Long lines, poor weather do not keep D.C. voters away from polls

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Nicole Gulotta.

Despite cloudy weather and long lines, hundreds of people came out to vote today at John Burroughs Elementary School in Northeast D.C.

Long waits and a brief malfunction of an electronic voting machine also did nothing to put a damper on the voters’ spirits; many of whom sang while waiting in line.

“To sum it up, it’s been crazy,” said Brenda Cole, a security guard who has worked at the elementary school for six years. “There’s been a lot of positive energy – a real good vibe.”

D.C. resident Joe Steen waited 15 minutes despite the fact that his senior citizen status made him eligible for the express line.

“I’ve voted here for 40 years and never had to stand in line,” Steen said. “But I had to stand in line today.”

Elementary school teacher M.J. Ross said she could barely contain her anticipation for the election.

“Yesterday I was so excited I could hardly stand it,” she said. “I’ve been elated.” Ross set up a mock election in her classroom, giving each child an “I voted” sticker “just like the grown ups.”

But the kids in Ross’ classroom weren’t the only young children excited about the election. Fourteen-year-old Shayla Cobb helped out at the polling place all day passing out papers and helping voters find the right line.

“I felt that I needed to see how people came out and voted,” she said.

While she is not old enough to vote, Cobb expressed her support for Sen. Barack Obama.

“He’ll make a good president,” she said.

Steen is also supporting Obama, but emphasized that the election is important no matter who wins.

“Either way this is a historic election,” he said. “We’ll either have a female vice president or a black president.”

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