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Election Day 2000: Early on, Voter Turnout Seems High Across U.S.

Aired November 7, 2000 - 1:33 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: If there's one thing we have learned about our viewers in the past 20 years it's that you have some strong opinions about politics.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: You all know we've dedicated a whole program to your opinions, that's called "TALKBACK LIVE," and the "TALKBACK LIVE" host Bobbie Battista is talking with voters today and she joins us to tell us what they're telling her.

BOBBIE BATTISTA, HOST, "TALKBACK LIVE": Hi you guys. There's not too much left for the candidates to talk about but, of course, the voters have a lot to talk about today. Here's another couple of more e-mails -- can we fix my ear, you guys? I'm getting reverb in it.

Barbara (ph) in Florida -- there we go, thanks. Barbara in Florida says, "I voted by absentee ballot this year for the first time and found it to be the best and most convenient way. Also, exit polls only give those who haven't voted yet an excuse not to bother."

Let me take a phone call. Billie (ph) is on the line from Pennsylvania. Billie, have you voted yet today?

BILLIE: Yes I did, at 20 after 7 this morning.

BATTISTA: I can't hear -- Billie?

BILLIE: Yes, hello?

BATTISTA: Billie, are you there?

BILLIE: I'm here.

BATTISTA: OK, have you voted yet today?

BILLIE: Yes I did, at 20 after 7 this morning.

BATTISTA: And how was the experience for you?

BILLIE: Oh, extremely nice. I was a little upset last night, though, after talking to a few people; they had listened to the news broadcast about the electoral votes and they were all geared up to go vote and a lot of people said, well, I'd just as soon not go if my vote doesn't count. Well, the vote does count, but the electoral votes, from what I understand, can change it all, even though; and that's upsetting.

BATTISTA: How's the turnout up there in Pennsylvania, at least where you're at?

BILLIE: Great, great; they said at least 83 percent, and that is a first time they said since 1972, I think. It's the highest it's been; it's really great.

BATTISTA: Do you want to share with us who you voted for?

BILLIE: I sure do; I voted for Bush. I'm middle aged and I think it's time for a change.

BATTISTA: All right, Billie, thanks very much. Appreciate you joining us today.

Let's go to the Web chat, see what's going on in the chat room.

"All the states seem to be having a good turnout. Way to go Americans!" from Gayle Stream. "Mandatory voting in the general election would be great if no choice was a choice." That's kind of typical of what we get in the chat room. "I voted first thing this morning in New York City and the lines were massive all over the city."

You know, it's a rainy day in Georgia, but we're getting the same reports from down here, that the turnout is pretty extensive. I think that's it. We'll check in again with you in an hour or so to get more feedback -- Lou; Natalie.

ALLEN: All right; thanks, Bobbie.

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