Voters Get In Early in Northeast Washington

Presidential Election 2016

Photo by Tyra Trint, HUNS:  Citizens gather in Northeast Washingto cast votes.

WASHINGTON — The line from the entrance of Sherwood Recreation Center in Northeast Washington went out the door and down the sidewalk as voters lined up early to vote Election Day.

Residents ranging from ages 18 to 80 were eagerly anticipating the chance to cast their votes. Last week’s early voting raked in roughly 7,718 votes, Voting Clerk Assistant Maryann Woulff, 70, is surprised that there weren’t more voters.

“It’s a long, long day, but the interactions are so much fun," Woulff said. "I just love this little job. I'm not surprised by the turnout, but I’m surprised at why they didn't come for early voting. We had it for a whole week."

While the initial turnout was impressive this morning, it was not surprising to anyone in line.

“I wanted to get here to get an early start. D.C. is a very 9-to-5 city, so I expected to get here and see this many people," voter  Nada Minkaia, 33, said.  We got here at around 6:30 to get in and out,” 

Tim Lea, 48, anticipated the rush of voting on Election Day.

“I would’ve voted anyway," Lea said.  "I think it’s an important election, but it hasn't weighed my decision on whether I would vote or not this election. I came early because I didn't want to wait. I didn’t early vote because I like the excitement of coming out on the day of. I was surprised at how short the line was.” 

Many voters are looking forward to seeing a woman in the White House for the first time.

“I guess I was drawn more so in this election than others. It's a pretty important historical election. I’m hoping for a good result for Hillary,” said Adrian Howe, 32.

“I always vote. I felt like the vote meant more this election. I am looking forward to the first female POTUS,” said Nicki Moore, 42.

Most voters have dealt with the struggle of settling for a candidate, with no real motivation behind voting for either.

“I have to go to work," Eric Jones, 35, said.   "I was already registered and, of course, I had to vote. I’m looking forward to anybody but Trump winning.” 

In the fast-paced sea of voters, there were strong opinions about the state of the current presidency and the hope for the upcoming one.

“I voted for Trump solely because I hate Hillary so much,"Bryce Suderow, 66, said.  "Trump is a thug and a narcissist, but Hillary is a crook and I would love to see her locked up. Our current president had no experience. He’s not a businessman. I didn't dislike him because he was black. I don’t think he was qualified. I thought that he was a weak president and he was unengaged.” 

There’s still plenty of time for more people to get into the booths to make their choice for president before the polls close at 8 p.m.

“It’s too early to tell what the day’s turnout will be," Election Team Captain Philip Bender said.. It’s always busy like this in the morning. We are expecting a large turnout and we’re prepared for it. I’ve done this about half a dozen times or more.” 

No matter the results, there are still people hoping that the nation will be unified.

“I’m looking forward to the event at Lafayette Square," Woulff said. "It’s a ‘sing out racism’ party.' If I’m not too tired from working here, I’ll head down there. Either way the election goes, there will be choirs there singing out prejudice.” 

By 8:05 am, the line had dwindled down to about 60 people, with a wait of no more than 15 minutes.