Indiana Goes Blue for First Time Since LBJ - NBC Chicago

Indiana Goes Blue for First Time Since LBJ

Huge voter turnout elects Obama

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    Indiana Goes Blue for First Time Since LBJ
    Voters in Indiana celebrate as Barack Obama is elected president of the United States.

    Obama supporters in Indiana danced joyously Tuesday night as they celebrated the President-elect's electoral victory - for their state as well as for the whole country.

    Tuesday night, Indiana voted to elect a Democratic president for the first time in 44 years.  Barack Obama is the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson to win the state.

    The celebrations followed a massive voter turnout in the Hoosier state, where 11 electoral votes were at stake. 

    Long lines of voters and problems counting absentee ballots delayed the results of Indiana's election until long after Obama had given his victory speech.

    County Clerk Ludy Watkins told The Herald Bulletin of Anderson that some ballots weren't coded correctly to be read by the county's vote counting machine. Nicole Slater, a spokeswoman for supplier Election Systems & Software, told the newspaper the problem was with the county's machine.

    NBC5's Nesita Kwan reported that, unlike many areas in the Chicago area, there weren't long lines in Indiana. However, election officials said 90 percent of those eligible to vote in Indiana had come out to vote -- and there was also early voting in the state.

    Hoosiers cast a record 2.7 million votes in the presidential race with 99 percent of precincts reporting. That eclipsed the previous record of 2.51 million cast in 2004.

    In the largely Republican town of Chesterton, Kwan reported, some Republicans had elected to choose a Democratic candidate.

    "He's more of a middle-class person," said one woman. "I work full-time and I have to pay for day care. My husband works full-time and we're paycheck-to-paycheck people. He understands that -- he knows that we need better healthcare and better benefits. He's understands that if you're middle class, you're still working every day."

    "He's just a good orator, and he has some good ideas," said Angus McDonald. "The emphasis on change is right where we need it. That's the biggest issue -- and McCain's change isn't working for me at all."