Tuesday 11/6 — Election Day
11:20 p.m.: Several networks are calling the election for Obama.
11:07 p.m. According to The Baltimore Sun, here's how the ballot questions are shaping up with 60.7 percent of precincts reporting.
- Same-sex marriage: 51.2 percent for, 48.8 percent against.
- Table games: 51.6 percent for, 48.4 percent against.
- DREAM Act: 57.5 percent for, 42.5 percent against.
Democrats have retained control of the Senate, networks report. Some of the most high-profile races included Elizabeth Warren beating Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Joe Donnelly overtaking Richard Murdock in Indiana and Claire McCaskill retaining her seat over Todd Akin
10:35 p.m.: With 54.3 percent of precincts reporting, same-sex marriage is close, according to The Baltimore Sun. 51 percent is voting for and 49 percent is voting against.
10 p.m.: With 11 percent of the Maryland precincts reporting, the DREAM Act is now standing at 62.5 percent of the votes for and 37.5 percent against. Same-sex marriage, with 8 percent of precincts reporting, has a 51.9 percent approval rating and 48.1 percent disapproval rating. The table games bill now has a 51.6 percent approval rating and 48.4 percent approval rating. 10:07 p.m.: There's a saying in sports that a team cannot be successful if it doesn't win its home games. Romney, it would appear, has lost his. Romney owns homes in New Hampshire, Michigan, Massachusetts and California. We now have projections that Obama has won New Hampshire, Michigan and Massachusetts. Obama is almost certain to win California later tonight, too.
9:55 p.m.: Networks have called Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Hampshire for Obama; all states are crucial swing states. Obama has a slight lead in Florida with about 84 percent of votes counted and Romney is leading in Virginia.
9:40 p.m.: The university overwhelmingly voted for President Barack Obama, as well as in favor of Questions 4, 6 and 7 on the ballot. Obama garnered 1,309 votes on the campus and Gov. Mitt Romney earned 320. 1,282 students voted in favor of the state's DREAM Act.; 244 voted against it. 1,048 students voted for same-sex marriage. 395 voted against Question 6. Students also overwhelmingly supported Question 7, the state's casino initiative, with 1,479 votes for and 220 votes against.
8:53 p.m.: With only 1 percent of the Maryland precincts reporting, the DREAM Act has majority approval with 66.4 percent of the votes for and 33.6 percent of the votes against. Same-sex marriage is also receiving majority approval, with 56.7 percent of reported votes for and 43.3 percent votes against. Additionally, according to the New York Times, the controversial table games bill has majority disapproval with 51.1 percent voting against and 48.9 percent voting for.
7:03 p.m.: 2,234 voters have voted in Stamp and the line is all but gone. Polling is open until 8 p.m. As long as you're in line by 8, you can vote.
8:04 p.m.: So far, Obama is expected to get Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine (3 of 4), Rhode Island and Vermont. Romney is expected to get Kentucky and Oklahoma. Obama definitely has three electoral votes; Romney has 8.8:23 p.m.: Networks report incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) has secured his Senate seat for another six years.
6: 30 p.m.: Just before 6 p.m. — two hours before the polls close — 2,032 students had cast their ballots in Stamp, with a steady line still formed outside the Atrium doors.
Today's voter turnout exceeded SGA Director of Governmental Affairs James Jalandoni early predictions.
“I’m really happy with the turnout so far,” said Jalandoni. “I think students understand the importance of this election with the crucial referendum questions.”
Sophomore computer science major Sundi Myint almost turned away after seeing the long lines in Stamp.
4:30 p.m.: As of 4:10 p.m., 1,700 students had cast their ballot in Stamp Student Union — officially breaking the 2008 record of 1,566, as the SGA Director of Governmental Affairs James Jalandoni predicted earlier today.
Many Student Government Association members are working in Stamp, aiding students in the voting process. Despite the hectic day, they were all proud and excited to have surpassed the previous goal with almost four hours left before the polls close.
“The online registration made it a lot easier and made students more aware that they could register with their address here on campus,” said SGA President Sam Zwerling. This system made it more likely for students to vote both in College Park and in general, she added.
On average, waiting in line is taking about 25 minutes. It was freshman mechanical engineering major Justin Albrecht's first time voting and he cited same-sex marriage as one of his most important causes.
"It's exciting to actually be able to vote, especially because I just turned 18," he said.
3:30 p.m.: With hours to go until polls close on the campus, students are continuing to join the line into Stamp Student Union. And while months of campaign coverage have helped some students come to a decision, others said they are voting mainly to exercise a valued right.
"It’s choosing between two people I don't really like," said freshman business major Chris Marshall. "It’s kind of just like I’m voting for the principle of the matter not necessarily because I like either one of them.”
Others said they were excited to cast their ballot for the first time.
"There are so many places around the world where if you vocalize your opinion whatsoever you’ll get thrown in jail," said Metti Duressa, a sophomore nutrition and food science major. "Democrat, Republican Independent, whatever, it’s just nice to see people go out and voting.”
In addition to many first-time voters, several students said they were experiencing their first major election in the United States.
“I think it’s pretty cool," said Yaqi Lia, a sophomore journalism major from China. "We don’t have this voting process. I’m pretty surprised by so many people voting and the politics process here."
3:00 p.m.: The line to vote in Stamp Student Union stretches beyond a sign that reads, “25 min from here! Happy Election Day!” Since 10 a.m., 1,237 students have voted in the polling location as of 2:17 p.m., an increase of almost 400 students since noon.
Upon entering the Atrium, the process of giving your information to an election judge and walking to the touch-screen booth to cast your ballot is relatively short — that is, if you don’t have to cast a provisional ballot.
Many students have to wait up to an hour or more to submit their vote using a provisional ballot, either because they missed the deadline for the absentee ballot for another region or because they are trying to vote in a location other than the one assigned to them.
“They aren’t counted immediately because they aren’t electronic,” said Matthew Popkin, SGA speaker of the legislature. “It discounts anyone who voted absentee as well as provisional ballot.”
Aside from this setback, Popkin said students seem excited to cast their ballot — in most cases, because they are voting for the first time.
“Let it not be understated the importance of the Maryland ballot questions,” Popkin added. “It really shows not only the importance of voting, but that each vote matters.”
1:45 p.m.: Students began lining up at Stamp Student Union at 10 a.m. to cast their votes and is “more than on track” to get more students to vote than in 2008, said James Jalandoni, Student Government Association director of governmental affairs.
As of 12:13 p.m., 851 students had voted. A total of 1,566 ballots were cast in 2008, Jalandoni said.
“We hope to see a substantial increase in voter turnout,” he said.
Students are waiting about 15 minutes to get through the line, which is moving “very fast.” However, James Jalandoni, Student Government Association’s director of governmental affairs, said he anticipates more students to show up later in the afternoon.
So far, voting has run smoothly, other than some students wondering if they’re eligible to vote on the campus.
“The biggest issue we faced is students being unsure if they can vote here if they’re not registered here, but we have people here in line answering questions,” Jalandoni said. “We’re very prepared this year.”
3:00 p.m.: Student Government Association and Marylanders for Marriage Equality members drew a small crowd for one last same-sex marriage rally in Stamp Student Union Monday afternoon, bringing in elected officials from across the state.
“We are for all,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said. “That’s what it means to be an American. Our diversity is our strength, and there’s no state that epitomizes this better than the state of Maryland.”
Marriage equality is on the ballot this year after Republican lawmakers successfully garnered thousands of signatures to force a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry to go to referendum, arguing marriages should exist only between a man and a woman under the traditional definition of marriage.
Speakers at the rally expressed their gratitude for students’ support, including Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery), the first openly gay member elected to the state’s legislature.
“I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see all you amazing young people here to show your support for Question 6, to show your support for my family,” Madaleno said.
Voters who are unsure of how they will vote should distinguish between religious beliefs and government regulation of marriage, said Rev. Delman Coates, president of the Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP.
“What I value as an American is the freedom we have of and from religion, which means all Americans have the right to their theological convictions,” Coates said. “But we do not right to impose our theological convictions on others in matters of public policy.”
Kiese Hansen, a sophomore government and politics and economics major, said her parents raised her to accept all kinds of relationships.
“I would argue that the best quality of the human race is our ability to love,” said Hansen. “Why would we restrict those from demonstrating this quality of our existence?”