ABC News is wondering, can the voting infrastructure handle a massive turnout election?
A fair question, but let see if we actually have a massive turnout. Keep in mind, voter turnout predictions have been wrong in the past, and burnout among voters is a real possibility. Even I, a political junkie, have not exactly been engaged in this election. Neither candidate inspires me. The constant attention on inconsequential things like Sarah Palins' wardrobe versus Michelle Obama's wardrobe costs just don't get me engaged. With both sides pandering and offering little more than soundbites, it really is hard to see what is what in this election. So if I am getting burned out, imagine how the average voter feels.
So lets take a look at the turnout first. With the advent of early voting, I would think that a number of states won't have the problem of a flood of voters. Also keep in mind the stories that will come from the media, i.e. "turnout is really heavy" as they report from one polling place in the early morning hours when commuters head to the polls or late at night when last minute voters get in line. Turnout is a fundamentally hard thing to gauge before the actual day.
Will there be glitches and problems? You bet, with tens of thousands of pollling places, tens of thousands of poll workers and the glare of the media, mistakes will happen and it will get ugly.