I was there when the polls opened at 7A.M. with about 60 people lined up for at least 5 precincts all to vote in this one location. Coffee was plentiful at a table outside for those who wanted it.
The only confusion was people getting in the wrong line for their precinct. Though the offical sample ballots from CA clearly say "Blue Table" or "Green Table" to direct voters to the right precinct table, people seem to miss it and line up in the wrong place.
Poll workers were courteous and cheerful and, for the most part, organized. Some of the line confusion could have been minimized if the first question they asked was, "Does your sample ballot say [this color] table?" One of the supervisors reminded the worker manning the validation machine that she needed to actually verify that the machine had validated the ballot and tell the voter that the ballot had been validated before simply giving them their ballot receipt and "I Voted" sticker.
I was pleased to see a few children there with their parents. They were brought into the voting booth to watch their parents complete this simple but in many ways awesome task.
Getting through the line took about 20 minutes. There are a lot of propositions on this year's ballot so it took a while to mark everything.
When I left, the line was still just about as long as when I arrived but moving well. More voters were arriving every minute.
Several polling locations along the way to work seemed equally crowded.
So this is how a voting should take place: Quietly, efficiently, smoothly. No thugs from "True the Vote" trying to supress the vote in the name of eliminating non-existent voter fraud. No challenges because the voter is a woman and the official is an older white man. No calls for onerous forms of identification.
I'm trying to remain calm as I hear reports of turmoil elswhere in the country: voting machines that roll over for Romney through miscalibration that poll workers refuse to correct, incorrect identification demands from self-righteous poll workers, missing ballots and polling stations that open hours after they're supposed to, and perhaps the worst of all, the (illegal and secret) computer patch on the Ohio electronic voting machines that occurred only a few days ago (can no one stop this Husted?).
I think we're going to make it here. I'm putting my faith in Nate Silver's predictions. But the anxiety level is high.