An Illinois woman showed this morning that she was determined to vote, despite the fact that she was in labor.
Galicia Malone’s water had broken, and her contractions were five minutes apart when she went to vote today about 8:30 a.m., according to a release from the office of Cook County Clerk David Orr.
The 21-year-old Malone voted in her first presidential election today at Precinct 88, New Life Celebration Church, near Chicago.
"If only all voters showed such determination to vote," Cook County Clerk David Orr. "My hat goes off to Galicia for not letting anything get in the way of voting. What a terrific example she is showing for the next generation, especially her new son or daughter."
A brisk turnout is being reported across the country today as voters go to the polls to elect a president, senators, representatives and other state and local leaders.
The heightened national attention to this general election has brought long lines and, in some cases, lots of problems for voters casting their ballots. Leaders from civil rights organizations and voter protection groups from across the country participated in an early afternoon conference call with media and the Unity '12 Campaign.
In Atlanta, several Morehouse College students had problems at the polls because their names were not on the voter list, said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda.
“The students were registered to vote. They had their voter registration information from the Secretary of State’s office, but their names were not listed at the polling place, and the manager could not pull up their information on the computer,” Butler said during the conference call that included BlackAmericaWeb.com.
The students were instructed to complete provisional ballots, but further investigation showed that the students were in the system. However, the polling manager did not access the supplemental list of voters that included their names, Butler said.
A similar problem was reported in Birmingham, Alabama, where about 100 voters at the Harrison Park Recreation Center had their voter registration cards, but were told their names were not on the list, said Sheila Tyson, of the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation.
Lawyers with Protect the Vote are working to help clear up the problem, and those who were being turned away will vote and have their votes counted, Tyson said during the call.
Participants in the call from Pennsylvania said there were some reports with quiet acts of voter intimidation by the group True The Vote. Coalition members said several voters have been approached by people who posture themselves as election officials and ask outside of the polling location to see an individual’s identification.
Long lines were the norm at many of the polling locations, voter protection activists said. High volume during the morning rush translated into long lines in many cities. There were also spotted reports of broken voting machines.
Still voters showed determination. As a gentle rain fell this morning in Atlanta, at least 500 people waited outside in line to vote at the Adamsville Recreation Center.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, in partnership with the A. Philip Randolph Institute and 40 other national and state-based organizations and affiliates, is leading its non-partisan Unity '12 voter empowerment efforts in 14 states through its Black Youth VoteiThink 2012, Black Women's Roundtable Power of the Sister Vote and Foot Soldiers for Democracy Initiatives.
"The goal of the partnership is to ensure that black voters register to vote, secure proper ID, verify their voting status, and are allowed to cast a vote that counts on election day," said Melanie Campbell, executive director of the NCBCP.