What’s been your experience at your polling place?

We’d like your help in covering the Election Day story in Minnesota. Today’s Question: What’s been your experience at your polling place? Leave a short answer here, or submit a more detailed account here.

  • Eric

    Waiting outside south Minneapolis voting space, early but already 6 people waiting across all demographics.

  • secret agent girl

    I’d like to hear when it’s BEST to show up for MINIMIZING WAIT TIMES to vote. Thank you.

  • GregX

    Linear!

  • Mandy

    I was the 11th voter from my little township this morning. No waiting here, just a couple extra minutes saying hello to neighbors!

  • Meg

    South minneapolis poll is out the door and into the parking lot… Bring an umbrella

  • Bob Rudstrom

    They could not get my ballot to run through the machine, at their start this a.m. I guess we have to trust this bigger threat to election results as status quo. Look at the potential for election misshap here! Trust them that they will not lose it, or will actually run it through the machine. A level of trust bigger than voter fraud on an individual level, for sure!

  • Melissa

    Electric (?) ballot box is not working in Little Canada location. Lines forming but wait was short. Disturbing to have the machine broken, how long have we know about this election?

  • Brian

    Short line, no hassles at Falcon Heights City Hall this morning.

  • JP

    Among the first in line in my small town, but there were many of us! A big thanks to all of the people helping out with smiles, directions, and calm.

  • Rob

    Starting at 7:20am, I waited 20 minutes at my polling place in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, and hadn’t made it half way through the line. Had to bail out in order to get to work on time, along with several others in line. New polling place, so I don’t know how this compares to normal…but I’ll have to come back!

  • Kate

    I arrived at my polling place in New Brighton at 7:11 a.m. Was worried about parking, but a spot opened up right away. The line was somewhat long compared to non-presidential election years but not out the door, and I was back in my car at 7:28. I did not grow up here and find the state incredibly efficient — I still remember my shock at how quick and easy it was to get a driver’s license compared to the hours it took in my previous state. Love that about Minnesota!

  • Janet

    I AM SO FRUSTRATED. Went to vote at my polling place on Front Street in Barnesville MN. I was there shortly after 7:00 am. The place is dark and closed up tight. No sign of being able to vote. I made sure to check yesterday to verify my polling place as well as the time.

    I just called the place and they answered at 8:35 am. I asked why they weren’t open earlier this morning. The reply was that they do not open until 10:00 am and it has been that way for 50 years! REALLY!?? Everyone else is getting to vote and I feel like I am being locked out because they can’t or won’t open early like everyone else.

  • Jim G

    We walked to our suburban polling place arriving at 7:45. We were in line for only 8 minutes before entering to voting booth. The election workers monitoring the line were announcing that those who needed to register today could form a separate line for the registration table. It was very organized. The two of us were both finished by 8:00 and home by 8:05. Minnesota has a fantastic voting system with dedicated election judges. I can’t see the logic for changing a system that is not broken.

  • Kari

    No problems in Arden Hills. In and out in minutes.

  • Kurt Nelson

    Got in line at 7:20, and out the door at 8:30. Pleased to see long lines at the other polling places I drove past – all in North Mpls.

  • Merry Beckmann

    Downtown Saint Paul in line prior to 7 am…they were hustling to get ready and were able to start putting people through at 7 am albeit slowly…very long line when we left. One person asked me if she was able to register to vote today. So far…

  • CJ

    Swung by our village’s only voting place and there was a line at 7:00. Got to love the high turn out in small towns. Will go back after work. Got to hate the long commute most of us small towners have to get to our jobs. But hey, polls are open until 8. Not looking at any news until the honored task is complete.

  • Alison

    Maybe a 10 minute line at 7 am in New Brighton. Everyone was in a good mood, sharing stories and laughs. They got a good chuckle out of my daughter, who when she was 3, started to cry when we got to the polling place. She thought we were going “boating”!

    Arriving at work, I found the mood of a couple of co-workers to be more tense, as they are in the final moments of waiting to see whether enough of their fellow Minnesotans think it’s alright for their families to have the same civil rights as the rest of the families in this state.

  • Jefferson

    I just voted and the only reason voting took so long was due to government inefficiency. It took about an hour to complete my voting at 8 am (the actual voting took less than 5 minutes) but some common sense is needed. There was a very large room with only 10 voting booths, only 1/4 of the room was being used. They could have easily fit 25-40 voting booths in the room…there were extra election judges just meandering around the rest of the room and most of the judges were spending most of their time doing nothing. There is no excuse for being unprepared for this election, give me a break 10 voting booths in a busy suburb (Bloomington). Government has no reason to be efficient so it doesn’t bother even attempting to be…I’m actually tempted to become an election judge to fix idiotic things like this in the future.

  • Michael

    For having 100+ people at my St. Paul polling place, it went very quickly and efficiently. The only concern was that the head judge told me they only had about a dozen ballot cover slips, so no one was really using them. That was unexpected but it didn’t both me too much to carry my filled-out ballot around.

  • Norm

    No problems, very fast, Little Falls

    Liked that they reminded me that if I don’t vote yes or no on the amendments that it would be a no vote.

  • Christine Lienke

    Line was fairly long, but moved quickly. Encouraged to see my neighbor’s son who just turned 18 there voting before school! My son missed a chance to vote by 3 days … he turns 18 Friday.

  • bdobbs

    Moderately long lines at Powderhorn park as of 9:30a. The single voting machine in precinct 9-2 was broken, so ballots were being collected “to be counted later”. That was disturbing. Hope that gets fixed before much of the day passes.

  • pete

    My voting experience was great. There was a great turn out. What I saw while waiting in line, was a stack of unopened ballots just sitting on a table without an election judge in sight! Fortunately, voters in Brooklyn Park are honest.

  • Emily

    It was exciting to see so many of my neighbors and friends out at the polls early this morning! There were long lines and a good energy in my neighborhood (Kingfield neighborhood of S. Mpls) and lots of conversation. However, the scanner wasn’t working and they said another was on the way and I stored my ballot in the lock box and was told it would be counted as soon as the other arrived. Overall, nice job, Kingfield, keep up the good work!

  • Chris N.

    Voted in the Nativity Church Basement in Mac Groveland. No waiting. Election judges were friendly and efficient. Huge thanks to those folks.

  • JRB

    Eagan Civic Arena has caricatures of Obama and Romney at the front door saying “Vote for me!”. Although I’m sure it’s in the spirit of fun, not sure it’s fitting within the State’s election day guidelines…..

  • JRB

    ….actual people in masks (not cartoon drawings).

  • karen

    Good turnout and lines moving quickly at Edison High School gym in NE Minneapolis. Big Thank You to election judges and other volunteers.

  • Theresa

    In the Brainerd area, the election judges are telling people if they don’t vote on the Amendments, it is a “No” vote.

    They aren’t allowed to say this and it isn’t the truth anyway. Who told them to say this! What is going on here!!

  • david

    Voted on my lunch break. In-out and back to work in 35 minutes. It’s good to work and live in the same neighborhood!

  • Angela

    I voted at 7:20 a.m. and was #98 – in and out in about 10 minutes total.

  • Nancy

    I waited 40′ to vote in Grand Rapids this morning. The election worker giving instructions on voting DID say that not voting on an amendment would count as a no vote. I was glad that MPR had reported that election workers were NOT to give that information to voters. I reported it to the County Auditor’s office, which had received other similar calls. They were sending out auditors to correct this. However by 11 this morning the polls had been open 4 hours and many people had been wrongly instructed.

  • Jefferson

    Nancy – [The election worker giving instructions on voting DID say that not voting on an amendment would count as a no vote. I was glad that MPR had reported that election workers were NOT to give that information to voters. I reported it to the County Auditor's office, which had received other similar calls. They were sending out auditors to correct this. However by 11 this morning the polls had been open 4 hours and many people had been wrongly instructed.] *** Actually it says not voting for an amendment counts as a NO vote right on the ballot…I’m not sure why there would be a problem with an election worker repeating the exact text which appears on the ballot. It sounds like Ritchie is abusing his power as Secretary of State once again.

  • anna123

    In and out of my Rochester voting place in 7 minutes this morning ~1045.

  • Dan

    Today @ Church of St. Timothy 707 89th Avenue Northeast, Blaine, MN, my assigned polling place. While driving in I noticed that they had their opinion/ sway signs along the street. You know the signs that say vote yes to the marriage amendment signs. I hear that polling places are suppose to be neutral. Would you call that neutral? My experience was quick and easy, paper ballet with pen. Overall a good experience, just that the ballet official was busy on his phone instead of assisting me with the process.

  • Susan WB

    In and out in 10 minutes over lunch at Brackett Park in South Minneapolis. Friendly and helpful people, lots of voters but no wait. Smooth as silk!

    The election judge who gave me my ballot said to his partner that they were now “Half way there!” meaning that at 12:30 half the registered voters in our precinct had already voted. Going to be good turnout in MN today.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Very smooth at my polling place.

  • Paul

    Once again I thought; “Cripes, I didn’t study for some of this.”

  • Lane

    I waited in line to vote for about ninety minutes this afternoon in Central Neighborhood in Minneapolis. The recent redistricting has increased the size of the precinct by quite a bit. They needed more poll workers and clearer signage. Also, the ballot reading machine is not working, and according to our neighbor who voted when the polls opened, it hasn’t been all day. I am concerned that the votes won’t get counted in a timely manner if at all.

  • Sally Phillips Helling

    We need an electronic system so it wouldn’t matter WHERE you vote. It could be tied to the social security database which would filter for age (over legal voting age). It would allow only 1 vote cast per social security number. An electronic ballot would be presented, whether at a public polling place or on your home computer for local offices and referendums, based on last known address. This system would allow persons who were displaced due to storms, hospitalized people, travelers, military personnel to vote in an efficient manner.

  • Emily Fulton

    By far my favorite experience voting. The fiftysomething woman in line behind me while waiting to cast our ballots asked if I would take her photo. She became a citizen last year and this was her first time voting. Her excitement was tangible and it was a very cool experience to be part of that with her. She kept reiterating how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to vote as a young woman safely and openly. Brought tears to my eyes and reminded me why I am so proud to vote!

  • cindy

    voted at 7:45am this morning and it took 1.5 hours waiting in line. we’re in southwest minneapolis. they were obviously not ready for this kind of volume. we were in a huge auditorium and only had maybe 10 booths up. the room was huge, we could definitely pump more people through there!

    something was going on with our ballot counter as well. i didn’t quite catch what it was. but some ballots were going to get put in the box later?

  • Pat

    I drove by my polling place, All Saints Lutheran Church in Minnetonka, this morning & the parking lot was overflowing. So I stopped by on my lunch & was able to get in & out in 10 minutes.

  • suestuben

    voted at Anoka city hall, where election judge was giving instructions on the amendments! no line, though, in and out in 10 minutes.

  • David

    Waited 2 1/2 hours in line at 7:30am in Uptown. Our ballot scanner was broken so there will be a hand count. I have heard of many long lines and long wait times in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Not enough voting resources in the city!

  • Mary

    I had a very short wait at 2:00 and no problems at all. All of the voting booths were in use so I voted at a table where every one could see me. I didn’t mind though. It always makes me feel good to vote.

  • Judy

    I got there at 8:00 this morning and walked out in less than 10 minutes. It was a breeze! This was at my precinct in Oak Park Heights, MN.

  • Chris

    Heard from a friend that she was required to show ID to vote in Wayzata this afternoon. That’s not right.

  • Jefferson

    Chris – [Heard from a friend that she was required to show ID to vote in Wayzata this afternoon. That's not right.] *** Your friend was probably registering to vote, in which case requesting an ID is quite appropriate.

  • Jenny Mazouz

    While my ballot was being explained to me in Owatonna, it was mentioned that abstaining from casting a vote for the constitutional amendments would equate voting no. Is this explanation typical protocol for all polling places?

  • Jefferson

    The worst part of the Voter ID issue are the lies being told on TV commercials. Of course a military ID would count as a valid “government-issued photographic identification”…to suggest soldiers wouldn’t be able to vote is simply dishonest at its core. Even in the MPR debate two MN legislators of opposing parties clearly stated that military IDs would be an acceptable form of ID as per the Voter ID Amendment.

  • Jefferson

    Jenny Mazouz – [While my ballot was being explained to me in Owatonna, it was mentioned that abstaining from casting a vote for the constitutional amendments would equate voting no. Is this explanation typical protocol for all polling places?] *** It’s true though, it’s on the ballot; why would anyone have a problem with letting voters know that information? Ritchie made a last minute “rule change” where he directed election officials to omit that bit of information from reaching voters via the election judges. It’s 100% so there’s no problem with letting people know that information, once again this is Ritchie attempting to subvert the election system with his “rule change” even though it’s no different than letting a voter know where to vote or how to fill in a voting bubble.

  • Sarah

    The experience in itself was fine. However I was listening to you and the lady who handed me the ballot told me to be sure to fill in the amendment otherwise it would be marked no. You had started this was incorrect for her to do that.

  • Susan

    1.

    The voting went fast but the “customer service” was terrible. A first-time voter wanted to take a picture of himself casting his first ballot and the person working very rudely told him no. Another woman told her she wasn’t sure that was the rule.

    2. I also wonder churches are appropriate places to hold voting. This is especially true in a year where certain religious groups have vocal opinions about the marriage amendment. Maybe libraries, schools, fire stations and other “civic” buildings would be more appropriate.

  • Bruce

    Walked in the firehouse this morning in Winona. There was a wait for an open voting booth, only a minute or two. Voted and got my sticker. Everyone was very helpful.

  • Tony

    This morning I heard rumors of women being removed from the voter rolls. I did not think much of it until I my wife and I went to vote in Little Canada. I was registered but she was not, though she was previously registered. It could be a complete coincidence. When I asked others on Facebook if they were seeing the same thing, I heard about a couple of other situations where the man was registered but the woman was not, despite having been previously registered. Maybe there is no story here, but I’m wondering what you are hearing from others?

  • Nicole

    Finishing up 4:20 here. Then heading over to vote Grassroots. Expecting a flow of friendly neighbors, Prospect Park/Seward area is pretty chill.

  • Dianne

    I served as an election judge and we were very busy! Nearly everyone was patient as we served the voters as quickly as possible.

  • Karissah

    My polling place in Phillips was moving voters through in an efficient and friendly manner. I was already registered and pulled out my ID to help the voting official find me (my name is hard to spell) and she sharply exclaimed “No! You don’t need to show me your ID! Don’t show me your ID!” It seemed as though they were being very careful as to not present the appearance of requiring one, so I didn’t mind.

    However, my friend who was voting at a church in Coon Rapids witnessed a voting official providing overly pointed information concerning the marriage amendment, which is troubling to me.

  • Chad

    We voted in a school auditorium. Rather than point us to the booths, which provided some privacy, we were told to “sit where ever we like” in the auditorium, which had several lines near any given seat. Practically no privacy. I take the right of voter privacy very seriously and was rather annoyed.

  • Gillette

    Went at 7:20 a.m. and no lines or waiting in Wadena. We brought our sons and our foreign exchange student (South Korea) and they just loved it. Great community feel. Hit and miss on the advice on the amendments. My husband and two friends were advised that not voting was the same as a no vote. However, I received no such advice. Love voting, love election day. Can’t wait until 8:00 and start to see the stats roll in.

  • Kelly Nygard

    Voted in Hanover, MN at 3:30 pm – no waiting lines. I was surprised that the person handing out the ballots was tellling every person ‘Remember on the constitutional ammendment questions that if you leave it blank it registers as a “no” vote.’ I almost felt that might be an indication of her opinion on the issue. If people were not aware of this fact, they might not be informed enough to be making a decision of such importance.

  • Glen Enander

    I voted in St. Goerge, just a bit north of New Ulm. The kind, fun ladies at the polling station warmed my heart. The “Woman in Black” gave me my ballot, and I felt a surge of pride as I cast my vote for the first time in Minnesota. Minnesota nice may have two interpretations, but this morning, it welcomed a new Minnesota citizen with grace and charm. Thank you ladies. You made my day!

  • Lisa

    My polling place was friendly, kind, and very organized this morning. I have voted here for most of my life and appreciate the hard work the volunteers put in to make voting easy. These volunteers are true lovers of democracy as they work to ensure a safe and fair voting experience for all.

  • Alex

    Went to my polling place in Minneapolis as I have for more then 15 years no lines friendly people but for the first time ever my name had been dropped from the list even though I voted in the primary. Just found it odd.

  • David

    At about 7:52PM I finished googling and researching the various option, glad for it too as I crossed off person in favor of Mn having the death penalty. Another was a Christian Bible thumping Judge having God’s word as Law.

    The polling place is less than a block away and when I got there I realized I didn’t have my wallet or ID and I didn’t have time to go back home and get it, however, I remembered that I never had to have it before so I went in, found I was the last person and there was no problem. As I voted they struck the bell signaling the polling was closed.

    I walked home happily having voted Grassroots, Democratic, Libertarian, Green and “NO” twice (just in the nick of time).

    Very happy for Colorado, Washington legalizing cannabis, and Massachusetts for legalizing medical marijuana, and in general, the presidential election and Minnesota constitutional amendment results.

  • jockamo

    We need a test for pot at polling places……

    Obviously, those high on weed are unable to vote competently.

    What is a quick test for cannabis use?

    Shine a light in their eyes? What does a zonked eye look like?

    Kind of whacked, I guess.

    HarHarHar

  • Michael Silverback

    georges/jockamo,

    We more pot at polling places……

    Obviously, those high on weed vote competently.

    What is a quick test for cannabis use?

    “There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis. Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there. I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for LSD (which I’ve never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs. When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of he parameters printed on the pack. I hope that time isn’t too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

    – Carl Sagan

    Turn around the light to shine within, then just return. . . . Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely. Open your hands and walk, innocent.

    … unless you want to keep appearing whacked georges/jockamo, I guess.

    “I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs.”

    – Carl Sagan

  • Michael Silverback

    lol, that is, “We *need* more pot at polling places……”

    I’ve only had my “wake” and no “bake” yet this A.M. ;^)

    Things will be better with the lesser of two evils that the people re-elected. Each of us is a Buddha/Jiva about to awaken/awakening.

    All things are working together for good.