People spilled out of the ballrooms and into the hallways. About 2,000 Democrats attended the results watch party at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.
Folks celebrated Democratic victories even before they were certain. Sam Bregman said at just after 8 p.m., still early in the evening, that presidential candidate Mitt Romney was "on the ropes" and would be defeated.
City Councilor Ken Sanchez was all smiles as he worked the room, as did Brian Colon and many other Democrat candidates, officials and campaign workers. State Rep. Gail Chasey, who was re-elected to her legislative seat was beaming from ear to ear, not just for herself but newly elected congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Lujan Grisham said the progressive core values need to reach a broad group of citizens. "And the kinds of issues that we need to be passionate about are for women and people of color and persons in poverty. These are the issues I am going to be so proud to work on."
The party will likely be going strong for a while.
Gary Johnson spent the night mingling with supporters casually and thanking them for their votes. He took the stage a short while ago after running mate, Judge James Gray.
"A wasted vote is a vote for somebody you don't believe in," Johnson said. "There were a lot of wasted votes tonight. There were more wasted votes than I've ever seen in my life."
He told the Alibi in an interview tonight that things were looking good, but then as Election Day neared and the presidential race seemed tight, "we saw things evaporate. I thought we would have done better."
His crowd of supporters punctuated his speech with cheers as he spoke of his platform: "Roll back the police state. Stop the war. Stop the military intervention. Marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Repeal the Patriot Act."
Johnson said no one can blame the Libertarians for the state of the country. "We should all be proud of ourselves, because over the next four years, none of us are going to have to say we're responsible for this. Don't blame me. I didn't vote for either one of them. I voted for Gary Johnson."
Judge Gray pleaded from the podium with Johnson to run again in 2016. Johnson told the Alibi that's the last thing anyone wants to talk about today, especially after a prolonged and dirty election cycle. "I ran two campaigns for governor where I did not mention my opponent in print, radio or on TV," Johnson pointed out.
After he made his way off the stage, someone from the audience shouted that Colorado had legalized marijuana for recreational use. Johnson said the state's move will lead to a change worldwide in drug policy.
I'm at Gary Johnson's presidential campaign party at Hotel Albuquerque with about 150 of his fans and friends.
The former New Mexico governor hasn't yet made an appearance, but I got a chance to talk to spokesperson Joe Hunter. He says the campaign isn't looking to pull any particular percentages around the country. "The number we end up with tonight is not that important."
If Johnson gets 5 percent of the vote in New Mexico, the Libertarian Party will be a major party in our state during the next election cycle.
"What we have done is created a good foundation," Hunter says. "We've identified hundreds of thousands of Gary supporters." Johnson made more than 1 million friends on Google Plus, 100,000 Twitter followers and 400,000 Facebook friends, according to Hunter. He visited 20 college campuses and drew hundreds of attendees at each, even with only a couple of days notice, Hunter says.
Johnson ended up on the ballot in 48 states and in D.C. His name wasn't listed under presidential options in only Michigan and Oklahoma. As the election neared, Hunter says third-party candidates lose supporters, especially if the race is looking close.
If you refuse to look away while one political party puts personhood for fetuses above personhood for women, this election is relevant to you.
The GOP platform does not make exceptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest, or even some insignificant detail like the life of the mother. They tell us rape resulting in pregnancy is a gift from god. They tell us some girls “rape easy.” I could go on, but I’m sure you know the rest. (If you don’t, the gist of it is really, really misogynist.)
I’m hardly saying President Obama is perfect, or even that another Obama presidency will prevent a gaggle of old white men from talking about vaginas. But a non-vote allows them to continue talking about women as second-class citizens. A non-vote doesn’t combat the notion that we’ll go slut-crazy with unfettered access to birth control. A non-vote won’t keep funding for Planned Parenthood—an organization that provides cancer screenings, treatments of STDs and low-cost contraception as 97 percent of its services. And most of all a non-vote doesn’t tell Republicans that these issues are real, deciding factors for many women of all class, color and circumstances, no matter how much they try to tell us otherwise.
Obama has let a lot of us down on a lot of things to be sure. But he (and the Democrats behind him) continue to do all right when it comes to ensuring women have basic agency over their own bodies. And I haven’t even mentioned the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or basic civil rights for our LGBTQ community.
Plus, why would you vote for a party that erects a “lady tent” to convince us ladies to like them as much as we all like pink.
Lines at Jefferson Middle School have shot out the door and down the sidewalk. The Student Union Building voting site on UNM campus has lines an hour or so long. Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver tweets that waits are longer than 30 minutes at Rio Bravo, Siesta Hills, Van Buren, Del Norte, McKinely, Cibola and Hayes. But the wait is less than 15 minutes at Downtown sites, including Washington Middle School and the Clerk’s Annex. Scope a map of polling locations and wait times. You can vote at any one of 69 convenience centers.
If you refuse to vote for a candidate that supports endless war, the 2012 presidential election is irrelevant to you. If you refuse to vote for someone who's in favor of mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, this election is irrelevant to you. If you refuse to vote for someone who has proven time and again that they will put profit before people, banks before families, business before human dignity, this election is irrelevant to you.
Sure, you could vote third party. But that third party candidate is not going to win. Obama is. Having out-raised Romney and being the incumbent, it was good as done before it even began. Not that it matters.
Because whether the next president is donkey or elephant, children will still be slaughtered by American bombs in Yemen and Pakistan. Children will still be cut down by American guns in the streets of Mexico. Palestinian children will continue living under United States-backed apartheid and Saudi children will still wake up every day as subjects of a dictatorship.
No matter how you look at it, both candidates would pursue sociopathic policies and do extreme damage to the planet and the people living on it. The only good thing to be said about this election? It's almost over.
Music has a long and storied history of serving as a medium for political messages. From folk to punk to electro, musicians with politics on the brain have turned up the mic and bared their souls to willing ears and open minds. Listen to 12 presidential and politically themed tracks below. And please don't forget to rock the vote, y'all.
Yeah, yeah, Bronco Bama and Mittens Whatever. Surely some of you are as sick as I am of the non-stop coverage those guys get and are wondering how the OTHER candidates are doing.
No, I don’t mean that Gary Johnson, Jill Stein crap either. I’m talking about the candidates with integrity! The candidates with boots on their heads, with magical flying reindeer, with no mouths whatsoever, and who may or may not actually exist!
Sadly, things aren’t looking so good for our below-the-ballot candidates:
Hello Kitty, by virtue of her London birth (!) is disqualified from seeking office.
Mr. The-Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High seems to have scuppered his presidential campaign and is now, according to his website, "exploring the possibility" of either running for New York mayor, and/or getting "a candidate on the ballot" in all 50 states in 2013. (What are we voting for in 2013?)
BALTIMORE—When my husband and I headed to our polling place this morning we took along something extra: Our children. Previously we’ve opted to vote unencumbered by the whirling dervishes of energy that our children are, but this time around we felt a need for them to be a part of what could be an historic vote—and I don’t just mean electing Barry O to a second term.
You see, while I occasionally send in reports to the Alibi about the goings-on in DC I actually live on the Maryland side. And this year’s Maryland ballot features Question 6, a referendum on extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. Maryland passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in February; opponents (shocker!) of the bill submitted signatures for the referendum in June. The bill not only allows for same-sex couples to be granted marriage rights, but also includes language guaranteeing religious organizations will not have to gay marry anyone. Question 6 has received support from African-American religious groups; a demographic considered pivotal in securing enough votes to once and finally recognize, legally, the inherent humanity of a group long discriminated against. Maryland has the best chance, so far, of passing such a referendum.
What does this have to do with dragging our five-and-seven-year-old sugar-boogars to a school gymnasium while mommy and daddy perform their civic duty? Did I want to share a warm, fuzzy, feel-good moment as we held hands, touched “yes”, shared a knowing smile and patted ourselves on the back for being open-minded? Or, perhaps, I didn’t want to take the chance that living in a blue county in a blue state wasn’t enough and wanted to model good progressive behavior for them? Not quite.
I took them along so they would have to walk past the people who have been fighting for their rights for too long and who were making that one last appeal to voters, who had smiles on their faces as they asked voters to see them as equals. I wanted them to walk past the people next to them who were asking voters to deny LGBTQ citizens any recognition of full equality under the law.
My husband and I ushered them into the booths with us so they could see us vote for something that should never have been put to a vote. We read the ballot out loud to them and explained why we were voting yes, why this was so important. We did everything we could think of to make sure these tiny people remember the day their parents went to the polls and agreed to legally treat LGBTQ citizens like everybody else.
We want them to remember this moment as past generations have remembered voting to extend rights to women, African-Americans and other disenfranchised groups. We want them to remember this moment because we hope this is the last generation that votes on who is equal and deserving of rights. Rights! We want them to be the generation that finally understands that we don’t have the right to vote on someone’s rights; the first generation to fully understand what equality means; the first generation to fully enjoy equality, equally.
I was in line by 7:04 am at Jefferson Middle School, and there were at least 50 folks ahead of me. Thank goodness for the bake sale being held in the lobby: The scones held me over until it was my turn. When I left there, were slightly fewer people in line. It was great to see the diversity of voters who turned out early at this neighborhood polling station.
We’ve heard reports of differing waits at the polling locations. You can vote at any of the 69 convenience centers. The county clerk has a color-coded system that will show you what the wait will be like as you head in on your lunch hour. It’s looking pretty good around the city, with green 15-minute waits at most locations.
Or, try the clerk’s new app on your smartphone. Download it at Apple’s App Store or the Android Play Store for free. Just search for “BernCo,” “Bernalillo County” or “My Vote Center.” If you don’t have those services, you can get it right from the bernco.gov home page. There it’s called the Wait Time Feature for My Vote Center.
In our Election Guide, we summed up everything you need to know about voting today.