack Obama 3.


7:30 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WGBH)
An update on the dollars spent in the Massachusetts Senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren:


7:25 p.m. EST -- Florida (WFSU)

WFSU spoke with Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who said: "One of the best elections we've had in years." 


7:20 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Four precincts down and only 2581 more to go, but George Allen has a slight lead in the Virginia Senate race.


7:17 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)
Lines are still long in Massachusetts. WBUR's Jesse Costa just snapped this photo:


7:14 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

7:09 p.m. EST -- Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky

NPR is projecting Mitt Romney the winner of these four states based on exit poll data.


7:07 p.m. EST -- Vermont (VPR)

That was quick. Right as the polls closed, Vermont Public Radio and NPR projected Obama as the winner in Vermont based on exit poll data.


7:05 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Polls close in Colorado at 9 p.m. EST. Reporter Kirk Siegler tweets a photo of people urging last minute voting. 

7:00 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

Jonathan Wilson talked with Tim Kaine's campaign in Virginia. A spokesperson said they expect the Senate race there to be called before the Presidential. (And he expects Tim Kaine to win.)


6:58 p.m. EST -- Massachusetts (WBUR)

Mass. Exit Poll: Economy No. 1 Issue; Government Role
The Associated Press has just published some excerpts from its Massachusetts exit poll. Here are two highlights:
  • The economy was the top issue on Massachusetts voters' minds Tuesday, and nothing else was close. About six out of 10 voters chose that as their top issue, with health care a distant second with about one in 10 considering that issue as most important. About that same ratio picked the budget deficit as their biggest concern, while only one in 20 chose foreign policy.
  • Just over half of Massachusetts voters said the government should do more to solve problems while a significant portion of Bay Staters, nearly five out of 10, believe government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.


6:57 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)

WLRN reporter Christine DiMattei snapped this photo of absentee ballot counting at a Palm Beach County election warehouse. 

6:48 p.m. EST

Looking for updates from the Chicago Board of Election's website -- good luck. The site’s down due to “unprecedented” traffic. -Kim

6:45 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Despite a high amount of early voting, some lines in one county in swing state Colorado are over an hour long, KUNC reports. The Colorado Secretary of State is even encouraging voters to try other nearby voting centers in Arapahoe county.  


6:40 p.m. EST Massachusetts (WBUR)

If you're a member of the media and want to attend Mitt Romney's rally tonight, you'll need deep pockets.
Romney Campaign Charging $1,000 For Media Credential To Boston Event
In addition to voting in Belmont, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will have his Election Night gathering in Boston, at the city's convention center. 

6:35 p.m. EST -- New Hampshire (NHPR)

Polls are still open in New Hampshire and images we're seeing show long lines at polling places. We'll update the results (especially for the precinct near Mitt Romney's vacation home) after 8:00 p.m.


6:32 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

WAMU reporter Matt Laslo snapped this shot of an endorsement of President Obama from the Richmond Free Press and if you look closely, you'll see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the background. Laslo asked if that's meant to be subliminal messaging.


6:23 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

While most reports are of higher turnout, we're hearing that there's one part of Ohio that's telling a different story.

With much of the nation’s focus on Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, it can be easy to forget about the other corner of the state: Southeast Ohio, an area dominated by John McCain in 2008. Our partners at WOUB in Athens report low voter turnout into early afternoon:
Polling places located at City Hall and at Ohio University’s Baker Center only a handful of people waiting in line to vote.
Voters like Ohio University freshman Casey Harchaoui said they were surprised at the low turnout.
“I was expecting a long line,” she said. “I’m assuming most people might be in class this morning. I also think that most students aren’t from Athens County and felt more comfortable filling out an absentee ballot in their home county.
Other voters like OU senior James Bohland think the low turnout is because of early voting.
“Every time I walked past the Board of Elections office there seemed to be a lot of people there,” said Bohland.
According to WOUB, the Athens County Board of Elections reports 9,249 people in Athens County voted early this year either by mail or in person. There are 47,856 registered voters in Athens County.


6:16 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

DC had big issues with absentee poll workers. Check out this report from WAMU's Patrick Madden (it involves Marion Barry).

D.C. Council member Marion Barry is calling for an investigation into D.C.'s Board of Elections, citing long lines at various polling precincts as unacceptable, reports WAMU 88.5’s Patrick Madden. In a tweet, the former mayor said, “waiting in 2- 3- 4-hour lines to vote is unacceptable. The D.C. Board of Elections was not prepared.”

A D.C. Board of Elections spokesperson says that many poll workers did not show up today, forcing the board to contact 70 or so people that were on-call, and many of these people were then deployed to precincts that they weren't familiar with.

6:15  p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Radio)

Checking in on mix ups at polling places, Michigan Public Radio reports that at least one polling place in the state had a U.S. citizenship checkbox on ballot applications.  A federal judge ordered the checkbox off the ballot in October

6:08 p.m. EST -- Florida (WFSU)

The U.S. Justice Department is monitoring more  polling places in Florida than any other state today, WFSU is reporting. Read the story here

6:05 p.m. EST -- Virginia (WAMU)

An update on voter turnout in Virginia from Chris Chester:

Virginia officials were surprised by how many people came out to the polls in 2008. They're saying today's numbers look even larger. 
The area of downtown Richmond, right outside where Senate candidate George Allen is holding his rally tonight, leans Republican. People have been surprised by the long lines. Even so, the wait in Virginia's capital haven't been longer than lines in northern Virginia. People didn't expect to wait more than an hour to cast their ballot.
Republican officials say that bodes well for them in both the Senate and Presidential contest. 
In a bit of a last-minute hail
, the campaign sent Paul Ryan down to Richmond. He landed in the area, greeted supporters at a Romney office for about ten minutes, then returned to his plane.


5:55 p.m. EST -- Michigan (Michigan Public Radio)

Speaking of voter lines, Michigan Public Radio shares a sign that may be a bit optimistic.


5:54 p.m. EST -- Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Public Radio is following the Senate race between Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her GOP challenger Rep. Todd Akin, but eyes are also on the third candidate in the race, Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine who could potentially siphon votes from Akin. The St. Louis Beacon reports that people received robocalls criticizing Dine Monday night  from organizations affiliated with Akin.

We're seeing reports across the country of really high turnout. We'll gather as many of those numbers as we can and post them here. Right now Brockton, Mass., for example, expects more than 75 percent turnout today, according to WBUR.  -Will

5:43 p.m. EST -- Florida (WUSF)

WUSF's Scott Finn is reporting that 12,500 voters in Florida's Pinellas County received a robocall saying they could vote tomorrow (they can't). Read the story here.

Listen to the robocall:

5:31 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

In case there was any doubt that Ohio will be the center of attention tonight, check out this update from WOSU:

Ohio Public Radio's Bill Cohen says reporters and TV crews from across the country and the world have descended on downtown Columbus in the place where the votes will be tabulated in this crucial battleground state. Gregg Dodd is a spokesman for the Ohio Statehouse, where elections officials have set up a special election information center. He tells Bill Cohen there are more than 200 credentialed reporters and 18 satellite trucks surrounding Capitol Square.


5:06 p.m. EST -- Florida (WLRN)

WLRN posted this photo of 7-year-old Julian Adelman looking at a sample Florida ballot.

5:07 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

KUNC reporter Grace Hood tweets voter turnout numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State as of 5 p.m. EST.


4:59 p.m. EST -- Ohio (WOSU)

And WOSU reports that 1.8 million ballots were cast before election day. Check out this image from the Secretary of State.


4:55 p.m. EST -- Florida (WFSU)

Trimmel Gomes from WFSU sent in an update from the Florida Secretary of State, Ken Detzner. According to Sec. Detzner's office, roughly 4.5 million early votes and absentee ballots have been cast.

4:51 p.m. EST -- Colorado (KUNC)

Early voting has been a huge theme in this election cycle. Here's a baseline of how many people have voted in three of the states we're following. We'll start with Colorado.

By the numbers: Early voting 11/6/12

Democratic 642,834 -- > 34%

Republican 675,797 -- > 38%

Unaffiliated 534,012 -- > 28.5%

Libertarian 10,952 -- > .006%


TOTAL: 1,872,987

Read the full story at KUNC.


4:50 p.m. EST

Colorado (KUNC)

In Colorado, many voters have already cast their ballot with early voting after campaigns spent millions on political ads and the candidates and their surrogates visited dozens of times. Colorado's results will also be closely watched for some of the ballot measures- including a proposal to legalize small amounts of marijuana.  

4:48 p.m. EST

Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

The big story this election season out of Missouri is the contest between Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her GOP challenger Rep. Todd Akin. Their race entered the national spotlight after Akin said a woman’s body biologically “has ways” to prevent pregnancy during a “legitimate rape,” in an interview in August.  Akin resisted calls from Republicans to drop out of the race, and the race continues to be close. St Louis Public Radio, Nine Network and the St Louis Beacon will report on that and other local races at

4:46 p.m. EST

Michigan (Michigan Radio)

Although Mitt Romney has deep ties to Michigan, the state is leaning Democratic. Despite not being a swing state, Michigan’s auto bailout has been in the front lines of the campaign, particularly one 2008 op-ed by Mitt Romney with the title “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” There has been renewed Republican interest in the state’s 16 electoral votes in the last stretch, but voters’ decisions on six state-wide ballot proposals could have more impact than their votes on the presidential election. Michigan Public Radio will be following those proposals, including one adding collective bargaining rights to the state constitution and one unique proposal that, if it passes, could mean residents will have to vote every time Michigan wants to build a bridge to Canada.

4:08 p.m. EST

Ohio (WOSU)

The conventional wisdom for this election cycle is that it will all come down to Ohio. The state is coveted by Democrats and Republicans alike. Visits by candidates and ad dollars spent per voter are near records. And early voting has emerged as a possible deciding factor for Ohio. This is the state that could decide the election and we'll have field reports from WOSU all night.

4:05 p.m. EST

Washington (KPLU)

The state of Washington has a few potentially historic measures at play. It will vote on the legalization of marijuana, which would be the first time a state has ever legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Colorado and Oregon have similar marijuana legalization measures on the ballot. A same-sex marriage law, which was passed earlier this year, is on the ballot. There's also a gubernatorial race in Washington and recent polls show it's a dead heat. Finally, the state will decide if it wants to create a charter school system.

4:01 p.m. EST:

Florida (WLRN, WUSF and WFSU)

As usual, Florida is a critical battleground state in what could be a tight presidential election. One of the expected story lines out of Florida is the potential for long lines and confusion at the polls. State election officials will monitor Palm Beach County, which already reported printing problems with its ballots. There are reports of "shenanigans," such as fraudulent voting letters, throughout the state. When Floridans do begin the process of casting their votes, they'll have a lot to decide from. The state has 11 ballot measures that cover issues such as taxes, abortion, the state university system and the state budget. There are also close congressional races worth watching.

3:59 p.m. EST:

Massachusetts (WBUR)

Massachusetts is almost a lock for Obama but it's also home to a very competitive and very visible Senate race between the incumbent Scott Brown and the challenger Elizabeth Warren. This is one of the Senate races that could decide the balance of power. Massachusetts also has two ballot initiatives of note: the legalization of medical marijuana and a proposal to allow assisted suicide.

3:54 p.m. EST:

New Hampshire (NHPR)

In New Hampshire we'll be following both how the precinct near Mitt Romney's vacation home votes as well as the outcome for the whole state. While Obama carried New Hampshire in 2008, both candidates are spending heavily to pick up its four Electoral College votes.

3:52 p.m. EST:

While we wait for the polls to start closing we'll give you background on some of the stories we're following from battleground states tonight. First up, Virginia.

Virginia (WAMU)

Virginia's Senate race is one of national interest. George Allen is trying to reclaim the seat he lost six years ago, while Tim Kaine hopes to keep both of the Commonwealth's Senate seats in the hands of the Democrats. And, of course, Virginia is one of the swing states crucial for both presidential candidates. Polling averages have shown Obama and Romney to be within just a point or so of each other.

3:44 p.m. EST: 

A quick list of poll closing times for some of the states we're following on the Battleground. All times are EST.

7:00 p.m. Virginia

7:30 p.m. Ohio

8:00 p.m. Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire

9:00 p.m. Colorado, Michigan

11:00 p.m. Washington

The states and stations participating include:

New Hampshire (NHPR)

Massachusetts (WBUR)

Virginia (WAMU

Florida (WLRNWUSF and WFSU)

Ohio (WOSU)

Michigan (Michigan Public Radio)

Missouri (St. Louis Public Radio)

Colorado (KUNC)

Washington (KPLU)

We'll also rely on reporting from KERA, KCUR, Vermont Public Radio, WFPL News, Boise State Public Radio and other stations across the country.

Updating will begin shortly with frequent coverage starting at 6:00pm EST. Here's more information on the Battleground project.