More than 30 million absentee or early ballots have been cast, including in excess of 3 million in Florida. The state also had a legal controversy, in the form of a Democratic lawsuit seeking an extension of time for pre-Election Day voting.
There were other concerns, logistical rather than legal.
Officials in one part of New Jersey delivered voting equipment to emergency shelters so voters displaced by Superstorm Sandy last week could cast ballots. New York City made arrangements for shuttle buses to provide transportation for some in hard-hit areas unable to reach their polling places.
Judging from the long early voting lines in some places and the comments made in others, the voters were more than ready to have their say.
“I watch the news all the time, and I am ready for it to be over,” said Jennifer Walker, 38, of Columbus, Ohio, who said she took time off from work to attend the president’s speech during the day in a show of support. “I feel like he is getting better with the economy. I don’t think it’s hopeless. It takes time.”
But Bryan Dobes, 21, a University of Iowa student from suburban Chicago, voted for Romney yesterday and said unemployment and spending have been too high under Obama. “He promised a lot of hope and change, and I’m not seeing it,” he said of the president.
“No retreat, no surrender,” sang rock icon Bruce Springsteen, warming up Obama’s crowd on a frosty morning outside the State Capitol in Madison, Wis. The Boss then boarded Air Force One for his first flight. “Pretty cool,” he judged it.
Romney had Kid Rock and the Marshall Tucker Band in the wings for his late appearances in Ohio and New Hampshire.
“This is it,” the challenger said in a last-minute emailed request for campaign donations.