First Posted: 11/4/2008
1:03 p.m. Update
Andrea Brandt had the right idea bringing a seat to the United Methodist Church Voters center on Tuesday some voters waited in lines over an hour. AIMEE DILGER Photos/The Times Leader 11/4/2008
Luzerne County Election Bureau Director Len Piazza has dispatched a bi-partisan election team to Trucksville United Methodist Church on Church Road in hopes of shortening the approximately one-hour wait voters are facing to cast their ballots.
A line of approximately 225 voters stretched around the sidewalk of the church and down a grassy embankment as of around 11:30 this morning. Voters near the front of the line said they waited about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.
Piazza said he learned of the backlog at around 12:30 p.m. and immediately dispatched a two member team to the precinct, which he said is one of the larger precincts in the county. The team will aide workers in signing in voters in hopes of speeding up the process.
"Overall turn out is high. There are going to lines in some places and a risk of bottle necks in the larger precincts," Piazza said. "We’ve found nationally people don’t mind standing in lines, but I don’t want people standing in lines like that. Anything over an hour is too long."
Mike Whitehead, a judge of elections who was at the precinct, said turn out had been heavy all day. As of 11:30 a.m. he said 500 people had voted.
"Surprisingly everyone has been calm. No one is complaining about the line. They realize this is a big election and they’re just waiting their turn," Whitehead said.
Check back with www.timesleader.com for further updates.
Posted 11:56 a.m.
Voters overflowed parking lots in both Dallas Township and Kingston Township this morning. Cars were parked along Route 309 near the Dallas Township municipal building, stretching 200 yards to the entrance of the Country Club Shopping Center. While she wasn’t crazy about having to trudge uphill to the polling place, Kathy Murray was undeterred. "It’s a good thing that everybody’s out voting," she said. Lines for voters in the South precinct stretched across the parking lot.
The scene was similar at the Trucksville United Methodist Church Education Building on Church Road in Kingston Township, with voters’ cars lining both sides of the road.
In Dallas Borough, 320 voters had cast ballots at the municipal building by 10:45 a.m. That was close to the total in some past elections. Poll worker Marie Belasco said that there was a constant line the first hour and a half after polls opened at 7 a.m.
Check back at www.timesleader.com for updates throughout the day.