By Katherine Ward
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The 2012 U.S. presidential election is in the home stretch and polling stations opened up early Tuesday morning across the country for people to cast their ballots.
For those looking to avoid the lineups, advanced polls had been available for about a month.
“Early voting took about an hour so,” Paul Robinson, a Daytona Beach FL. resident, told Humber News. “But that’s because there was only one precinct open, today there are about 10 or so, so the wait is much less.”
Still in other states, some people encountered line ups.
“The polling stations were pretty crowded, but I was out in about two hours,” Cheryl Glenn, a South Carolina resident, told Humber News.
Glenn said the atmosphere has been very different than it was four years ago.
“Last time it was very exciting going to the polling station because there was a significant African American population around me,” Glenn said. “So the thought of having an African American president was really meaningful for many people. This time, it seems like many people are trying to hold on to an ideal of four years ago and everyone is kind of tense.”
Many Americans may be looking to other — at times whimsical — factors to try and predict the election results.
The 7-11 poll has been one way for people to express their political views. In picking a their morning coffee, shoppers can pick which political party they want on their cup.
Since it beginning in 2000, the poll has correctly predicted two out of the last three elections.
So far, President Barack Obama is predicted to be the winner according to this poll.
There is also the Redskins Rule.
If the team wins at home for the game preceding election day, it has almost always coincided with success for the incumbent party.
It has been accurate 17 out of 18 times.
Given that the Panthers beat the Redskins 21-13 last weekend, this factor has former Michigan governor Mitt Romney ahead.
But for some, this election only highlights the challenges with the process.
“I do envy other countries and how they do their elections,” said Cameron Pruette of South Carolina. “The fact that nearly $3 billion has been put into this two year cycle is ridiculous because as soon as the votes are done being counted, we are going to move straight ahead to the next congressional election.”
Still others are just looking for is consensus.
“I would just like to see the country agree,” Brenden T. Gleason, a California resident, told Humber News. “I want there to be a clear winner so that we can see some things get done in the next four years.”