Kent voters get in, get out, get electing

Chris Gates

Polling centers see short lines partly because of early voting

Many people, including Kent State President Lester Lefton and his wife, lined up to vote early at Roosevelt High School yesterday morning around 6:30 a.m. Leslie Cusano | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

While some people across the country waited for hours at the polls in yesterday’s election, those who voted in Kent had it easy.

With the longest reported wait being 45 minutes, most voters were able to get in and out with few problems.

Amanda Ennis, presiding judge at the Kentway Senior Citizen Apartments polling location, said early votes took a lot of the “people traffic” out of the equation.

“We had 109 out of 520 (who voted early), so that’s 20% right there that voted early, which helps so much,” she said. “It really took alot of the crush.”

Kentway had no more than a 15- or 20-minute wait to vote, and its longest line was “six or seven people” while all machines were occupied, Ennis said.

Ennis also noted that more than 90 percent of registered voters in Kent’s Ward 5 showed up to vote, the highest percentage of any other polling location.

Voters faced similar waits at the Kent Church of the Nazarene, which had no more than five people waiting in line all day. Most of the people who voted at the church were students.

Lines were longer in the morning because residents were trying to cast their vote before going to work. The United Methodist Church on Route 59 reported a 45-minute wait to start the morning.

“It was heavy this morning,” presiding judge Larry Cole said. “There may have been as much as (a) 45-minute wait as we opened. There were people waiting for us to open the polls at 6:30 a.m. Once we got the folks cleared out, everything (was) just slow and steady.”

The other three locations- Kentway, Church of the Nazarene and United Methodist Church – had a maximum wait of 20 minutes.

Students frequented the polls throughout the day.

Many were excited for the experience and realized that voting in this election made them part of history.

“It’s kind of an emotional experience,” Torrie Humes, a fashion merchandising senior, said as she walked out of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. “I feel really proud. It wasn’t hard . it wasn’t confusing at all or anything like that. It was a good experience.”

Many student voters were voting for the first time and were excited at the chance to make a difference. Deb Saito, presiding judge for precinct 5C at the student recreation and wellness center, noticed just that throughout the day.

“It was energizing because most of the young people, it was their first time voting,” Saito said. “If they can have a good first experience, hopefully they’ll come back.”

At 7:30 p.m. every location was able to close without a problem. None had a significant voter presence to end the night.

Contact public affairs reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].