East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– People at East Lansing City Hall waited hours in line to cast their ballot for Michigan’s Primary Elections.
“I didn’t expect it to be this busy, but it is rush hour it is in the evening and college students are last minute so I mean I kind of expected it to be kinda long but not this long,” MSU Senior Shelby Pitts said.
The line wrapped all the way through the building, with people still waiting well after the polls closed. A number of other voters ended up leaving because they didn’t want to deal with the long wait.
“I think it’s kind of representative of like you know of the barriers that are put up during voting these days. We should not have school today at all because it’s kind of holding back a lot of people that don’t have access to cars. Waiting in these long lines deters people in general,” Pitts said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders the following statement on Tuesday, after long lines occurred at polling places all over Michigan and in states voting around the country:
“At a time when Democrats correctly attack Republicans for voter suppression, it is disappointing to see people standing in long lines for hours today waiting to vote in Michigan and around the country. People should not have to miss a day of work to exercise their right to vote. This is an outrage. Election officials must address these problems immediately, and if necessary, keep polling places open longer.”
While some questioned the preparedness of the clerk’s office, city officials say it was a much bigger issue than that. Being the first major election since same-day registration was introduced– many students went with that option and there were just 8 workers there who were qualified to register them.
Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens added that there were people who don’t even work at the clerk’s office that were there trying to help out.
During a press conference Tuesday evening, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state plans to work with the communities who experienced long waits, to make sure they have resources to potentially open satellite locations leading up to the November election.