November 4th, 2008
05:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Long waits in the Detroit area

 Michigan residents stand in line waiting to vote in the presidential election at the Coleman Young Community Center in Detroit.
Michigan residents stand in line waiting to vote in the presidential election at the Coleman Young Community Center in Detroit.

(CNN) - Estimates on the longest voting lines in Detroit, Michigan were as high as 5 hours. Election Protection, a non-partisan voting watch dog group, reported a 5 hour, 1,000 person long line at Detroit's Beth Eden Baptist Church earlier on Election Day. They said it was largely due to understaffed polling stations. While state officials echo that lines were long, especially in the morning rush, they couldn't confirm voters waited 5 hours at this location. "We heard a report that 1000 people waited 5 hours but when we got there at 3:00 pm, there were 100 people inside, 100 people outside and they had waited two and a half hours," said Kelly Chesney, Spokeswoman for Michigan's Secretary of State. They expect lines to swell again as people get out of work and while most polls close statewide at 8pm ET, 4 of Michigan's western counties, Dickinson, Gogebic, Iron, and Menominee, are in the Central time zone and polls close there at 9pm ET (8pm CT). Voters still standing in line at 8pm will be allowed to cast their vote.

Updated 5:38 p.m.


Filed under: Michigan • Voter Problems
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Sandy Kirksey

    I would have waited for as long as it took to vote. I feel this is the most important vote of my life. I am 58yrs old, and we need a change.

    November 4, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Proud to be American

    why, why, why...... does it have to be so hard to vote... gee it is not like we didn't know it was going to be a big turn out of voters..... this just don't make sense to me at all.... and the world is watching....we must get this together however, in the interim stand in line and ensure your vote is counted. I voted early in Sa Diego, Ca and I spent an hour and a half in line...

    ******************* Obama and Biden 2008 and 2012 ***********************

    November 4, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Julia, Ohio

    AFTER 3 HRS I WAS PLEASED TO VOTE IN OHIO FOR BARACK OBAMA & JOE BIDEN

    November 4, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. JDL

    I voted this morning in Brooklyn, and it was a little over a two hour wait- not surprising, seeing how we were only given one machine for our district!

    November 4, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Fred the moderate

    Here it comes! This is what Hillary would have seen had there been an election in Michigan. Obama would have won the state in a landslide.

    November 4, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Angi's Mom

    These long waits are unacceptable. Someone should be fired!

    November 4, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. roy -IL

    Perhaps the ACORN side of the voting issue touted by the Republicans was a smokescreen while the REAL fraud is going on INSIDE the voting station.....We all know who voting delays will benefit. We all know who will benefit if all votes are NOT counted.....we all know which party wants votrers to stay home....and it is a sad testament that we ALL know it!

    November 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Michelle in Cincinnati

    Hang in there Detroit! It will be worth it!

    November 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Eric C

    To the rocket scientist, "Yes We Can!" – Are you kidding? Take a look at the stats on the Top 10 poverty-stricken and crime-leading cities in the USA – 9 out of 10 on BOTH lists have been under Democratic leadership for years! Do you homework, you dope!

    November 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Julia, Ohio

    WHY AREN'T VOTE MACHINES SEALED ???

    November 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    dude, my ballot in Atlanta was complety electronic

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Jeanne Marie

    The Black Panther story is rubbish concocted by desperate McCain followers. Why don't you do some fact checking before you spread such slander?

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Kim

    Sadly, long lines in low-income Michigan cities is not unusual. In 2004 the longest line in Flint ran until 11:15pm.

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Darrell Standring

    Okay...we knew this was going to be a historic voting period. We also knew about the fiasco the last two elections in regards to running out of ballots, polls opening late, and people basically losing their right to vote. Above all other things, whether Democratic or Republican or Independent, Americans have the right to vote. This is an absolute reflection of the deterioration of the United States. We can't even honestly allow people to have their say in their own government. Time for people to stand up and demand to be counted, and counted fairly. There is simply no excuse for any department of elections to have problems like this!

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Concerned GA voter

    Yes, this is totaly ridiculous. How in the world can we as a country try to persuade the rest of the world about democracy. Our election process is just horrible. It just amazes me that they have 4 years to get prepared for the general election and each year it's the same. We need change in this country beginning with out voting process.

    Obama!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Alisha, MN

    I stood in line for 2 1/2 hours (WELL WORTH IT,) this morning to exercise one of my civil liberties! I am proud to wear the "I voted" sticker. What I am most proud of, is that I seen a makeup of generations, different ethnicities, skin hues, people from all walks of life; I am talking about from the elderly, to the first time 18 year old voter who was just grinning ear to ear because she was casting her vote for the first time. I had the pleasure of voting with my grandparents today because they live in the same district that I do. Grandpa came to pick me up early (TOO CUTE) to make sure I went to vote before he dropped me off at work. My grandfather is a retired Air Force Veteran, who walks with a cane now, but he stood in line just as proud as could be, with tears in his eyes because he knows that history (were praying) will be made on tonight! Now I am not telling anyone who to vote for because we have the freedom of choice, so long as you vote! May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep you all, and may his peace be with you until we meet again, or we meet at Jesus feet!

    ~Alisha

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Looks like a nice enough day in Detroit, though the sun is surely down by now. Stand strong, folks and cast your vote for change!!

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    5 hours, that's ridiculous. Here in Canada, the waits are a half hour at the most. However, voting has been on a steady decline for a long time. I blame the lack of excitement compared to the U.S elections. Oh, and Obama for President.

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Danny Lamar

    Where is John Sinclair and the MC 5 when you need them - Power to the People! Anyone for a Coney Island?

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Marc PDX

    I think the Electoral College sucks. Let's just give one vote to each state and then the winner of the majority of states wins the election. Scr*w California and New York!

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. McCain Voter!!!!!!!!

    GO McCain/Palin!
    BOOO Obama/Biden

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Carol

    Next time cities could prepare better, I did early voting here in Colroado and that worked well. However....Consider this: America is willing to do what it takes to have a voice in this historic and important election such as a 5-hr wait is to be remembered. America's will is strong and resolute not only on the battlefield and this type of decision to go a different direction shows courage and strength that I am proud to be a part of. I hope the rest of the world is watching and takes note that we are not just about bad choices and continued mistakes. Change is coming! Thanks to Obama! and we need this soo much!
    Mom of three serving
    Lakewood Co

    November 4, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Those who are sending those misleading text messages are not different than those who have been making misleading ads about Obama. They're called republicans. Since a miracle is needed in order for McCain to win this election, may be and extra day for McCain supporters to go to the polls is needed.
    Conclusion: the message should be sent the republicans only, because they are going to LOSE this election.

    And Winner is................ OBAMA.

    November 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Montana Mama

    GOD BLESS all of those people who exercised their right to vote and endured such a wait...CHANGE is in the air, we will finally have a voice that truly represents and unites all of us AMERICANS...I voted October 6th, but have driven by our polling place to feel the energy...even here in Great Falls, MT there were lines....true DEMOCRACY in action...

    November 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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