With Election Day finally upon us, it’s still anyone’s guess who will be elected President of the United States, just like many races down the ballot are up for grabs. While there’s an uncertainty about who will be elected into their respective offices, there’s one thing that is certain—lines to get to the voting booths will be long.
“I (predict) long lines and a huge interest and we’re extremely excited about it,” Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming Mendoza told the Record. “There is a lot of interest in this election; people want their voices heard. I expect long lines, especially based on early voting turnout. If that’s any indicator, they are going to be busy at the local precincts (on Tuesday).”
St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook expects the same in his area, too.
“We expect volume to be heavy; the primary was the largest in five decades,” he told the Madison County Record “We’ve already had more people vote early than those who voted for the municipal and school board elections a couple of years ago. By the end of the day, we’ll have already had 30,000 people vote ahead out of 169,000.”
The long lines are an inevitability on Election Day, but county clerks like Mendoza and Holbrook just ask that people be patient; everyone will get a chance to vote.
“If (voters) are planning on voting at their local precinct, I beg for their patience,” Mendoza said. “I believe everyone is going to experience a wait; how long? Of course that’s impossible for me to say. Just be prepared to wait in order to get to vote at the precinct level; bring something to read.”
One way to limit the wait time is to pick a less trafficked time frame to go vote. Holbrook recommends going in the morning after the rush to work around 9 a.m. or in the mid to late afternoon around 1:30 to 3:00. After that, you’re likely to run into the “after work” crowd. Lunchtime is also a highly popular time.
If you can’t make until after work, as long as you make it to your precinct by 7 p.m., you’ll get an opportunity to vote.
“If you’re waiting in line to vote at 7:00, we’ll have an election judge get behind the last person line,” Mendoza said. “Everyone will get to vote that in line by 7:00. We will remain open until everyone that was in line has an opportunity to vote.”
Polls for both Madison and St. Clair Counties will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. You may find voting locations, sample ballots and other information here for Madison County and here for St. Clair County.