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Tangled in Red-Tape in Indiana,
12:00 p.m. E.T.
For days, the 20-something black man heard friends complain about long lines at so-called satellite early voting stations here in crumbling Gary, Indiana. So he rose before dawn today, put on his baggy jeans and white leather jacket, and showed up at the Gary Christian Center for Youth, on Broadway Street, one of this city's main boulevards. "I was thinking I'd be able to get in and out of here at a decent hour," said the man, who declined to give his name.
Instead, elections officials turned him away. The reason: he lacked a valid Indiana driver's license that is required by law here to vote. His Indiana license, he said, expired several years ago. The situation was complicated by the fact that the only ID he had on him was from out-of-state. Just before 7:00 a.m., he walked out the polling station, and was met by a pair of attorney's from nearby Chicago who volunteered to monitor polling stations for such issues. The man had come to the polling station with a hand full of telephone, electricity and gas bills. "This was supposed to be my backup," he said. The two poll watchers advised him to go to a nearby DMV to get a new driver's license. "You'll come back, right?" said the female poll watcher, who said she was advised to not give her name to reporters.
This is the kind of issues the Obama campaign is concerned about. Just last Friday, an Indiana appeals court dismissed Republican efforts to invalidate thousands of votes cast at satellite voting stations here in Democratic-leaning Lake County, which is just outside Chicago. Republicans have 30 days from last Friday's ruling to appeal the ruling, possibly before Indiana's Supreme Court. Jonathan Swain, an Obama campaign spokesman in Indiana, said roughly 1,000 attorneys from across the region had volunteered to monitor the polls for voter intimidation tactics. By Steve Gray / Gary
California: The Twelve Props,
11:00 a.m. E.T.
While it looks like the choice for President will be an easy one for most Californians polls in California show Obama leading here 56.3% to 36.6% chances are, a number of voters are shuffling through some paperwork tonight trying to get a bead on the 12 propositions that will be on the state's ballot. From gay marriage to farm animals' quarters to the state's energy policy, voters have a lot of decisions to make. Proposition 2 whose opponents and proponents have raised millions in their fights would require roomier confinements for farm animals, mainly chickens. Animal rights groups are adamant these changes be made for the animals' well-being and health; opponents say these changes are costly and would put farmers out of business. Propositions 7 and 10 are initiatives that would curb greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and vehicles. Environmentalists and others have opposed these initiatives, saying they are gravely flawed and costly. By far the most heated is Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex couples from marriage. Proposition 8 protests which have sprung up throughout Northern California in recent weeks are still raging. Over the weekend, 1,000 people stormed Fresno City Hall for a No on 8 Rally. On the eve of the election, over 100 people gathered on a busy street corner in Sacramento to scream opposing views at each other in a protest that spilled over from the weekend. And in Modesto, about a dozen men, women and children gathered after dark in the pouring rain to cheerfully wave yellow "Yes on 8" banners at cars entering the freeway. By Kristin Kloberdanz / Modesto
A Texas Parable,
11:30 a.m. E.T.
Lorenzo Sadun, a University of Texas mathematics professor and Democratic precinct chairman, was canvassing his old Austin neighborhood last weekend when he spied a homemade McCain sign on a neighbor's lawn. Someone had stolen the official sign and his neighbor had been forced to improvise. "I was ashamed that my side, 'the good guys', would rip off his sign," Sadun told TIME in an email. "So I decided to replace it, partly as penance and partly to show him, and the neighborhood, that we really are the good guys." Sadun headed to the downtown GOP office, a quiet, low key operation, and asked for a sign for his neighbor. "I want to put in a good word for the workers at the GOP office, who were extremely friendly, even after I explained that I was a Democratic precinct chair. They understand that Democrats and Republicans can be friendly opponents, not enemies," Sadun says. By Hilary Hylton / Austin
Those Unending Wacky Obama Conspiracies,
10:30 a.m. E.T.
Near rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 was brought down on 9/11, the Rev. Ron McRae continues to fuel conspiracy theories, right up to Election Day. The self-styled Anabaptist bishop, who gained the support at least one Congressman when he complained that the proposed Flight 93 memorial "Crescent of Embrace" honored Islam and pointed toward Mecca, has now supposedly interviewed Barack Obama's Kenyan grandmother to prove that the Democratic nominee is not a natural-born citizen. The interview is allegedly attached as an affidavit to a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit that is trying to stop this election a lawsuit that, McRae says, the mainstream media is ignoring but certain blogs just can't resist. But as even one commenter on the "Citizen Wells" blog notes, the whole thing "does have a Nigerian email scam feel to it." McRae may have succeeded in getting the Shanksville 9/11 memorial design modified, if not eliminated but this effort, whoever may be behind the supposed lawsuit, is certainly a non-starter. By Marty Levine / Pittsburgh