Long Election Night Frustrates Some Voters

When Americans went to bed Tuesday night, it was still up in the air as to who would be the next president of the United States.
Some voters feared a repeat of the drawn out conclusion of the 2000 presidential election.
Voters tuning in to the networks may have noticed a few similarities to the election four years ago. When the clock struck midnight, the United States still did not have a clear leader. East Texas said the past two presidential elections are a far cry from the runaway races of the past.
"By 10 o'clock when the news was on, we knew who was going to be the president or who wasn't going to be the president, now it takes weeks," said voter Ruby Attaway.
Some waited up late in hopes a winner would be declared. "1 a.m., 2, 3 a.m., I just wanted to see exactly how they were going to switch this around, try to turn it around," said Debra Brewster. Others, in frustration, threw in the towel early. "This time unlike the 2000 election," said Marcus Wilson, "I decided to go to bed early and wake up in the morning and hope to see."
Many said they were not surprised at the late outcome and already had assumed this election would mimic the 2000 presidential election, when all eyes were on Florida and a few thousand dimpled chads.
After Senator Kerry conceded Wednesday, some expressed relief the country had a clear president.
"It just kind of relieves everyone of mind and makes them feel like its come to a conclusion quickly," said Bill Bobbitt.
"We need this country to go on and move on with our lives," said Esther Brandenburg. "Everybody can't sit around and watch TV and see what this world is coming to."
Some voters said the country is becoming more politically aware and if that awareness continues to grow, they expect much of the same on election night in 2008.
Almost 120 million people reportedly cast votes in this year's presidential election, almost 15 million more than the election of 2000.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com