Field report

My precinct in Brentwood is usually tomb-like. Today I got there to vote at 9:30 and there was a line: a short one, but an actual line. Earlier in the morning, the line stretched down the block. One official told me that this was his sixth Presidential election, and he’d never seen such volume.

The staff work was very efficient, with a “greeter” at the door to make sure people knew which line to wait in and what to do.

The only activity outside the polling place was someone handing out “No on 8” (that’s the anti-gay-marriage initiative) literature.

Update A reader reports:

Over here in Venice it was the same.

At 6:55am the line was down the side of the building, it would take us just over an hour to get to cast our vote.

By 7:05am the line had doubled. I saw a neighbor who got in line at 7:10 wallking home at 9:15 as I was heading out to work.

The precinct workers were well-organized and efficient, but the turnout was simply crazy. In 22 years of voting at the same precinct there’s never been more than a dozen or so people lined up at once. But today is an historic day, everyone in line was excited about it, and everyone wants to be a part of it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: