Election Night 2012 Notebook

Here's a look into what's going on across the country this Election Day.

No to Deportation; Latinos Overwhelmingly Back Obama

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who joked at a secretly recorded fundraiser that "it would be helpful to be Latino," was losing the Hispanic vote – and bad, according to preliminary exit polls conducted by The Associated Press and TV networks.

The same survey of 19,728 voters by Edison Research shows 59 percent of voters said the economy was the biggest issue facing the country, about the same percentage as 2008. Next were health care (18 percent) and the deficit (15 percent). A measly 5 percent said foreign policy was the top issue.

As far as immigration, only 3 in 10 voters said that most undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. should be deported, while nearly two-thirds said such people should be offered a chance to apply for legal status.

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Texas Sends Third Latino to U.S. Senate

And then there were three -- Latinos in the U.S. Senate, that is.

All are Cuban-Americans.

Republican Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, representative Paul Sadler. Cruz will join two fellow Cuban-Americans in the Senate -- Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who won a second term, and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who was said to have been on a short list to be Mitt Romney's running mate.

Cruz, the ex-state solicitor general, was heavily favored since Texas has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since Lloyd Bentsen in 1988. He succeeds retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Cruz's unexpected success in his run for the Senate seat in Texas was seen as a test of the Tea Party's influence.

Elizabeth Llorente

With material from the Associated Press.

Young Latinos Take Active Role in Arizona

PHOENIX: In "show me your papers" state, young Latinos work to turn out vote

In a nondescript office building near an auto repair shop and a 99 Cents Only store, a dozen bleary-eyed volunteers sat before phones and computers, doing their part to contribute to democracy and a cause close to their hearts: Helping to turn out the Latino vote in a state that is 30 percent Hispanic.

"Buenos dias," said 23-year-old Norma Melendez as she answered phones at Mi Familia Vota, a nonpartisan effort to increase Hispanic participation in the electoral process. Melendez, wearing a shirt that read "Election Protection. You Have The Right To Vote," was going on 24-plus straight hours of work, helping to direct callers to the right polling places. "I just think it's important to vote. I don't like when people take advantage of others, or think they are ignorant somehow."

Next to her, Michael Maez gulped a Monster energy drink (his third of the day) as he prepared to send canvassers across the city.

Maez, 22, was born and raised in this state known for its tough stance on immigration and the so-called "show me your papers" law, requiring police enforcing other laws to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. But his father, who remodels homes, and his mother, who provides daycare services, came here from Morelos, Mexico. Unlike their citizen son, they are legal permanent residents and, therefore, ineligible to vote.

For Maez, this day was about much more than which candidates he chose or propositions he voted for or against. It was, in his words, a chance to "wake up" all politicians to the issues that matter to families like his. "It empowers all of the people who have a voice to use it for the ones who don't."

Associated Press

XXX Voting

Voters in Los Angeles County have a real hard decision to make when it comes one county measure on this year’s ballot.

If passed the measure would require pornographic actors to wear a condom while performing their…umm, adult-themed scenes.

The L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has taken the lead on this issue, crusading to protect porn stars from HIV by painting the issue as the same as construction workers wearing hardhats.

"It is a health and safety issue," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS foundation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The lucrative porn industry is opposed to the measure because producers would have to buy a public health permit and violators of the law would be subject to fines and misdemeanor criminal charges. If the measure is passed some producers have threatened to move their skin flicks somewhere else.

Sounds like a bit of risky business in L.A.

Andrew O'reilly

Latinos Flex Their Muscle

CNN is reporting that Latinos are breaking their 2008 record turnout at the polls. According to CNN, preliminary exit polls show that Latinos are making up 10 percent of voters, up from the 9 percent from 2008. A record 23 million are eligible to vote, some 12 percent were expected by experts to actually cast their ballots. The exit poll results will be revised as more information is gathering throughout the night.

Latinos received unprecedented attention in this election, viewed as a swing group. Many of them are concentrated in swing states. While many lean Democratic, they have thrown considerable support to Republicans in certain races. George W. Bush won 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004.

Elizabeth Llorente

Rise of the Machines

A lot of people in Perry County, Pennsylvania voted for Mitt Romney… even if they didn’t want to.

Thanks to a malfunctioning electronic voting machine, voters in the central Pennsylvania County who cast their vote for the Obama/Biden ticket got the display that they were voting for the Romney/Ryan.

However, thanks to wonders of modern technology (i.e. a Smartphone) a video posted on YouTube helped point out the error and the machine was quickly taken out service and recalibrated.

Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that a Perry County voter notified elections officials of the problem and that the machine has been fixed and is now running fine. There was no word on if anybody has actually cast a ballot for the candidate that was not their choice.

Whatever happened to writing a name on a piece of paper and putting it in a box?

Andrew O'reilly

Longer than a Disney Line

If you think your wait was bad, imagine being in the Brickell section of Miami.

Voters in a building in Brickell waited over six hours to cast their ballot, according to the Miami Herald. That’s because four ballot scanners were not working, and only two were functioning.  The line snaked around a building.

“This is the worst excuse for a precinct I’ve ever seen,’’ Manuel E. Iglesias, a Romney campaign volunteer told the Herald.

In other precincts in Miami, voters waited over two hours to cast ballots. Some gave up and walked away before they could choose their candidates.

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