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FROM THIS EPISODE

Record numbers of voters are turning out for today's election, which is bound to make history, whichever side wins. We look at issues, voting blocs and possible problems in crucial battleground states. Also, networks' plans for exit polls, and voters in various states face a total of 153 ballot measures, some on controversial subjects. Will they bring out additional voters that could influence other elections?


Banner image: Voters stand in line at their polling place before dawn in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Producers:
Gary Scott
Sonya Geis
Andrea Brody

Main Topic Election Day in America 36 MIN, 44 SEC

When it all started 22 months ago, the big issue was the war in Iraq. When the presidential candidates finally gave way to the voters, it was all about the economy. Today, voters began lining up before the polls opened on the eastern seaboard, and the pattern repeated itself with long lines forming across the country. The race, gender and age of the candidates will make this election historic whichever side wins, and the turnout's expected to set a record. Both parties and the Department of Justice are looking for evidence of fraud or disenfranchisement. Is the electorate changing? Do American voters expect more than any president can deliver?  When will we know the results?

Guests:
Curtis Hubbard, Political Editor, Denver Post
Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies (@chriskromm)
Jonathan Riskind, Washington Bureau Chief, Columbus Dispatch
Marcia Gelbart, City Hall Bureau Chief, Philadelphia Inquirer
Ron Brownstein, National Journal (@RonBrownstein)
Ezra Klein, Washington Post (@ezraklein)

Reporter's Notebook Could State Ballot Measures Increase Voter Turnout across the US? 6 MIN, 6 SEC

Ballot initiatives have become increasingly common, and increasingly divisive, across the country. There are no less than 153 ballot initiatives in various states, with subjects including same sex marriage, abortion and affirmative action, all of which have the capacity to increase turnout. This year, three states are voting on same sex marriage. Jennie Drage Bowser is a senior elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislators

Guests:
Jennie Drage Bowser, Senior Elections Analyst, National Conference of State Legislators

Making News Networks' Plans for Exit Polls 6 MIN, 10 SEC

All the broadcast networks and cable outlets share a single source for exit polling across the country.  Four years ago, their data led to early calls that John Kerry had won the election. Those calls, of course, turned out to be wrong. Will there be greater caution this time around? Jacques Steinberg reports for the New York Times.

Guests:
Jacques Steinberg, New York Times

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