Slow, but Steady Makes the Scene at D.C.’s Precinct 36

McCain, Obama Supporters Express Views at Latin American Youth Center

Will Bordelon is a dedicated voter, and easy to please, too.

He was in line at 6:30 a.m. – half an hour before the polls opened at the Latin American Youth Center precinct 36 , 1419 Columbia Rd. – and he was on his way by 8:05, not fast, but OK with Bordelon.

“I expected to stay about that long” said Bordelon, who said he voted for Sen. John McCain, but that he would be happy if Sen. Barack Obama won, too. “Some of these people are going to go home,” he added.

In order to make sure everyone’s vote is counted, Donny Gonzalez, Ward 1 Specialist of the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services, was making rounds of the 16 different polling precincts in Ward 1. He discovered one problem at the Latin American Youth Center.

“One of the electronic ballots is getting stuck on audio mode, so right now we have a technician coming to either repair it or replace it,” Gonzalez said. “You see how long these lines are, people have to be able to vote; every machine has to be working efficiently.” Emily Johansson also thought the lines might deter people from voting, especially in the District where people are nearly certain that the area will go for Obama. But the long line won’t stop her from voting.

“Today is a big day in the history of our country, so it’s nice to be a part of it,” she said, looking to her boyfriend, who was wearing an inside-out Obama T-shirt, for confirmation. Johansson misjudged the weather and took her boyfriend’s green sweater to keep warm, leaving Gordon Fournier to flip his shirt or be in trouble for campaigning near an election site. (See Leave Obama, McCain T-Shirts at Home on Nov. 4, Voting Rights Experts Advise

“We’re cautiously optimistic about Obama’s chances,” Fournier said.

Alexandra Sevilla is also hoping for an Obama presidency.

“Everything about him will make him a good president,” she said. “He’s got good policy views. I think he’s going to [engage] people who have contrasting views. He’s a young guy, and that will bode well for thinking about the future.”

Sevilla’s family is from Nicaragua, but she said that being of Latin American descent didn’t influence her voting decision.

“I grew up here; I don’t have the same sort of like issues of, like, a recent immigrant,” she said. “I do understand that my parents did, so compassion toward those types of issues is important.

As a bloc,” she said, “I would say we tend to be very pro life or very conservative in some aspects, and I’m not that way at all.”Sevilla said she has been voting since 1992 and this was the first time she felt it was really important that she voted.