IÃ‚Â got word at 7:45 pm tonight that there was a long line at the Santa Ana polling site located at Temple Sinai at 2030 S. Flower.Ã‚Â I hopped in my car an headed down there to see what was going on.Ã‚Â I arrived at about 8:05 pm to find between 175 and 200 people waiting in line to vote.Ã‚Â They were all told by the precinct workers that they would be able to vote, but the line was barely moving.
As voters trickled out after casting their ballots I was surprised to learn that they had waited an average of two and a half hours to vote.Ã‚Â One voter told me that she had come down to vote four times over the course of the day.
Wow, these are really some dedicated people who know the value of their vote.Ã‚Â The majority of the voters waiting in line were Hispanic many speaking primarily Spanish.Ã‚Â At about 8:30 the precinct workers started handing out paper ballots and people were filling them out all over the room, while others were waiting to use the E-Slate machines.
Clearly there were not enough volunteers to handle the volume of voters.Ã‚Â There were also not enough voting machines.Ã‚Â I soon figured out why.Ã‚Â In his infinite wisdom, Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley had combined three precincts into this one location and only supplied 8 voting machines.
In talking to one of the volunteers I learned that the lines had been there all day and that at one point they only had 6 of the 8 machines working.Ã‚Â He further indicated that they had been trained to discourage voters from using paper ballots, which was why they waited so late to offer them.Ã‚Â
The paper ballots ran out quickly enough and the remaining voters had to wait to use the E-Slate machines.Ã‚Â At 9:40 pm there were 29 people waiting to vote.Ã‚Â At 9:58 there were 13 people waiting and at 10:20 pm the last voter closed his ballot.Ã‚Â His civic duty took more than 2 Ã‚Â½ hours to complete.
As one of the precinct workers said to me as she left, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been here since 5:30 this morning.Ã‚Â They gave us 8 voting machines for 3 precincts. When I thanked her for her hard work, she responded that she wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be volunteering again.
I wonder how many precincts in Newport Beach had 2 Ã‚Â½ hour lines to vote?