11.02.04 election notes from nyc: updated throughout the day

12:50 ratherism of the evening: if a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a handgun.

11:40 joe, safe and sound from his campaigning, has attempted to go to bed; from milwaukee, tom reports optimism for the region and utter disgust on ohio [o god: cbs just called florida for bush]. tom also offers to shoulder responsibility for a kerry loss, as he shook hands with him yesterday. the misanthrope in me says we all deserve to suffer if that goes down.

i should have burned giuliani's old bedsheets [don't ask] in a voodoo ritual.

10:50 goddamn exit polls - shame on you for fueling my optimism. i worried that my falafel guy's fox news cap and sarah'n'judd's republican doorman would be bad luck, and here we are with ohio teetering and florida ready to plummet. george bet joe $20 that we'd lose. george really, really wants to pay joe $20.

07:00 stupid lack of I VOTED stickers! today's page six: "PORN director Seymore Butts — star of Showtime's reality series "Family Business" — is giving away dirty DVDs to anyone who shows up at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square tonight with proof of having voted. "We'd like them to vote for Kerry, but if they voted for Bush and come to get a free Seymore DVD . . . well, that's a little telling, isn't it?" he says. Butts and porn starlet Mari Possa will distribute DVDs to randy voters beginning at 6:30 p.m."

05:40 "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blue chips fell on Tuesday in a sharp reversal that trimmed gains in other indexes as Internet sites suggested exit polls had Sen. John Kerry ahead of President Bush in key states in the U.S. presidential election. [...] Shares of defense, pharmaceutical, health care and medical technology companies led the reversal."

poor george, three blocks away, reports that his voting adventure (at the same time as mine) took two and a half hours; sarah, a bit east of us, had no problems. my ex-Corporation was nice enough to give everyone the day off (quite upright of them, since most of the magazine staffs are liberal and a lot of people live and vote in jersey or beyond).

03:15 on pains and asses, it has been heartening to see new yorkers take up the "safe state, not quiet state" banner. mari and josh took one of the many weekend buses to philly for last minute get-out-the-vote efforts; a healthy number of his nyu law school classmates are volunteering, like tom in milwaukee, to monitor today. a solid contingent of young recruits - most of hell's kitchen's "drinking liberally," for example - are dean refugees; many others have been shocked out of previous states (see paul's post-nader thoughts) by this administration's atrocities. no one is happy about the way 2000 and the intervening years have gone down, but it's undeniable that we cynical twentysomethings - and liberals in general, really - got a much-needed zap in the pants. i'm starting to believe that the polls will reflect it.

02:15 the folks at whywehatebush.com have taken their overnight midtown sticker-sticking very seriously: on a single street between 5th and 9th avenues, i saw several hundred of their feisty little flags. a whopping two I VOTED lapel stickers on the same walk (my location, at least, wasn't handing them out). the word downtown is that voters closest to ground zero are waiting in two-hour lines; given that everyone i know who has lived there works elsewhere (rent incentives after 9/11 made wall street apartments available to a new slice of the population), that's got to be a pain in the ass.

10:15 [democracy plaza, rockefeller center] almost no line to vote at 48th street; i suspect that i spent more time in the booth than i did getting there. bearing in mind that i'm notoriously scatterbrained with directions, the machine was horribly confusing: bush/cheney and kerry/edwards were both listed twice, and flip big lever / flip lots of little levers / flip big lever / tell poll observer to flip big lever is more involved than it sounds. was pleased to see that the friendly crazy man from my building came out to vote. was a little concerned that he was the guy who checked me in.

lots of stages, virtually no people out here. foreigners are loving the air force one fuselage and the oval office photo op ("capture your moment in the seat of power"). spent a bit of time with the only traveling copy of the declaration of independence, andrew jackson souvenir china, a substantial collection of unlabeled pewter. bush's electoral flip counter has been placed 20' in front of the nbc experience store's YOU'RE FIRED display.

08:15 joe is off to last-minute pamphleteering for one of the congresswoman's allies [note: he works for a local official]. she called last night to change his location for safety reasons; this ally's opponent has been using unsavory people to intimidate campaign workers for the past few weeks. this is bare-knuckle politics, i guess - i made him promise to stay out of harm's way. hope he listens.

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