After a morning looking into a Republican spokesperson's claims of a bomb scare at a polling place in Monroe and another in Everett, neither of which panned out (smells Rovian 'round here, don't it?), BtC and his trusty sidekick for the day, Times crack reporter Lisa Heyamoto, headed out to do some reporting.
First up, BtC's own polling spot at the Crown Lutheran Church near the intersection of 85th and 15th north of Ballard.
Four years ago, they had about 800 voters cast ballots there. At just after 11 a.m., they already had more than 600, plus another 100 or so absentee ballots that had been dropped off.
The church bake sale was a big success, the best ever, reported JoAnn Gibson. They'd made $500 already, selling the oddly named "split second" cookies ($5), brownies with nuts ($2) and rye bread ($4).
"I've never seen anything like it," Gibson said of both the voters and their ample appetites for the anti-Atkin's fare.
Most of the voters said they were voting Democratic, though Gibson is a lifelong Republican who voted for President Bush and Dino Rossi, she said.
"Oh, Dino," she said. "He's going to get the business going."
Randy Silvey was volunteering for MoveOn.org, a liberal interest group. He and another volunteer were checking the voter rosters and sending the intel along to other MoveOn volunteers, who would then check off names against their voter registration database and contact people who haven't yet voted. Silvey's never done anything like this before, he said.
If the Democrats do well this year, they'll have these types of get-out-the-vote efforts to thank for it.
BtC ran into an old Republican friend, who couldn't give her name because she's working for the King County elections office and couldn't talk on the record near the polls. The Seattle Pacific University student said she never had any doubts about her support for President Bush, a good sign for him today -- that Republicans have remained loyal.
After hanging at Crown Lutheran for a bit, we moved on to Smokin' Pete's Barbecue, on 65th in Ballard, which was offering 25 percent off for election day. (BtC had the ribs, which were tasty. Lisa had the pulled pork sandwich. Thumbs up there, too.)
"It's a way to celebrate democracy," said Julie Reinhardt, one of the owners. (It's Smokin' Pete's because that sounds better than Smokin' Julie's. We agreed.)
Pete's was doing a good lunch business, and there was lots of talk about the election.
"You can't beat it. That's what brought me here," said Shawna Sullivan, of the barbacue, not the candidates. She's 26, and a first-time voter. She voted for Kerry, and she's pretty sure she voted for Gregoire, though isn't certain (Hey now, it's her first time, so go easy.)
Next up: A psychic tells us who will win the race for the one we're all biting our nails over -- state treasurer.