Obama Confident As First Polls Near Closing

Barack Obama

With polls in the first states about to close, President Obama and Mitt Romney are beginning to gather with family and friends to watch results.

A top Obama campaign spokesperson is positive about African-American turnout. “We’re seeing high turnout in Dem areas and across the board, especially in Latino and African-American areas across battleground states.  We still have hours to go until the polls close though and so voters need to continue to head to the polls and if there are lines stay until they are able to exercise their right to vote.”

The major TV news networks have agreed not to broadcast early exit poll data suggesting who might be leading in a state until the state’s polls close.

There have been reports of voting machine problems in Pennsylvania, where at least two machines were automatically checking Romney when voters selected Obama. Both machines were taken out of service. But it will undoubtedly raise questions as to the accuracy of the count in that hotly contested state, especially if the vote is close.

Meanwhile, in Florida, another battleground state, democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson sent out an email expressing concerns that many voters in the state be disenfranchised. She says long lines of three hours or more may mean that voters may not get a chance to vote. While the Department of Justice has monitors spanned out across Miami-Dade County, Wilson questions whether it will be enough to ensure a fair presidential election, in Florida, which is a key battleground state and critical to winning the Presidency. “We must ensure that everything possible is being done to ensure that people are allowed to vote. Florida has a history of voting irregularities and we must not have a repeat of the 2000 election fiasco,” she says.

At McCormick Place in Chicago, supporters are beginning to gather to watch results. Across the country, folks from all walks of life are having watch parties. Polling experts are predicting that it may be a long night as the closeness of votes in some states may require virtually every vote to be counted.