Counting down the hours till the polls close

Anxious about the election results? So am I. Ted Lewis and the Nietzsche-emulating Christopher Benson are rather down on voting, and Shane Claiborne is deeply ambivalent. Michael Iafrate is voting, but with little enthusiasm. Not so with me—my nervous, Christmas-morning-ish anticipation woke me long before my already-early alarm set to get me to my polling place and on to work on time. I voted, and now I can hardly stand to wait for the returns to start coming in.

If you're feeling similar, you might pass the time playing with two cool tools for looking at past presidential election results: by county back to 1980 (via Taegan Goddard) and by state all the way back to 1789.

Whoever wins, one thing to celebrate today is the end (for awhile) of that peculiar breed of public speaking: a candidate's general-election reticence to say much of anything of consequence. Garret Keizer wishes Sen. Obama had responded to questions and attacks more forcefully; here he offers some alternate versions.

Daniel Pulliam wonders why the media is focusing so much less on religion angles than it did during the Democratic primary. And Americans United is looking forward to the end of "a new low in muddling faith and politics" (via Don Byrd).

Finally, while watching the returns tonight, it'll be tempting to tune out everything except which presidential candidate wins major swing states, and eventually the election. This guide from the journalist-wonks and politicos over at the American Prospect is a helpful way to keep track of other things that are fairly important, too—ballot initiatives, gubernatorial races, Congress. You know, the little things.

It'll all be over soon.

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