In Summit County, the projected polling issues unseen by voters

Joe Shearer

Akron natives Carl Cannon, Judy Cannon, Sharon Wilson and Tim Buchanan were outside Belcher Apartments the entire Election Day. They passed out candy to the children and spoke their mind about issues to all of the incoming voters. Crickett Bowman | Daily

Credit: DKS Editors

On a day where media outlets predicted long lines and potential voting problems, the mood – less than an hour and a half before the polls closed – was tranquil in Summit County.

“I was in and out,” said Brandon Edwards, a freshman education major at The University of Akron. “It was kind of quick.”

That was the story at First United Methodist Church on East Mill Street in Akron, a polling location near the university.

“I thought I was going to get there, it was about to be a long line,” Edwards said.

Echoing his sentiments was Brittany Harris, a Spanish education major. Like Edwards, this was her first time voting in a presidential campaign, and besides one of her friends not receiving an absentee ballot in the mail, she also hadn’t heard of any issues.

She added that this Election Day would still be an important one for her regardless of the outcome.

“I think it’s a good day because it’s a chance for us to make history just because of all the diverse issues and everything,” Harris said. “So, even if the candidate we voted for doesn’t win, it still has motivated a lot of young people – a lot of people period – to get out and vote.”

The line at the church was no more than a dozen people – mostly students – with about two hours before the 7:30 p.m. close.

At the Belcher Apartments on Locust Street, the atmosphere was similar to that of East Mill Street. While voters steadily arrived at the polling location, they were just as easily able to get in and get out with virtually no wait.

Tim Buchanan, an Akron resident, had been sitting in his camping chair for about 12 hours, since 5:45 a.m. He, like the others, reported no issues at his polling location, adding he was waiting outside for a very simple reason.

“I came out because I felt like there was a lot of positive things going on in the community and also to learn more about the political process,” Buchanan said. “I think it’s a new day. There’s a lot of enthusiasm, lot of new voters, lot of interest.

“I see people very enthusiastic about the outcome of the election. There’s a whole lot more information out there for the voting public, and to be a part of it is something special. It’s part of history.”

Although Buchanan said he didn’t doubt there were problems with fraud in certain areas, he appeared optimistic.

“I feel like the vote is still going to be pretty accurate,” he said. “If you do something, you got a conscience. You have to answer for that.”

Sitting near Buchanan was Carl Cannon, another Akron resident, who also helped with early voting at Arlington Church of God in east Akron. Besides some transportation issues in the beginning, he said voting there was also seamless.

“Once we got the fliers out and people found out that there was transportation available to take them to vote, there was no problem at all,” Cannon said. “We had a pretty good turnout.”

Also in the group of Sen. Barack Obama supporters was Sharon Wilson of Akron. A few hours before networks would call Ohio for Obama, she said simply, “This is the day that the Lord has made, and we shall rejoice and be glad in him. This is a God thing. It really is.”

Contact public affairs reporter Joe Shearer at [email protected].