Long polling lines don’t deter students

University of Minnesota students waited in lines for around an hour and a half on Tuesday night.

Students wait in line that wraps around the inside of the University Lutheran Church polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in Dinkytown. Students said the wait was as long as two hours.

Ellen Schmidt

Students wait in line that wraps around the inside of the University Lutheran Church polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in Dinkytown. Students said the wait was as long as two hours.

Natalie Rademacher

With coffee, conversation and music along the way, students were not deterred by the long lines at the Dinkytown polling location near the University of Minnesota campus.

Some students remained in lines for approximately an hour and a half on Tuesday night at the University Lutheran Church of Hope. As of approximately 7:30 p.m., 1,927 ballots were cast, according to an election official at the church. Polling place volunteers say they were not surprised by the turnout.

“I’m not surprised, but I am very happy. It’s been great. It seems like the energy level is up. The line is long, but it doesn’t seem to have deterred anyone,” said Nina Cole, an election volunteer at the church.

Because of the long lines, Election Judge Hannah Burchill said she was called in from another polling place to help out at the Dinkytown location.

“I’m … making sure everyone is welcome and is registered to vote or will be registered to vote when they hit those registration specialists,” she said.

Burchill said she noticed many first-time voters came with questions about how to register and fill out their ballots.

“I don’t think anyone would stand in a 90 minute line if they weren’t excited,” she said.

Although University junior Hans Adamsson said he had been waiting in line for 50 minutes, he remained intent on voting.

“It definitely could have been way worse. We had coffee, we had conversations, we had beautiful artwork. Pianos to play along the way,” he said.

Minneapolis City Council Member Steve Fletcher visited the church Tuesday evening. He said he wasn’t surprised by the student turnout, citing high student engagement leading up to Election Day.

“[It] has my attention. When I see this many young people voting, it tells me and everybody else: don’t ignore young people,” Fletcher said.

The free coffee and food handed out by volunteers was a pleasant surprise for Ellie Kattner, a junior biology major.

“It made standing in line a little bit better,” she said.