Afternoon voting in Minnesota: Lines? What lines?

Categories: Elections

All morning I heard horror stories about the lengthy lines that greeted eager voters--be ready to wait an hour or more, I was told.

So I ate a hearty lunch, packed a book, and set off for what I expected would occupy the better part of the rest of the afternoon.

But it turns out I wouldn't even have had time to read a comic strip. The difference between morning and afternoon voting was like ... uh ... night and day.

My coworkers who voted in the afternoon had similarly easy experiences (see below). If you haven't voted yet, and were worried about lines, don't be. This is one time when the early bird doesn't get the worm.

I voted at Wenonah School on 23rd Ave. South at 3:40 p.m. There was no line whatsoever--I breezed right through and had my ballot in my hands within a few minutes. The biggest trouble I had was locating a pen--this is the one item I'd suggest you bring along (leave the book at home). The sheer number of bubbles to fill in for judges--most of them unopposed incumbants--was a bit daunting, but I soldiered through (Full disclosure: No, I didn't. I bailed when I reached the second column). The whole process took less than 15 minutes and was by far the easiest experience voting that I've ever had. -- Kevin Hoffman

I just voted (1:41 p.m.) in the auditorium of Jefferson Elementary on 26th and Emerson. The mood was very sedate, no lines, though all the booths were occupied so some voters, mostly 20-30somethings, were filling out their ballots as they sat in the kid-size auditorium seats. A few curious students peered in from the doorway and several waved at me on the way in--they seemed excited by the whole process. -- Rachel Hutton

Just got back from voting... I voted at Whittier Elementary School on Grand Ave and 26th at 12:45 p.m. It took exactly a half hour to get in and out. Volunteers were telling people that it was the smallest the line had been so far today -- earlier this morning they say the line stretched for two blocks. --Andrea Swensson

Well. That was easy. Voted at Temple Israel (2324 Emerson). Walked to the entrance looking for lines but none were found. Then walked right up to the volunteer, checked in, signed my name, was handed a ballot, then walked over to a booth and began to fill in bubbles. The front side was easy, but the backside gave me finger cramps. There were too many judges running unopposed and too many bubbles to fill-in. Around me, others walked in and out of the small meeting room. White haired Jewish women tended to the voters with patience and efficiency. And a small boy placed his mother's ballot into the collection machine with wide-eyed intrigue. He even got a sticker that said he had voted. Things were calm at Temple Israel. It had the relaxed atmosphere of a public library on a weekday morning. The process was painless. But a volunteer told me that the morning rush was huge. People sat in line for an hour just to get inside. Then they waited another hour to go through the voting process. The volunteer, who has worked elections at Temple Israel for something like 40 years, said it seemed like the highest turn-out rate ever. When finished saying this she smiled, nodded her head, thanked me for voting and then asked for her pen back. -- Bradley Campbell

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Long lines to vote in Minnesota: Reports from the field


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