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Indiana: Richmond Vote Centers Packed; Computer Glitch Adds to Wait PDF  | Print |  Email
By Bill Engle, Palladium-Item   
May 06, 2008
This article was posted at Pal-Item.com.

Voting in the Indiana Primary election today is getting to be an all-day project in Richmond.

Lines had formed everywhere by 11:30 a.m. as the lunch crowd jammed the city’s four vote centers.

“People are standing in line everywhere,” said Wayne County Clerk Sue Ann Lower. “But we understand that there are lines all over the state.”

Lower said she sent “reinforcements” — additional poll workers — to First English Lutheran Church first thing this morning and sent helpers to the Kuhlman Center on the city’s west side shortly after 11 a.m.

The idea was to get the lines moving and let people vote.

“We expected a heavy turnout. This is what we expected,” Lower said.

It didn’t help that the Richmond Senior Center lost its Internet feed around 11:30 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., county IT employees were still working with Parallax to reconnect the feed. They said it would be about another 10 minutes.

The wait was 22 minutes at the Townsend Center, 40 minutes at Kuhlman Center and at least 40 minutes at First English Lutheran.

At most locales, voters took the wait in stride.

Terrell Brown, 22, chatted with friends and checked his calendar on his cell phone while he waited.

“I don’t really mind. If you socialize with people the time goes pretty fast,” Brown said.

Brown graduated last weekend from Earlham College with a degree in psychology. This was his first time voting.

“I just think it’s very important to vote,” he said. “I truly believe that every vote counts.

But some people did not want to wait. Fifteen left the Kuhlman Center instead of waiting and another dozen walked into the Townsend Center gym, looked around and walked out.

“Hopefully they’ll try it again later,” Lower said.
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