Angry voter gets escort to front of line in Richfield

In Richfield, the early-morning wait to vote wasn’t as bad as expected.

Susan Hilliard finished at 7:48 a.m., 40 minutes after getting in a line of about 200 people at Centennial School. Her daughter, LaTecia, 19, voting for the first time, went even faster through the line, because she had to register, and the line at that table was shorter. She was out the door in about 30 minutes.

But Susan Hilliard said she was lucky her last name starts with H. The line for those A-K was much shorter than the other line, L-Z, and people in that line had to wait another 10 to 15 minutes longer, she estimated.

After getting the ballot, there also was a wait to get into the voting booths.

“One guy got mad in the line, saying he couldn’t wait and had to leave because it was taking so long,” Hilliard said. But because he’d already received his voting slip, signed by an election judge, he was told he wouldn’t be able to come back if he left.

Then a judge suggested he ask people if he could move up in the line; although at least one person objected, he was walked to the front of the line, passing about 20 people.

LaTecia Hilliard said she’d looked at a voter’s guide the night before, so she had a pretty good idea of whom to vote for “at least for president and Senate.” The judge candidates not so much — but some were easy because there was only one name,” she said.

So how did it go on your first time voting? “It was easy. Because it was the first time, I guess it was a big deal, but otherwise, not really.”

What’s next: going out to celebrate? “No, I’m going back to sleep. Wait, mom, maybe we should go out to breakfast.”

Mom: “OK. Let’s go to Denny’s.”

And they did.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/04/2008 - 03:19 pm.

    At my precinct, you go to the A-L or M-Z line to sign in and get the blue slip to trade for a ballot, after which all voters are in the single line that leads to the machines. Richfield may want to change its system just slightly to avoid problems like the one above.

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