'We Will Live to Fight Again'

Election Day dispatches from around the county

'We Will Live to Fight Again'

5:30 P.M., Election Eve.
The after-school day care at La Veta Elementary School in El Modena is a whirlwind of activity. My daughter runs up to me and exclaims, "Tomorrow is Election Day! We got to vote today!"

She points to a white mock ballot box set up on a shelf. I smile at her, crouch down and ask, "Did you get to vote, too?"

She grins and says, "I voted for Obama!"

Party on: Young Republicans at the Westin
Kevin Liu
Party on: Young Republicans at the Westin
Romney-inspired boozing at GOP rally
Kevin Liu
Romney-inspired boozing at GOP rally

"Oh?" I respond. "How come?"

"Because I like Michelle Obama!"

An older girl, maybe in fourth grade, rolls her eyes and says, "That's not a good reason! Michelle Obama wouldn't be the president. I voted for President Obama for a different reason."

"What's that?" I ask.

"He's black, and black is closer to Mexican than Romney is."

Ouch. (Dave Lieberman)

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4:30 A.M.
Election Day begins with 1:03 a.m. gunfire in Anaheim and a 2:39 a.m. earthquake measuring 3.3 on the Richter Magnitude scale 9 miles off the coast. (R. Scott Moxley)

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5:45 A.M.
FOX News analyst Dick Morris is confidently predicting a 325 electoral college "landslide" for Romney while New York Times odds expert Nate Silver says Obama has a 91.6 percent chance to win and nab 315 EC votes. (RSM)

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7:14 A.M. In the heart of Little Saigon, 11 people are voting or waiting to vote; poll workers say one of five machines is already broken. (RSM)

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8:08 A.M.
In the Ed Royce-vs.-Jay Chen LA-OC congressional race, Royce reports $1,000 last-minute contributions from Wang, Yang, Wu, Hu, Huang, Hsu, Su, Leu, Lin, Yen and Liu. (RSM)

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8:48 A.M.
OC public-employees union boss Jennifer Muir is calling on voters to fight "injustice" by rejecting Proposition 32, which empties union political coffers, and Costa Mesa's Measure V, which would aid privatization of government services. (RSM)

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9:16 A.M.
Orange County Register commenter Mark Hermanson writes, "Why even bother in CA, just give it to the Dems, then the illegals won't have to go out and vote?" (RSM)

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9:47 A.M.
At a popular Chinese fish-soup café on Bolsa Avenue in Westminster, a customer declares, "It's the day to vote!" The middle-aged waitress, with a strained look on her face, replies, "Vote for what?" (RSM)

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9:35 A.M.
Maybe it's where I live or the fact that I arrived at the banquet room of Long Beach's Belmont Olympic Plaza at an hour when most working people are already at their jobs, but whatever the reason, I'm the youngest person here—by a margin of decades. These are folks who first cast ballots for Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Herbert Hoover.

The room where I cast my ballot is located on the second story of the building that houses Long Beach's largest indoor pool, and a long concrete ramp must be navigated before I get inside. It's not easy for those with canes or walkers, but they cheerfully deflect offers of assistance. Once inside, I realize it's not just the voters who are old, but the poll workers, too.

And thank God for that. Unlike me, these people know their elections. I've only registered to vote a week ago and have just been warned by a twentysomething girl at the front door that I must fill out a provisional ballot because she can't find my name. I'm rescued by a cute old lady, who grabs a different list and finds my name. When I don't understand how to put my just-inked ballot in the machine, the wrinkled guy in the sailor's cap winks at me and finishes the job.

"Thank you, sir," I say. America's greatest generation is still with us, saving our democracy one vote at a time. (Nick Schou)

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10 A.M.
"¡PORQUERÍA!" Manuel spits out, using the Mexican Spanish term for "clusterfuck." "¡PINCHE PORQUERÍA!"

He sits on a milk crate in front of Alebrije's, the Santa Ana lonchera legendary for its pink-Cadillac color scheme and massive tacos. On Manuel's jacket, an "I Voted" sticker glimmers in the morning sun. The retiree has just returned from his usual fall home in Mexico City to vote, the same way he has for the past decade. Earlier this year, Manuel participated in the Mexican presidential elections, casting his ballot for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the firebrand progressive who represented the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), the perennial third party in that country's politics.

"AMLO [Obrador's nickname] would've made Obama stop this pinche drug war," Manuel says in Spanish, his voice rising in anger. "But this pendejo Peña Nieto?" he adds, referring to Enrique Peña Nieto, the candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who won the election. "He's a narco himself—and a joto!"

Who did he vote for in the American presidential election? Obama. "Romney reminds me of Peña Nieto," Manuel explains. "Too good-looking, too rich, too mamón"—a dick sucker, although he said it in a way that it sounded like "Mormon." A pun. He laughs.

"Obama's not good, either," Manuel continues. Three of his relatives have been deported in the past two years, and the promised amnesty Obama offered Latinos has yet to come to fruition. "I was a mojado myself," the 62-year-old says. "Reagan's amnesty helped me and so many more. Why won't Obama help Mexicans? Because it's all PORQUERÍA!

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