Thursday, November 4, 2004

Despite some long lines, voting was mostly smooth


Finally, it's time to retire the signs

By Cindy Schroeder
Enquirer staff writer

[photo]
Mike Little, successful Independence city council candidate, piles signs into his truck after removing them from the grounds near Summit View Middle School.
The Enquirer/ SARAH CONARD
Some Northern Kentucky polling places saw long lines, complaints about electioneering, even an Election Day power failure.

But overall, Tuesday's near-record turnout resulted in few challenges to voters' eligibility and only isolated voting machine problems.

In Boone and Campbell counties, 69 percent of the registered voters went to the polls, while Kenton County had about 68 percent turnout.

"I was pleasantly surprised," said Kenton County Clerk Bill Aylor. "It was a long hard day, but there wasn't too much craziness."

Most voters were aware of the potential for long lines when they voted and took the waits in stride, county clerks said. One exception was a Boone County man who stood in line at Erpenbeck Elementary School for two hours in the morning, left, then returned that afternoon for another two-hour wait before eventually giving up on voting.

ELECTION 2004
Bush prevails at polls
What to watch for this term

ONLINE EXTRAS
Photo gallery: Celebration and concession
Tell us what you think of the election
Watch Bush's acceptance speech
Watch Kerry's concession speech
George W. Bush's victory speech
John Kerry's concession speech
County by county interactive map
Election 2004 section

OHIO
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Intense 2008 election forecast for Ohio
All those visits to SW Ohio paid off for the president
Voters look to the future
Ohio seeks vote answers
Academic gains helped levy win, but Cincinnati must cut
Democrats now occupy three posts in county
5 Hamilton County school districts passed tax levies
Lakota cuts; Fairfield restores
Warren vote count was slow, others OK
Once and future prosecutor promises he'll clean up office

KENTUCKY
Despite some long lines, voting was mostly smooth
Kids vote just like adults
Republicans bask in victory
Pro-Kerry homework irks Mom
Precincts at Erpenbeck Elementary, the Florence Methodist Church on Old Toll Road and the Hopeful Lutheran Church in Florence are among those that will be split before the next election in 2006, said Boone County Clerk Marilyn Rouse.

Campbell County elections workers were counting votes until 12:35 a.m. Wednesday when a defective reader forced workers to count about 2,500 absentee and walk-in votes by hand instead of machine.

Workers eventually borrowed a reader from Kenton County, but the problem caused a three-hour delay in tabulating vote totals, said Campbell County Clerk Jack Snodgrass.

In other glitches, a transformer problem in northern Fort Thomas Tuesday night prompted the lights to go out, but the battery-powered voting machines "functioned perfectly," Snodgrass said. Poll workers and voters compensated with flashlights.

The most confusion probably was caused by voters who thought they were automatically registered to vote when they obtained their driver's license, Rouse said.

"They must sign a voter registration card,'' she said. "I can't stress that enough. It was incredible the number of people who thought they were registered to vote and weren't."

Throughout Northern Kentucky, victorious and losing candidates shared one common task Wednesday - the removal of political signs. While regulations vary from city to city, most require candidates to take down their signs within 10 days of an election.

Some regulations for removing signs

•  No restrictions: Bromley, Covington, Erlanger, Ludlow, Taylor Mill, Independence, Newport, Southgate, Silver Grove, Crestview and Melbourne.

•  Within 10 days of the election: Crestview Hills, Edgewood, Fort Mitchell, Fort Wright, Lakeside Park, and Fort Thomas

•  Within a week of an election: Crescent Springs and Villa Hills and Boone County unless a city has a stricter sign law.

•  Three days: Dayton and Park Hills




ELECTION 2004
Bush prevails at polls
George W. Bush's victory speech
Text of John Kerry's concession speech
What to watch for this term

OHIO
Election fuss gave Blackwell a boost
Intense 2008 election forecast for Ohio
All those visits to SW Ohio paid off for the president
Voters look to the future
Ohio seeks vote answers
Academic gains helped levy win, but Cincinnati must cut
Democrats now occupy three posts in county
5 Hamilton County school districts passed tax levies
Lakota cuts; Fairfield restores
Warren vote count was slow, others OK
Once and future prosecutor promises he'll clean up office

KENTUCKY
Despite some long lines, voting was mostly smooth
Kids vote just like adults
Republicans bask in victory
Pro-Kerry homework irks Mom

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Princeton High presents 'Nevermore'
Public safety briefs
Local news briefs

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N. Ky. news briefs