Follow Point Park University students throughout the day as they report in from polling places around Western Pa.
10:30 p.m. PA Results Update
9:30 p.m. Point Park Students Take to the Polls
The Point Park University shuttles were busy throughout the day on Nov. 8, hauling students to and from the Epiphany Church in Pittsburgh to vote. The polls opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m.
It seems that an overwhelming number of students at Point Park University voted for democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Point Park University, being a liberal arts college, houses a large number of students who lean toward the Democratic Party due to personal beliefs.
Registered democrat and technical theatre major Amelia Benson is a volunteer for the NextGen Climate organization that is pushing to get voters to fight climate change and vote against Donald Trump. She believes that her generation needs to step up and take charge of the government.
“I’m voting Hillary because I care about the environment,” said Benson. “I care about humans. I can’t just sit down and let violence happen.”
Despite popular belief, there are students on campus who are voting for republican candidate Donald Trump. One such student is freshman sports, arts and entertainment management major Colleen Miriello.
“I’m going to be upset if Trump doesn’t win,” said Miriello. “I don’t think Hillary deserves to be in office, but if she does, I’m just going to have to grin and bear it.”
Being the minority on campus, republican students feel the need to hide their political opinions in light of the current election. There is a fear that they will be labeled as radical republicans.
“It’s frustrating,” said a Republican student who asked to remain nameless. “I almost have to be a ‘closet republican’ at Point Park. It’s very frowned upon.”
Though the 2016 Presidential Election has people either taking one side or the other, the majority of students seem to have the same thoughts when it come to this year’s the election. Being first time voters, many have voiced their distress in having to choose between either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
“I’m not very happy,” said freshman dance major Jenna Snide. “This is my first time voting and it had to be between two candidates that I’d rather not vote for.”
9:15 p.m. Ross Township Voters Make Predictions
Democratic committee representatives handed out literature outside of Ross Township polls this morning in a last-minute attempt to sway voters.
The literature mainly consisted of slate cards promoting a straight democratic ticket for each of the offices up for election.
Local residents entering the polling location gave a variety of responses, ranging from politely declining to returning the literature in disgust.
Stationed outside of the Ross Township Community Center, Ed Nassan, 80, former president of the Hotel and Casino Workers Union, has been supporting the Democratic party on election day for eight years.
Regarding his time as a representative, he commented on the high turnout after only three hours of the polls being open as well as the historically polarized presidential race.
“I’ve never felt this way before, but [Donald Trump] sends an evil feeling in my body,” Nassan said.
Nassan strongly endorsed Hillary Clinton’s views and experience while holding Trump in contempt for his past comments against women and immigrants.
“That’s what America is here for,” Nassan said. “People come here to be free.”
Scott Pavelle, attorney, of Ross Township, also views freedom as cornerstone for elections.
“I believe in personal liberty,” Pavelle said. “We all agree. We’re basically all on the same page … When I ask a democrat, that’s their response. When I ask a republican, that’s their response. The motive is identical.”
About a mile down McKnight Road, Elaine Napper, 71, former teacher, stood at the door of Berkeley Hills Fire Company with the same slate card as Nassan. Despite a much slower turnout of voters, Napper experienced a similar mix of responses.
“I think most everybody knows how they want to vote,” Napper said. “It’s been a very depressing campaign, and I’ve been in politics many, many years.”
When the campaign does finally end and the polls close, predictions surrounding the announcement of a winner vary as well.
“I have a sneaky feeling it’s not going to be close,” Napper said. “I think we’ll know by midnight.”
9:00 p.m. Oakland is Proud to Cast Their Vote
It was a busy but beautiful Election Day in Pittsburgh’s neighborhood of Oakland.
Donnell Taylor, 23, a student athlete at Pitt, voted for the first time at the Oak Hill Community Center. The Mount Vernon, N.Y., resident said he voted for Hillary Clinton because she was the better candidate.
“Her strategy for running for president was more flushed out while Trump only had one saying his entire race,” said Taylor. “He never explained what he truly would do to make America great again.”
Point Park alumna Arnetta Dyer, 51, was helping out at the center for Election Day. Dyer has been voting since she was 18 and hopes to see police brutality lessen with the new president. When asked whom she was voting for, she smiled brightly and said Hillary Clinton.
“If you were to fly to London, would you fly with a non-experienced pilot or an experienced pilot?” said Dyer. “I’m voting for Clinton.”
Pitt’s campus overflowed with students at Posvar Hall, where students voted in-between their classes. Students were lined up in-between their classes; they received free pizza after casting their ballots.
Taylor Warywoda, 18, a student at Pitt, had a big blue pin on her backpack that said, “I’m with her.”
“I voted for Hillary because I believe we need to have equal pay and raise income,” Warywoda said.
Even though this is her first time voting as well, Warywoda hopes that the next presidential race will have better candidates. “I hope that the next presidential election isn’t super divided so we can find reasons to support the candidate instead of hating one and voting for the other.”
Almost everyone has shown that they are extremely overwhelmed for the results of the election. Some people have considered this the most important election of their life.
Santana Luster, 31, of the North Side, said this is the most important election to her as an African-American woman.
“It was a big deal when we elected a black male in office,” said Luster. “But this is electing a woman, [proving] that we can do just as much as a male can and it’s way overdue.”
8:45 p.m. Oakland Votes as a Community
The tight knit community at the Senior Building in the suburb of Oakland, in Pittsburgh, Pa. casted their votes on Nov. 8. Registered voters performed their civic duty and expressed their political opinions.
At around 12 p.m., 80 people voted at the Senior Building according to volunteers working at the poll. Volunteers from the Election Protection Coalition gathered outside of the polling place to inform students of the laws when it comes to voter intimidation.
Eric Singer, volunteer for the Election Protection Coalition, 45, of Swissvale, Pa. said his job is to make sure that voter intimidation doesn’t happen at the polling places.
“This is America and I shouldn’t need to volunteer for something like this,” Singer said. “It’s a waste of time and energy, but for voters, its important and a necessary energy.”
Singer also said that voter intimidation is more prevalent than voter fraud. He said that the ratio of intimidation to fraud is probably 1 million to 1.
“We all have the right to vote in America regardless of who you’re voting for,” Singer said. “I’ve never seen so many people excuse their votes.”
Voters at the Senior Building were prideful of their decisions.
Omar Siddiqui, University of Pittsburgh student, 26, of Seattle, Wa. who voted for Hillary Clinton said he voted because his vote counts in Pennsylvania.
“Clinton is qualified for this position,” Siddiqui said. “I’d rather have a corrupt Hillary than a normal Trump.”
Another University of Pittsburgh student, Evan Amendola, 23, of Scranton, Pa. voted for Donald Trump at the Senior Building.
Amendola stated that he voted for Trump because Clinton has had a hand in everything evil.
“Trump isn’t ideal by any means but Clinton isn’t the lesser evil,” Amendola said.
Arneta Dyer, 53, of the Hill District, Pa. and Point Park University alumna was working at the polls also expressed the candidate that she voted for.
“If you fly to London, would you fly with a non-experienced pilot or an experienced pilot? I’m voting for Clinton for that reason,” Dyer said.
Dyer also expressed that she didn’t understand how a billionaire like Donald Trump was able to run for president.
“Can you become a doctor without knowing how to be a doctor?” Dyer said. “We need togetherness in this country. Clinton can provide that for us.
8:30 p.m. Bigger Turnout in New Castle for Historic Election
Hope Wallace, 22, of New Castle, voted in her second Presidential election feeling blessed.
She felt that these historic elections meant a lot to her because she was a part of re-electing Barack Obama, the first African-American president, and might be a part in electing the first ever woman president. She believes that no matter what, people need to vote for who they believe in.
“Everyone needs to be heard,” Wallace said.
That is a motto that was reinforced by Constable John Budai, 64, of New Castle. Budai, who worked at the polling station for the 1st District of the 5th and 8th wards of New Castle.
The polling station was at an annex theater that is part of the old New Castle Playhouse on E. Long Avenue. Budai said that despite the building being poorly lit and hard to see in, they have gotten double the turnout they normally receive.
Budai, who has worked as a constable for 20 years, said that over 400 people voted for the 8th ward and over 300 people voted in the 5th ward.
He says that overall, more minority voters and younger voters have shown up in comparison to previous elections and that most people kept to themselves who they voted for.
“A lot of people didn’t want to vote,” Budai said. “But they voted anyway.”
Leonard Boazzo, 58, of New Castle, voted in his ninth Presidential elections. He believes that this campaign was a joke and that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were worse than the candidates in previous elections.
“I have never seen so much deceit or mudslinging to sway opinion in my life from major political parties, Boazzo said. “It really does come down to the lesser of two evils.”
However, despite his negative opinion to both candidates, he believes that it is everyone’s right and duty to vote and that it is important for the country to show your support by voting.
“You need to let your voice be heard regardless,” said Boazzo.
8:15 p.m. Voters in Monroeville Calmly Handle the Election
In the aging community of Monroeville, there was a fairly predictable crowd that showed up to the Church of Resurrection for the 2016 presidential election. Middle-aged to elderly adults, the majority of identifying as conservative Republicans, with a few sporting gear for their candidate of choice.
Les Neilly, 60, who had been at the polls since 7:00 a.m. handing out party pamphlets, pledged his allegiance to Donald Trump.“Country first, Supreme Court second,” Neilly said. “I just cannot trust a word that comes out of [Hillary Clinton’s] mouth.”
The atmosphere was relatively quiet, and the vibe was calm. Everyone was polite and helpful.
Lauren Lewis, 61, also said she voted for Donald Trump. In a few words, she explained why: “Pro-life,” she said. “If it comes down to it, the babies come first.”
8:00 p.m. North Side Voters Ready for Change
Today is the day Americans choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as their next president. There are people excited everywhere and a different energy is felt in the streets. Lots of voters lined up at West Park Court, a polling location in North Side, a few blocks away from the Community College of Allegheny County.
The atmosphere was calm as people got in and out in only a few minutes. There was no line at the door and inside there were only a few people working. Roberta Guido, 25, former student from the University of Pittsburgh who graduated in 2014, said that she is a democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton, and she explained her reasons why: “I’m a little bit concerned about the outcome of this election. I think a win for Trump would be pretty awful. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter but now I’m voting for Hillary because she’s the best option this time” Guido said.
Kimberly Snyder, 31, from Pittsburgh, said that Trump is a “bigot with no political experience, and Hillary’s policies are more aligned with my views”.
Emily Myers, 19, also a democrat from Pittsburgh, said “I definitely don’t support anything that Trump has said, nor the republican platform. I was kind of forced to look into Hillary since Bernie didn’t make it. I agree with some of her goals and with what she stands for. I like her work with kids and families, and the idea of free college tuition. And I also support her idea of getting rid of debt.”
Later in the night, Pittsburgh rapper Kellee Maize and her business manager Emily Plazek showed up to the location to vote. Both of them are declared independent, but for this time they chose to vote democrat.
Maize, told me that she is “concerned about the outcome of this election because the choice that is being made will indicate the psyche of our country” and that her hope is that “we are not a racist and sexist country”. Plazek on the other side, told me that she’s voting for Hillary because not only trump is sexist and racist, but because she also “believes in a woman finally being president”.
7:45 p.m. Voters Reflect on Voting Experiences
“I get to see the neighbors, I know all the neighbors after doing it for 19 years, you get to know the neighbors a little better”, says Buckley.
“I love voting here because it’s down the street from my house,” says Wendi Rogers of Gates Manor. “It’s confortable and it’s easy.”
He has a lot of neighbors, 300 to 400 of them to be exact, because he runs election polling out of his home on 4647 Homeridge Drive.
“The reason the City of Pittsburgh chose us because we are in the middle of the neighborhood, and the access to our home, no one has to go up any steps,” says Buckley, who is the Judge of Elections.
Their home is in what the city calls the 31st Ward, 2nd District. It is considered a part of Downtown Pittsburgh, and shares the area code of Munhall. The neighborhood has a history of running election results out of their homes.
“I bought my house from my Mom, and when I was a kid this is where they voted,” says Buckley.
“The house next door to me [ran polls out of their house], then it went across the street,” says Christine DeMatteo, 77, of Lincoln Place. “A couple other houses, and it finally it ended up here”.
It’s a lot of work towards running a poll center out of your house costs 60 dollars and requires an early start to accommodate the people who come through.
“You have to get up at five in the morning and work until the polls close,” says Buckley. “The polls are tallied automatically; the only pressure is trying to be the first person to take the results to CCAC South”.
7:30 p.m. Photojournalism student, Trevor Kirby, shares photo series from Epiphany Church polling place.
7:15 p.m. Lawrenceville Makes Their Vote Count
While Americans flocked to the polls today, a smaller version of this happened in Pittsburgh, PA in a neighborhood called Lawrenceville. At a voting station on 36th street, the traffic in and out was small but steady. Many people were coming in one at a time and by themselves. It was very quite at this polling station, almost peaceful. There was no conflict between voters and people seemed to go to vote and leave immediately after.
Many voters were open to talking about their choice for president and why they choice that candidate.
Don Anderson, 41, opened up about how he felt about Donald Trump and why he voted for Hillary Clinton. “I thought it was pretty important to cast a vote for Hillary. I think the alternative in this case, that we were offered, was no alternative at all. I’m a New Yorker, Donald Trump has been a guy who has been on my radar, as a New Yorker, since I was a kid. I used to get made fun of for my name because of that character and the crazy stuff that he says. He’s nothing new to me. He’s been a joke the whole time.” said Anderson.
Another voter, Susan Ferra 42, an accountant, had different opinions. As a democrat she decided to vote republican. She believed that she had no there choice but than to vote for Donald Trump. “I feel strongly about pro-choice, I’m very concerned about that. I do feel that we need a change; I would love to have a first female president. I just feel Hillary owes too many people and that she did lie. She would be in jail, other people are in jail for what she did. I can’t give the vote to Hillary, who else am I going to vote for?” said Ferra.
Many voters felt very conflicted in their decision and did not seem to agree with either choice. Grace Schuurmans, 24, a front end developer declared herself third party, but decided to go with Hilary Clinton. “Trump would ruin our country. That’s pretty much it.” said Schuurmans.
The crowd at the Lawrenceville polling station was determined to make the most of their vote, even if that meant voting against a candidate instead of for a candidate.
7:00 p.m. Northern Tier Regional Library, Richland
— Jessica Federkeil (@jaf1341) November 8, 2016
The Richland district voting poll, held at the Northern Tier Regional Library, didn’t have a constable present on Election Day.
According to the Judge of Elections Suzanne Hagmaier, of Richland Township they didn’t need one.
“Today has gone very, very well,” Hagmaier, 70, who has been working polls sites for over 15 years said. “There hasn’t been any trouble. People have been very nice all day.”
Hagmaier said the biggest problem this poll site saw was with people reporting to the wrong district.
As of 6:20 poll workers said they had received votes from 758 of the districts 1,002 voters.
“We have two more hours to reach our goal,” Hagmaier said.
One of those voters was Brynn Gminder, who works as a cataloguer at the library.
“It was very convenient to vote in the same building that I work in,” Gminder, 52, said.
Gminder said she noticed longer lines throughout the day.
“I waited until later in the evening to vote, and the line was shorter,” she said.
Gminder also said that the voting staff was extremely friendly and provided assistance to the new voters.
“We had a lot of young people which was really encouraging to see,” Hagmaier said. “You could definitely tell when school let out from the number of young people we had come in to vote.”
6:30 p.m. The 2016 Election Day is Finally Here
November 8, 2016 otherwise known as the day that United States citizens thought would never come, Election day. The hash between the two presidential candidates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will finally come to an end as the voting polls come to a close at 8 p.m. tonight. Pittsburgh has been buzzing all day long as voters lock in their votes for the next President of the United States.
The polls opened bright and early at 7 a.m. giving voters 13 hours to vote for their choice of the next commander in chief of the United States. Voters from the Number 4 Engine House in Pittsburgh were particularly Hillary dominant.
“I feel pretty confident that Hillary’s going to win,” Pittsburgh resident Karey Hicks said. “I just had a guy on the bus share with me that he has a bad feeling that Trump may win, and I haven’t got that feeling,” Hicks said after casting his ballot for Clinton.
Hicks isn’t the only Hillary fan, many Pittsburgher’s have made the choice to vote for Hillary instead of Trump, including 30-year-old Meghan Neel.
“I voted for Hillary,” Neel said. “I voted for her because, there are so many things that I could say, but to sum it up I would feel uncomfortable as a woman voting for Donald Trump with the things that he has said, and the things he has done in the past, and the views that he has I just simply would not feel comfortable as a woman voting for him. Plus she rocks and we need a lady in the White House. I will be 31 this year, I am too old for there to not have been a lady president yet.”
After all the presidential debates, the campaigns, the scandals, it is finally time to crown the winner. It is up to America to get out and vote. To make sure you are satisfied with your next President make yourself heard, and cast your ballot.
6:30 p.m. Mount Lebanon Polls Bring in Voters
The gymnasium of Markham Elementary was transformed into a polling place for this year’s presidential election. Mount Lebanon residents flocked to the school to cast their votes in droves. Passionate voters gathered, eager to support their selected candidate. The polling area was opened to the public at 7:00 a.m.
Just hours after the polls opened, records were already being broken. According to John Daley, a member of the Mount Lebanon Democratic Committee, voting rates were up 20 percent from the last presidential election. However, this increase in voter turnout was more apparent only within certain demographics. “If you’re counting on the youth vote, they’ll leave you at the altar,” said John Daley.
Older voters appeared to outnumber young voters. The scene at Markham’s polling place was of a predominately older crowd, looking to cast their vote with their grandchildren in tow. Many of the voters had a clear choice in mind when they arrived. Very few people headed to vote were still undecided. Almost everyone felt exhilarated after voting. “There’s dishonesty in the government. We’re losing jobs to other countries. It’s my duty to vote,” said James Van De Ryt, a retired Mt. Lebanon resident.
Dozens of people eager to vote filled the hallways leading to the polling area. Lines progressed smoothly, and the crowd remained civil. The five voting stations were very active, with people promptly casting their votes on the electronic machines. The voting area was private, yet accessible.
Many people were courteous towards one another, making room for those passing by in tight areas. The queuing area was properly arranged with plentiful space for people to wait and move freely. Voters refrained from arguing and most entered the polling area and left within five minutes.
Few voters were dressed in paraphernalia related to their candidate. Many voters felt content with their choices. “America first. I want to see more jobs, stronger borders, and prosperity for America,” said Luann Minick, who voted for Donald Trump.
Republican or Democrat, voters had a sense of excitement after voting in this election. “It’s time to shake things up. Let’s bring back some honesty and integrity,” said Christie Taylor, a Republican voter.
5:45 p.m. America Waits in Anticipation
The line had shortened drastically around 11:00 a.m. at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside where people were able to cast their votes for the 2016 Presidential Election. A handful of signs were sticking out of the ground in front of the church all with various candidates’ names, and a couple of people were handing out stickers and flyers.
One of these people was Phil Saggese. Saggese is a 19 year-old political science major at the University of Pittsburgh University. He’s a libertarian who voted for Trump ‘with much reserve’. When asked about the difference between this election and past elections, he said, “both candidates are so polarizing and unliked.” He became interested in the elections during the 2012 election with Romney and Obama. Saggese was handing out flyers for Lenny McAllister for Congress.
Phil Saggese is not the only one unhappy with this election. Donald McBurney, 77, of Shadyside said, “This is the worst [election] I have ever experienced.” McBurney has been voting every single year since 1960, so he’s seen his share of elections. This year, as a registered democrat, he voted for Hillary Clinton.
Sharon Baskin, a senior from Penn Hills, also voted for Clinton. She said, this has been a “very negative election, but it has a lot of energy.” Baskin voted for Clinton because she wanted “someone of integrity and character,” and because, “[Trump] has instilled fear and panic,” along with the fact that she didn’t agree with the majority of his views.
— Marina Elms (@marinaelms1) November 8, 2016
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was another guest at the Calvary Episcopal Church after casting his democratic vote for Hillary Clinton. He discussed how there is “a lot more division within the country…and the region.” He continued to talk about how there’s a lot of concentration on Hillary in urban areas and a lot of concentration on Trump in rural areas, which makes this election differ from past elections.
Even though people had varying views, they all had the same reaction about this year’s election. A quote to sum up the Election Day experience would be from Donald McBurney: “Let’s hope it gets better.”
5:00 p.m. Strong numbers turn out in South Oakland
At 10:30 this morning, over 200 people from District 2 and 19 of Pittsburgh’s fourth ward casted votes at an office warehouse building in South Oakland, according to Teresa Ballard, the election judge for District 2 and Tonya Payne, the election judge for District 19.
“The turnout has been very good for our district,” Paine said. “We have about 50 people who’ve voted so far, which is more than what we’re used to.”
Teresa Ballard has been working the polls for six years and says that the turnout is not even close to the presidential election in 2012.
“At this point during the last presidential election, we didn’t have this many people,” she said. “This is going to be a huge turnout. It’s 10:30 a.m. and we have already over 150 people that have voted.”
District 2 is historically a college neighborhood and young voters are letting their voices be heard by arriving early to the polls for this critical election.
“Students were lined up at 6:45 this morning waiting to vote, said Joan Dickerson, who is the Democratic committee woman for District 2 of Pittsburgh’s fourth ward. “It was delightful to see. Students are excited and come here knowing the referendum question and are educated about the information on this election.”
Dickerson said that District 2 is a neighborhood that is full of Point Park University students.
“That’s what the mailman says and he delivers the mail, so he knows what literature people are getting,” she said. “We make a list of heavy voters and infrequent voters, the county provides that information and you could see who votes often and who doesn’t.”
Later in the afternoon, Dickerson said she would check in to see who has voted and call people who haven’t voted to see if they need a ride to the polls.
“This is an important election. We need everyone to come out and vote,” Dickerson said. “I’m praying that we do our share in getting Hillary Clinton elected as the next President of the United States of America.”
4:40 p.m. Voters cast ballots in private Beechview home
Marlo Miller has been holding voting polls in her garage since 1998 for voters who are in the Pittsburgh 20-2 district.
“I’ve always worked the polls and we use to have it at my mom’s house,” Miller said.
Read the full story about private residences that are polling locations here and watch our video of Marlo’s home polling place below.
4:25 p.m. South Side
At the Morse Hi Rise Community Room on Sarah Street on the South Side there were no long waiting lines. A steady stream of voters made their way in and out of the polls as the day went on, consisting of people both young and old.
A volunteer in support of Hillary Clinton briefly stopped outside the polling place and chatted with the poll workers outside, informing them that he was going around the area making sure people were going out to vote.
A woman dressed head to toe in merchandise in support of Donald Trump visited the area doing the same thing.
Many of the people present at the polls expressed distaste for both candidates, though a few were firm in support of their preferred candidate.
Lauren Stark, 33, said she was “excited to have a female president, potentially” and that she liked Hillary because she felt “her moral views align more” with hers than the other candidate.
Brian Ferraro, 30, was out at the polls despite his inability to vote. The owner of a production company, Ferraro was unable to vote due to a felony charge given to him when he was caught with marijuana within a school zone. He said that he had rallied for Bernie Sanders during his campaign, offering his support in that way.
“It’s a tough thing, I think I don’t even know how I would vote if I could,” Ferraro stated, expressing a dislike of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Among Hillary voters present, the majority expressed a lesser-of-two-evils mindset.
“I don’t really like her, but I vote for her, just because I think she’s probably less of the bad guy,” said Lloyd Willacy, 61, of South Side.
Another voter, Sarah Taliaferro, 24, said that she “can’t stand the idea of living in America with Trump as president,” thus influencing her decision to vote for Hillary.
A common thought on the election among voters was that it was very hostile, tense, and divisive.
3:45 p.m. Lawrenceville
Gracie Dickinson interviewed the voters of Lawrenceville at Our Lady of Angels Church on 36th street. Dickinson learned what exercising their right to vote means for them.
Watch the video below:
3:00 p.m. Strip District
At the Emergency Medical Services Training Center in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, people dressed in work attire stopped to cast their ballots throughout the day. Half, seemed to be an in a rush and did not have time to stop and socialize with others, but many accompanied by a spouse or a family member.
Marie Jackson, 64, who was accompanied by her son Miles Jackson, 25, expressed excitement after casting her vote.
“Hillary is a hard worker, smart, has lots of experience, and cares about people,” Jackson said.
This is not Mrs. Jackson’s first time voting, but this is the first time she has felt that the country is in “danger.” There are many new first-time voters heading to the polling stations, and her son happens to be one of them.
“This is the first election I’m voting in, and the choices are horrible,” Miles Jackson says. They both seemed very happy with the decision that they made and they even took a picture in front of the polling place.
Around 2:30 or so more people started arriving. At this time there was still no line. Again, most people were in a rush and were in and out. Outside the polling place, there was no one handed out literature for their candidate.
Dione Williams, 58, a retired physician voted for Hillary Clinton. “The line was around the building this morning, so I decided to come back around 1:30 because I knew it would slow down by then.” Williams was wearing black jeans, a gold shirt, a long cardigan, and a Steelers hat. “I admire President Obama, but unfortunately I have to choose between these two candidates.”
2:30 p.m. Oakland
— Kayla Snyder (@kaylalsnyder) November 8, 2016
2:10 p.m. Epiphany Church
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) members stood outside Epiphany Church in downtown Pittsburgh to help voters with any complications on Election Day.
“We’re making sure everyone gets to vote fairly without being intimidated, and without being harassed,” ACLU member Samey Jay, 24, of Pittsburgh, said.
Jay was there to ensure that voters were treated properly. She also helped a few people find their correct polling location.
According to Jay nobody has experienced any problems attempting to vote at the Epiphany Church polls.
“For the most part, it’s been smooth sailing,” Jay said.
Voters did have complaints about the long lines.
“There are two precincts [in the church], so they’re a little messy in there,” Jay said.
Click the photo below to view the gallery:
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1:00 p.m. Voting update for voting issues
Voters have reported a number of voting issues in Allegheny County. For one, in Springdale Borough, a judge of elections did not show; residents were directed to a nearby site to vote on emergency ballots. Other county elections personnel issues were reported from Dormont and Robinson. County press secretary Amie Downs also said there have been reports of “non-working [voting] machines in several sites.”
— JM DB (@jmdb_92) November 8, 2016
“Each site being visited and, so far, machines being put back in operation with no further issues,” she wrote in an email to press.
Downs said if voters are experiencing an issue at the polls, they should ask to speak to the Judge of Elections at their polling location.
If that issue cannot be resolved by the judge, voters can contact the Allegheny County Elections Division manager Mark Wolosik at 412-350-4500 if they experience issues.
However, Downs warns that the office is experiencing an “extremely high volume” of calls, and that the phones are only being staffed by 20-30 people.
“There is not voicemail so that every call is answered, but it will ring until someone is available to answer,” Downs said.
More information can be found at http://www.county.allegheny.
12:15 p.m. downtown Pittsburgh
— Hannah Lapiska (@h_lapiska) November 8, 2016
11:30 a.m. Linden Elementary School
Point News reporter Mark Dovi was out at Linden Elementary School where Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald cast his vote for Hillary Clinton this morning.
11:00 a.m. Ross Township
Mike and Cindy Fenger of Ross Twp. compared the contentions surrounding the election to Jefferson vs Adams in 1800 pic.twitter.com/i68vfkYqa0
— Nicole Pampena (@Nicole_Pampena) November 8, 2016
10:00 a.m. Epiphany Church
— Kimberly Keagy (@kimberly_keagy) November 8, 2016
9:45 a.m. Markham Elementary, Mt. Lebanon
— E. LaRock (@ppelection) November 8, 2016
8:15 a.m. Voters turnout early in Robinson Township
Lorraine Smith walked into Forest Grove Elementary School in Robinson Township around 8:15 in the morning when the line to vote stretched down the hall and back around.
“Is this the line!? How important is this?” Smith said, upon seeing the amount of people in front of her.
Although she was less than thrilled to see how long the line was, other voters ahead in the line reassured her that it was moving fast and that it wasn’t as long as it looked.
By 8:45 a.m., Smith had made it through the line, voted and was ready to head out the door.
The line at Forest Grove was filled with friendly conversation and meetings of old neighbors who came across each other in the local school.
Diane Iacchetti had her 10-year-old son with her, as school had been canceled because of the polls. Other parents also had their kids from school, some of which had their own artwork hanging on the walls of the elementary school.
Nick Terpack, who teaches at the district high school, also turned out to vote early, because middle school and high school classes were also canceled for the day.
8:04 a.m. Early voter turnout in Ben Avon
Terry Hartnett and Michael Bett have both worked at electoral polling places for years, but neither one of them had ever seen a line like today’s.
The pair stood outside of the Ben Avon Borough Volunteer Fire Department, a modest, red brick building, notable only for the conspicuously high number of red, white and blue political banners posted in the yard out front.
“Wow, look at that line! It just keeps going and going,” Hartnett said.
Both Hartnett and Bett have been members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee for several years, Bett for five, Hartnett for nearly a decade.
Despite years of political involvement, they said they were both surprised by the turnout in Ben Avon this morning.
“This is unusual,” Hartnett added.
“It wasn’t like this in ’08, not in ’12,” Bett said.
Ben Avon Borough could hardly be considered one of Pittsburgh’s more significant voting districts. According to the 2010 census, the northwestern suburb of Pennsylvania is home to 1,781 people.
Despite its smaller size, the early turnout is impressive. A line of people had already formed by 6:30am, a full half hour before the polls opened.
By the time voting had started at 7 a.m., the line was around the block.
The following students contributed to this story: Andrew Henderson, Edward Trizzino, Mark Dovi, Ashley Murray, Michael Richter, Gracie Dickinson, Christopher Ward, Jessica Federkeil, Erika Kurner, Briana Walton, Grecia Ruiz, Kelsey Wolfe, Trevor Kirby, Nicole Pampena, Rebekah Riggin, Nicholas Vercilla, Francesa Fronzaglio, Kayla Snyder, Sophie Uziel, Mia Patterson, Tyler Polk, Inez Parebanco, Ashley Morris, and Marina Elms.