Students wait in long lines at polls, say county clerk was not prepared

Election officials at Illinois State University told Heart of Illinois ABC the wait time students were experiencing was because of the number of them needing to register in McLean County, but some students are alleging voter suppression.

Thousands of students voted at the ISU Bone Student Center and at least hundreds of them spent at least an hour in line.

McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael took to Facebook to explain the situation.

“ISU Voting Getting Heavy. It was quiet all morning at ISU Bone Center Polling Place and now a long line has formed with over 100 students in line for same-day registration and probably another 100 already registered voters. This looks to be possible long wait time 1-2 hours for those in line. We have encouraged students to take advantage of free Checker Cab rides and free Connect Transit rides to come downtown to the Government Center to vote, where there is currently no waiting,” she wrote on her page.

Some still think Michael could have done more to prepare for the student voters.

“How many red flags does it take for the clerk to learn, hey there’s going to be a huge turn out. We saw on the news that for early voting there was already a huge turnout and we know people love to vote on election day. I feel like the county clerk knew that and decided to give 10 machines for an area that houses thousands of students,” Vice President of ISU College Democrats Angel Zamudio.

Voters at ISU also faced long lines during the 2016 presidential election.

We reached out to Kathy Michael for comment, and to ask how many machines were in place and whether that was an increase over 2016, but were unable to get in touch with her.

Via Facebook Tuesday she thanked students for their patience and for exercising their right to vote.

Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez

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