This report is compiled from reporting by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and

Long lines that formed in the pre-dawn and stretched for a block, already heightened partisan tensions, voter ID snafus, and thwarting of poll inspectors should have been enough to frazzle voters.

But still they kept coming. And coming. Tens of thousands of voters turned up to cast their ballots in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for today's presidential election starting long before the workday.

In fact, lines were so long at one polling place that a voter stepped away, saying he couldn't wait any longer, but pledged to return. Interest in the election was so high that Committee of Seventy, a regional election watchdog, said it was getting an "unprecedented" amount of calls from voters.

In Jersey, where polling opened at 6 a.m. for 5.5 million registered voters, people qeued in darkness.  In Pennsylvania, with its 8.5 million registered voters, some polling places were swarmed when doors opened at 7 a.m.

In heavily-Democratic Philadelphia, a judge had to issue a court order allowing all certified minority inspectors into city  polling places because the local Republican Party complained that legally credentialed minority voting inspectors had been removed.  The court order allows them back in.  The GOP says 75 workers had been prohibited accessing polling places.

And, in one polling place, a portrait of Obama was ordered to be covered.


Polls opened first in New Jersey and turnout was brisk at the Zane North School in Collingswood, Camden County. One poll worker said someone was already there waiting for the doors opened as she arrived.  Soon after, there was a mom in running gear, senior citizens, and a young male about 20-years-old.

Esther Folk, 68, of Collingswood, was among the first to cast a vote for president at the school. She voted for President Obama, as she did four years ago.

"He really has tried to do his best," Folk said. "Somebody made a huge mess eight years ago, you can't clean it up right away. It takes more than four years."

Folk said she was wary of all politicians' promises, but confident that the president was the right choice rather than Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Folk said she liked that Obama has admitted to mistakes during his term, and that she still believes she should stick with him.

In Haddon Heights, two dozen were in line when polls opened at the municipal building.

Though New Jersey has a Republican governor in Chris Christie, it is a traditional blue state in presidential elections.  It has 1.8 million registered Democrats and 1.1 million registered Republicans, according to the state Division of elections. However, it has 2.6 million voters unaffiliated with either party.

Polls are open until 8 p.m. in New Jersey where voters are faced with a busy ballot.  Not only are they casting ballots for president, but they are choosing U.S. House members and a senate seat between incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez and GOP challenger Joseph M. Kyrillos.

In addition to county and local races, they are also faced with two ballot questions.  One question seeks approval of $750 million in bonds to funds for public colleges and universities, 19 county colleges and some private higher education institutions.  A second questions asks for approval of an amendment to the state constitution to allow contributions set by law to be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court justices and Superior Court judges for their employee benefits.


In Pennsylvania, polls opened at 7 a.m. and things were much less clear not only in terms of the presidential vote, but as to implementation of the news voter ID law, and the charge that Republican poll inspectors were being turned away.

Mitt Romney hopes to become the first GOP nominee to carry the state in 25 years.  Pennsylvania, viewed as a swing state, could see one of its closest presidential contests in decades.  So the stakes were high.

Also, voters cast ballots for the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, Jr., and Republican challenger Tom Smith, House seats, and the race for attorney general between Democrat Kathleen Kane and rival David Freed.

Viviette Applewhite, the 93-year-old lead plaintiff who sued to block Pennsylvania's voter ID law, was among the first in line to vote this morning when the polls opened.

"I'm so happy this is it. Maybe my phone be quiet tomorrow," she said, complaining about the flood of campaign calls.

When she obtained her non-driver license in August, Miss Applewhite, who uses an electric wheelchair, had to travel several miles via two buses to the nearest PennDot center.

But to cast her vote this morning, she only had to take the elevator nine floors down to the polling place in her Germantown senior apartment building.

She was lucky. Confusion seemed to abound in many polling places about the ID requirement (poll workers could ask for ID, but not turn away a voter without one).

At Central Bucks South High School, more than 250 were queued to get inside the gym to vote as the doors opened at 7.

And, at the Radnor Library, voters were already lined up at 6:20 am. By 7:15, the line wrapped around the outside of the building. Jane Golas, judge of elections said there are close to 1500 registered voters at the location. In 2008, about 1380 voted. She said about 1100 vote in most elections.

Brendan McGowan, 38, was one of the voters lining up early at the library in Radnor Township. He brought along his three children to watch.

In 2008 the financial planner voted for McCain and he said he was going to vote for Romney.

"I believe it is the right course for the country," he said. He said Romney was the one to reach a compromise and reform the tax code. "Obama is too divisive," he said.

If anything proved divisive during the day, however, it was the Commonwealth's new voter ID law.   The GOP-championed law was suspended for this election by a Commonwealth Court judge, who ruled there wasn't enough time for every voter who needed ID to get one before the election.

But stories were rampant about poll workers demanding ID, and voters arguing back.

Passions were high, considering the stakes. Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania has far more registered Democrats than Republics, according to state-supplied statistics as of Nov. 5.  Of the state's 8.5 million registered voters, 4.3 million are Democrats and 3.1 are Republicans.

But about 620,000 claim no party affiliation, and almost 500,000 are listed as 'other.'  So both campaigns see many of those 1.1 million registered with neither major party as potential voters - making it a potential swing state.

At times, it seemed most of those voters were heading to the polls at once.  At a Philadelphia polling place at 10th and Locust Streets, it took people 35 minutes to get through the line to vote.  One man walked out without voting, saying the line was too long and he didn't have time to wait. But he promised to return.

At the Benjamin Franklin Elementary school on Rising Sun Avenue, Republicans complained about a large Barack Obama mural behind two voting booths. A Philadelphia court ordered it be covered.


And at the hard-hit Shore, still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey allowed electronic and other provisional filing.

Turnout in Ship Bottom, Ocean County - the only polling place open on storm-ravaged Long Beach Island - has been heavy and steady all day long.

Elsewhere, Pauline Campo, her sister and their husbands voted by fax today from Marco Island, Fla., where they had sought refuge after the storm left them in the dark.

Campo, of South Plainfield, say they had faxed their requests to their county clerks – her sister and brother in law live in Hunterdon County, while she lives in Middlesex – on Monday and received their ballots Monday night via fax.

They faxed their ballots back to New Jersey this morning from the real estate office run by Campo's niece, Maria Caruso.

Camp said that by voting this way they  knew her choices would be known outside the privacy of the voting booth. "We signed a waiver," she said.

"We  felt it important enough to do it this way," she said. "I want to vote in the local elections, too, like the school board."

Campo said she voted for Romney.

"I have more confidence in him," she said. "I don't have the faith and confidence President Obama will do more than he has."