Nov 2, 2004 — The rush to beat the Election Day crowds at the ballot box turned into a long wait in many places as large numbers of early voters created long lines that ran outside the doors and down streets.
Some determined voters had to wait in rain that fell from Texas to the lower Great Lakes. Texas Panhandle residents navigated snow-covered roads. And some voters in Kansas had to wait for a furnace to heat up.
Both parties had worked hard to boost turnout.
“Some polling places voted 25 percent of their entire registered voters in the first hour,” said Tom Leach, spokesman for the Chicago Election Board. “That’s just unheard of.”