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Politics and Government

Tempers Flare Over Voter Waiting

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Jim Browne
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There are very long lines to vote at the Bone Student Center polling place on the ISU campus. And as in past presidential primary cycles, some university students are getting discouraged and leaving.Maya Rejmer is a freshman member of the College Democrats. Rejmer says this is not right and blames the County Clerk, "It''s not the first time. It won't be the last time. This is legitimate voter suppression and it's not fair."

County Clerk Kathy Michael categorically denies the allegation of voter suppression.

"I think it's the heat of the campaigning out there. Someone's calling and spreading quite a bit of disturbing lies."

Part of the reason for the lengthy delay and long lines in voting at ISU is because election officials ran out of voter registration forms. Accounts vary as to how long it took to replenish them, but there are some reports it took more than an hour. Elections staffers at the Clerk's office say they sent more than a thousand registration forms to start the day, and when they ran low, they printed out batches in downtown Bloomington and sent drivers north to Normal

Michael said that polling place had twice the usual number of voting machines and she sent more out there during the morning. She urged patience and said long lines are just part of Election Day on college campuses.

Michael said her office encouraged early voting and early registration on campus as well in hope of reducing the Election Day crush.

She said it's sometimes hard to predict. Michael said last election cycle there were only 19 votes cast at that precinct.

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