(title idea courtesy of Erza Klein, image from Wikipedia)
Rather than trying to predict this time, since it seems the polls are all over the place, I am going to give you some anecdotes to give this historic day some flavor.
Today, my wife got up at 5:30 a.m. to opening up our polling place. That's right, ours will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. meaning she was there from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Her job is to make sure those touch screen voting machines work and that people know how to use them. I have asked her to tell me how many times she has to replace the paper rolls (our machines have an auditable paper ballot verification)--each roll contains approximately 250 votes. She told me that Mayor Ralph Becker already voted there this morning, which makes sense since his public schedule starts at 8 a.m. I wonder who he voted for, some of his endorsees--Sen. Scott McCoy and Pete Ashdown--have endorsed Obama, so I guess that is as good a guess as any.
I got up about two hours later and took our little McCain supporter on a walk to our polling place. It was about 15-20 degrees outside. My wife and her co-workers for the day said I could bring him in and she got to show off our dog to her new friends while I voted. Turnout was extremely light when I got there, around 8:15. To my surprise, I was listed as "unaffiliated" so I am going to have find out from Sherrie Swenson's people if I have to re-register my party affilation every time or what. Balloting was pretty simple, but none of the also-rans are off the ballot. This puts Obama at a disadvantage because his name is way down on the list, since it is alphabetical, whereas Hillary Clinton is listed towards the top. Tom Tancredo had a notice in the polling area that he dropped out, but I guess his name was still on there.
Anyway, as I left, a man from the New York Times approached me. It wasn't an exit poll per se, but more of a "gee, our website has much more features than just the print newspaper digitized" feel to it. Using a fancy pocket recorder he asked my name, my age, my occupation, what issue was most important to me, and why I voted the way I did. Since I said foreign policy/Iraq, he asked me how long troops should be in there, if I favored a timetable etc. After that, he asked if he could take my picture. Too bad I had my glasses on and was tired and wearing a hat...and that my dog wasn't in the pic (he was in my arms). My best guess is that the picture and sound clip might end up here. But really I have no clue.
Still, it is so great to have national papers care about what Utahns think without the standard "Mormons think" story. Speaking of which, I think it is very cool that President Monson picked a German dude to be in his second counselor. As someone who had a host father also named Dieter, it is nice. Also, it is a good way to show that the Church is international, and not just some Utahn or American religion.