The line to vote early in-person before the 5:00 pm deadline today ran down Myrtle Street, around the corner onto Congress Street in front of city hall and then turned another sharp corner onto Chestnut Street. The line ended somewhere down Chestnut Street. To make the wait more bearable and thus keep voters in line, volunteers were offering free coffee and hot chocolate to takers.
Voters were hopeful that as long as they were in line by 5:00 pm., they would be able to vote today – rather than having to wait to vote on November 3, Election Day – where many believe the lines will be even longer than they were today.
Libbytown resident Kevin McConnell arrived at city hall at 3:00 pm to vote. “I wish I’d voted by absentee ballot. I’ll remember to do that in 2024,” he said as he stood in line in the cold waiting for his turn to vote. That opportunity came at 5:00 pm. “My work gave me four hours off to vote,” said Dustin Smith, who is employed at the non-profit Wayfare Food Program.
“I’m standing in the cold waiting to vote because I don’t want to stand in line on Election Day. The line to vote will be longer that day,” said Blake Johnson who waited two hours as well to vote this afternoon. Blake graduated from MECA and works in the Old Port of Portland. Go Tigers!
Absentee ballots must be returned to the city clerk’s office no later than 8:00 pm on Election Day.
The city’s eleven polling locations will open at 7:00 am and close at 8:00 pm. Polling locations will look different – booths will be spread out, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray will be plentiful as well. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will be visiting polling places statewide on Election Day. He is expected to be in Portland around 11:15 am.
Eighty six million voters have cast their ballots in early voting. That figure represents 60% of the total number of those who voted in 2016 according to cable news sources.
Please visit post herein dated October 28, when the wait for early in-person voting was “only” one hour in time.