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Welcome to "Your Vote 2008," your guide to complete coverage of the 2008 elections, with stories, images and results as reported by The Patriot Ledger and The Enterprise.


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Election day blog

OH-BAMA! US Elects first black president

Obama win

By DAVID ESPO
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama swept to victory as the nation’s first black president Tuesday night in an electoral college landslide that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself. “Change has come,” he told to a huge throng of jubilant supporters.

Here are the race by race results for the South Shore:

President

x-Barack Obama, Dem 1,835,995 - 62 percent
John McCain, GOP 1,073,761 - 36 percent
Ralph Nader, Ind 27,666 - 1 percent
Bob Barr, Lib 12,596 - 0 percent
Cynthia McKinney, Grn 6,342 - 0 percent
Chuck Baldwin, CST 4,878 - 0 percent

U.S. Senate

x-John Kerry, Dem (i) 1,906,364 - 66 percent
Jeff Beatty, GOP 897,111 - 31 percent
Robert Underwood, Lib 92,259 - 3 percent

U.S. House
4th District

x-Barney Frank, Dem (i) 202,255 - 68 percent
Earl Sholley, GOP 75,319 - 25 percent
Susan Allen, Ind 19,767 - 7 percent

State House of Representatives
4th Norfolk

x-James Murphy, Dem (i) 13,356 - 75 percent
Robert Thomas, GOP 4,556 - 25 percent

5th Norfolk

x-Joseph Driscoll, Dem (i) 15,271 - 79 percent
Richard Moran, Unr 3,944 - 21 percent

1st Plymouth

x-Vinny deMacedo, GOP (i) 14,757 - 68 percent
Jay Ferguson, Dem 7,101 - 32 percent

4th Plymouth

x-James Cantwell, Dem 13,951 - 62 percent
John Valianti, Ind 8,651 - 38 percent

9th Plymouth

x-Michael Brady, Dem 10,794 - 84 percent
Lawrence Novak, GOP 2,097 - 16 percent

Plymouth County Treasurer

x-Thomas O’Brien, Dem (i) 132,105 - 62 percent
Edward O’Connell, GOP 81,508 - 38 percent

Norfolk County Commissioner

x-John Gillis, Dem (i) 141,905 - 33 percent
x-Francis O’Brien, Dem (i) 129,680 - 30 percent

Thomas Gorman, GOP 81,766 - 19 percent
Michael Walsh, Ind 75,329 - 18 percent

Plymouth County Commissioner

x-John Riordan, Dem (i) 101,219 - 37 percent
x-Anthony O’Brien, Dem 73,385 - 27 percent

Ronald Davy, GOP 68,924 - 25 percent
Scott Vecchi, Unr 28,733 - 11 percent

Bristol County Commissioner

x-Christopher Saunders, Dem (i) 102,596 - 47 percent
x-Paul Kitchen, Dem 68,806 - 31 percent

Gregory DeMelo, Unr 48,940 - 22 percent

Ballot Questions
Question 1- State income tax

Yes, 847,472 - 30 percent
x-No, 1,932,146 - 70 percent

  

Question 2 - Decriminalizing marijuana

x-Yes, 1,820,354 - 65 percent
No, 969,565 - 35 percent

Question 3 - Dog racing ban

x-Yes, 1,540,317 - 56 percent
No, 1,203,598 - 44 percent

   The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his historic triumph by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states – Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and more.

   On a night for Democrats to savor, they not only elected Obama the nation’s 44th president but padded their majorities in the House and Senate, and come January will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994.

   Obama’s election capped a meteoric rise – from mere state senator to president-elect in four years.

   In his first speech as victor, to thousands at Grant Park in his home town of Chicago, Obama catalogued the challenges ahead. “The greatest of a lifetime,” he said, “two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.”

   He added, “There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face.”

   McCain called his former rival to concede defeat – and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. “The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly,” McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.

   President Bush added his congratulations from the White House, where his tenure runs out on Jan. 20. “May God bless whoever wins tonight,” he had told dinner guests earlier.

   Obama, in his speech, invoked the words of Lincoln and echoed John F. Kennedy.

   “So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder,” he said.

   He and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on Jan. 20, 2009.

   Obama will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that is almost certainly in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

   The popular vote was close – 51.3 percent to 47.5 percent with 73 percent of all U.S. precincts counted – but not the count in the Electoral College, where it mattered most.

   There, Obama’s audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn’t gone Democratic in years paid rich dividends.

   Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

   A survey of voters leaving polling places on Tuesday showed the economy was by far the top Election Day issue. Six in 10 voters said so, and none of the other top issues – energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care – was picked by more than one in 10.

   In Washington, the Democratic leaders of Congress celebrated.

   “It is not a mandate for a party or ideology but a mandate for change,” said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

   Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California: “Tonight the American people have called for a new direction. They have called for change in America.”

   Shortly after midnight in the East, The Associated Press count showed Obama with 338 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed for victory. McCain had 141 after winning states that comprised the normal Republican base.

   Interviews with voters suggested that almost six in 10 women were backing Obama nationwide, while men leaned his way by a narrow margin. Just over half of whites supported McCain, giving him a slim advantage in a group that Bush carried overwhelmingly in 2004.

   The results of the AP survey were based on a preliminary partial sample of nearly 10,000 voters in Election Day polls and in telephone interviews over the past week for early voters.

To read the rest of the story click here.


More stories

Historic election brings record turnout - As predicted, turnout was at its highest levels in decades, setting some records at South Shore polling places, hitting well over 80 percent in most towns and topping out at 88 percent in Marshfield.

Voters decriminalize pot, ban dog racing, keep income tax - Massachusetts voters on Tuesday made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil offense, banned dog racing and rejected a proposed repeal of the state income tax.

Many schools closed to students on Election Day - An accident on the day of the primary election at a Randolph elementary school has convinced some schools to close Tuesday.

More than 30 schools holding mock elections - More than 30 schools around the South Shore scheduled mock elections before eligible citizens head to the polls on Tuesday. Teachers say electoral simulations are a way for students to learn how government works hands-on, rather than reading about it in a textbook.

State may set turnout record in Tuesday's election - Town clerks in the region aren’t surprised by predictions at a record state turnout in numbers of voters on Tuesday.

Vote Smart says few candidates pass its 'courage test' -Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan national voter information group, has released candidate responses to its "Political Courage Test," but only 38 percent participated nationally and 20 percent in Massachusetts. Open this story for a list of all candidates for state office, including biographical information, interest group ratings, campaign finance information and positions on issues for those who filled out a Vote Smart form.

Special section in Patriot Ledger helps kids understand election - “Destination White House 2008,” a Newspapers in Education supplement running Monday, covers the role of the president, voting procedures and voting history.

Quincy vote slogan winners agree to share $1,776 prize - The winners of Uncle Sam Rounseville's get-out-the vote slogan, Theresa Doherty of Weymouth and Richard Meredith of Quincy, met on Friday at the corner of Newport Avenue and Beale Street, where Rounseville has a billboard that he uses for public service messages. The winning slogan, "Your vote is your voice, speak up," went up last week.

Kids Voting Plymouth looks for volunteers - Kids Voting Plymouth, an organization that educates young people about the importance of voting through mock elections and classroom instruction, is seeking volunteers.

More and more, Massachusetts a one-party state - The Republican party in Massachusetts has never been weaker. Its 16-year clutch on the governorship is a memory. In the state Legislature, Republicans are outnumbered 8 to 1, the most lopsided power balance in any state house nationwide. On Capitol Hill, the story is drearier still – no Republican in Congress has hailed from Massachusetts since 1996. To learn one reason why, talk to 100 voters here: only 12 are likely to be Republican.

Valianti, Cantwell spar on income tax reform in Marshfield debate - The clearest distinction made between state representative candidates Jim Cantwell and John Valianti in a debate Tuesday night came on a hypothetical question: What would you do if voters choose to abolish the state income tax?

Quincy watches battle over bilingual ballots - Quincy has one of the largest Asian immigrant populations in the state but so far, it has avoided the thorny political debate over bilingual ballots. That’s likely to change after the 2010 census when Quincy will reach a federal threshold requiring it to provide bilingual ballots.

WGBH airs feature on Uncle Sam's get out the vote effort - WGBH-TV has begun airing a feature on Uncle Sam Rounseville and his get-out-the-vote effort.

Randolph to sign up voters at a soccer field, other locations - Soccer moms will be able to register to vote at the soccer field. Or at the supermarket, post office and school open houses.

Election-related web sites

Here's where to learn
more about the issues in the presidential campaign.

GATEHOUSE MEDIA NATIONAL SITE

National poll
The debates
Debate companion
Debate transcripts
Election map based
on latest polls
Associated Press
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Politicker.com
League of Women Voters
McCain campaign
Obama campaign
MassVote
Real Clear Politics
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement
Project Vote Smart
Rock the Vote
USA.gov
Ballotpedia
VoteHelp.org