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'Never Been So Proud'

The sign that normally displays sermon topics at Kettering Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro said, "You have to vote, but be patient on Nov. 4."

Latisha Hoover, 25, smiled as she walked past the sign to join the line of more than 100 voters.

"It's a good reminder, and people should be patient anyway," said Hoover, who planned to cast a ballot for Sen. Barack Obama. "Spending an hour of your day to literally make history isn't such a big deal."

Inside the church, Mildred Benning, 79, wiped away a few tears after voting for Obama. Benning, who is black, lived through the civil rights struggle in North Carolina, an experience that shattered her faith in the goodness of American people -- for a while.

"Who among us ever thought we would live to see this day?" Hoover said. "I've never been so proud of my country."

The long lines were a benefit to last-minute campaign workers, who took advantage of the situation to chat up as many voters as possible. Nearly every voter in a line that stretched down Laurel-Bowie Road outside Oaklands Elementary School held a sample ballot distributed by Democratic campaign workers.

-- Megan Greenwell

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 4, 2008; 1:41 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Elections  
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