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Steady Stream of Morning Voters Join Lines Downtown

By Alexander Popichak, Point Park News Service

As dawn broke on a dreary and damp Tuesday, voters turning out to polls in Downtown Pittsburgh were met with lines.

The Central Business District branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Smithfield Street was a new polling place for many voters. Residents in Pittsburgh’s 2nd Ward, First District voted at a different location in the primary, which caused some confusion at the end of the line.

The line stretched from the back of the building to the vestibule. Voters arriving around 8 a.m. waited for more than 30 minutes.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Photo by Alexander Popichak.

Meanwhile, at the Epiphany Catholic Church located beside PPG Paints Arena, poll workers said the overall turnout was good. Two precincts vote at Epiphany, and the voting place was outfitted with numerous voting machines to accommodate voters.

While County workers at both locations declined to comment on the record, longtime poll worker Kenton Patterson stood outside of Epiphany passing out leaflets.

“I’ve been at this for years,” he said. “Turnout had been good, but just wait until the schools let out.”

Patterson gestured to Duquesne University, across 5th Avenue from Epiphany Church. Students registered to vote at Duquesne and Point Park University vote at Epiphany.

Patterson said he doesn’t expect the rain to keep people away. He said voters tend to come in waves: There’s the early crowd, which included the line of people waiting in the Epiphany basement, then crowds around lunchtime, and starting around 2 p.m., a steady stream of voters until the polls close at 8 p.m.

“They’re mostly coming out for Democrats,” Patterson said. “But there have been some Republicans coming out this morning”

While some voters at the Smithfield Street Library mentioned issues at the polls to other voters entering the building, the process at Epiphany was smooth. Voters waited to be signed in for about 20 minutes before being directed to their machine.

This story was published as part of our Midterm 2018 Election Coverage.

This story was updated at 3:43 p.m. to include Kenton Patterson’s last name.

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