November 4th, 2008
09:15 PM ET
13 years ago

Lines top 10 hours at PA college

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Students at Lincoln University faced very long lines to vote Tuesday."]
(CNN) - Long lines were common in several battleground states on Election Day, but students at Pennsylvania's Lincoln University may have set a new standard for patience.

Hundreds of voters who registered at the last minute turned out to cast ballots at the college outside Philadelphia, forcing precinct officers to verify their eligibility with Chester County's election office, said Agnes O'Toole, assistant director of the county's Department of Voter Services.

The result was a nearly 11-hour wait in a chilly drizzle for voters like Jacintha Johnson, a senior at the historically African-American school. Johnson told CNN that she got in line at 7:30 a.m. and voted at 6 p.m.

"Practically the entire school was out there," she said. "It started to rain. Students were complaining about being hungry. The school provided some snacks, finally, at about 10 o'clock in the morning. Now, the line is pretty much the same."

O'Toole said registration drives delivered forms for about 700 of the nearly 2,800-plus voters registered at that precinct on the October 6 deadline for this year's elections - "So when the poll books were printed, they were not in the poll books."

Calls to O'Toole's office verified most of those in line were registered voters. Others were issued provisional ballots, she said. But the process slowed down the line.

"The crowd has remained calm," O'Toole said. "There are defintely a few people having a hard time waiting in line for a long time, but it's been peaceful."

CNN has projected that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will win Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes.

Authorities reported massive voter turnout across the state, which was crucial for Republican nominee John McCain's White house bid. Election officials had advised counties to prepare for as many as 80 percent of the state's registered voters to turn out.

- CNN's Rob Frehse and Matt Smith contributed to this report.

Filed under: Pennsylvania • Voter Problems
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ankur

    I think CNN has totaled up Senator Obama's electoral votes incorrectly. Currently CNN has him at 174 electoral votes, but you project him winning the following states: IL (21) + PA (21) + MD (10) + DC (3) + DE (3) + NJ (15) + CT (7) + MA (12) + NH (4) + VT (3) + ME (4) + MN (10) + WI (10) + MI (17) + RI (4) + NY (31) = 175

    November 4, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. Adrienne

    I'm so proud of the youth. The youth vote is such a big story in this campaign.

    November 4, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. Paul

    Why do American's tolerate long polling lines?

    I'm Canadian. I would throttle my government if it forced me to
    wait longer than 10 minutes.
    I usually don't have to wait at all.

    November 4, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. nick

    As a student at a university in Pittsburgh, I am pretty proud to read this. Hopefully this will show that my generation is a new force in the politics of this country. Lincoln University has my vote!

    November 4, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. BMF

    yah 1 off

    November 4, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. jan

    looks like Ankur has a point. Are the electoral votes correct?

    November 4, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Joelzwidbel

    Thanks Who vote for mccain.

    November 4, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. Caitlin Columbia, MO

    I go to the University of Missouri and it only took me about 20 minutes to cast my vote. mentioned lines as long as ten hours, but I wasn't sure where. It's wonderful news to hear there are people my age willing to wait for that long. Hopefully this means my generation will continue to be highly involved in American politics.

    November 4, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. rick

    The line was fine here in San Diego, California, only 10 minute wait. Based on my conversations, McCain has no chance in California, 2 of every 3 people I talk to are simply tired of the Republican party, even so-called Republicans here.

    November 4, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |