Anecdotal evidence from last week's elections indicated that there was a huge turnout. A number of e-mails I received told of unprecedented lines at the ballots. Andrew Sullivan posted a long series of reports from his readers about the unprecedented lines they'd all stood in before voting. All in all this created the ambiance of a national catharsis.
Well, it certainly was an important event, historic too, but the total of voters was apparently unaffected. That mass turn-out? It didn't happen. Not when you look at the overall numbers.
I expect it did happen at some places, or at some hours of the day. This, conflated with the fervent wish of the observers to be seeing it, created that strong impression. But impressions, even when they go on to become accepted wisdom, aren't always true.