Long lines overwhelm University polling places

By Daily llini Staff Report

As students returned from classes and began their evenings, lines grew at polling places located in residence halls.

At Snyder Hall, 1123 people had voted by about 5 p.m. Lines were still growing at that time and many who were waiting to vote found the situation hectic.

“I expected that it would have been more organized,” said Pat Patino, senior in LAS. “It seems pretty inefficient. The location is poor, the setup is poor and there’s general confusion.”

Tyler Donovan, senior in LAS, and his brother Trevor Donovan, sophomore in Engineering, began waiting in line at about 5:15 p.m. Tyler guessed it would be an hour and a half before the two would cast their votes.

“It’s surprising for me as a first time voter,” Trevor said. “Back home voting happened at my elementary school and it was just in and out. Over here it’s a disappointing surprise.”

Election judges at Snyder worked to organize people into lines but the number of voters overwhelmed the number of judges. The situation may also have been complicated by others trying to get through the lounge area on the way to the cafeteria.

By about 5 p.m., 520 people had voted at Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls, and another 487 had voted at Illinois Street Residence Halls. At the Lincoln Avenue location, 1200 people were registered to vote, meaning that about half of the registered voters had cast a ballot by late Tuesday afternoon.

A little later in the evening, about 800 people had voted at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls. This location had seven judges instead of the traditional five and 11 voting booths, so there was no trouble with long lines, election judges said.

As polling places in residence halls filled up, the locations in the Illini Union’s Pine Lounge and the University YMCA’s Latzer Hall quieted down. By about 5:15 p.m., 873 people had voted at the Union, and only about 20 people were in line there.

Silver Damsen, Jill Disis, Crystal Kang, Lauren Laws, Anahita Monga and Marie Wilson contributed to this report.