FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Local officials and poll workers in Indiana’s second-largest city said voter turnout surpassed any election in their experience, and voters reported waiting as long as an hour in lines stretching outside polls on a cold, clear day.
Republicans, led by Mike Pence winning the governor’s race, largely maintained power in the state with one major exception: the high-profile U.S. Senate race, where Democrat Joe Donnelly narrowly defeated Republican Richard Mourdock, who had led in the polls until making a widely published comment: “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Mourdock conceded Tuesday night around 10 p.m. Minutes later, the director of the local chapter of Right to Life, Cathie Humbarger, drove home from Indianapolis, worrying about the future of stalled pro-life bills in the U.S. Senate. “I know Richard Mourdock and what he meant to say is that every life is precious regardless of how it is conceived,” she said.
Meanwhile, many Fort Wayne voters brought their children to the polls. A tall, winter-hatted man toted a toddler and baby, the toddler amusing himself on an iPhone while dad voted. A ponytailed blond woman wearing black Uggs boots and a pea coat pushed a red double stroller at Redeemer Lutheran Church’s south downtown polling place.
“Mommy, why are we voting?” her toddler asked, wiggling out of his seat sideways. She responded, ”Because we live in America. … It’s what we do.”