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Election day: Slowdown at Wydown Middle

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 4, 2008 - Like many polling places across St. Louis, Wydown Middle School was slammed with voters just after dawn.

Joe Pollack, a St. Louis County Board of Elections assistant supervisor stationed at the school, said the wait time was about 90 minutes at 6:30 a.m. and roughly an hour for those who arrived at 7 a.m.

The majority of voters opted for paper ballots, given that about 12 people at a time could vote using that method, compared with three at a time using the touch screen.

The morning rush slowed significantly just after 9 a.m., and by noon the gym where people are casting ballots was nearly empty.

Logan Nuernberger had a chance to survey both scenes. The 19-year-old Fontbonne University student arrived at Wydown in the morning to find out that his change of address hadn't gone through. After rushing to the St. Louis County Board of Elections office to sign an affidavit, he came back to the school to vote.

"I was just anxious to vote," Nuernberger said. "I would have driven two hours home (Jefferson City) if I needed to."

Nuernberger responded to a few questions relating to his Election Day decisions.

  • Who did you vote for for president and governor? Barack Obama and Jay Nixon.
  • Why? "McCain's been around for awhile. There's no way he's not part of Washington being corrupt. People point to Obama's inexperience as his downfall, but if you're looking for someone who isn't deep in the game, you have to vote for Obama. ... We should also look at how other countries see us. Obama will help us improve our standing globally."
  • What advice would you give Sen. Obama if elected? "People aren't looking for radical change. He has to be open to ideas about how to improve the country, but the important thing is to not act without thinking."

Elia Powers
Elia Powers is a Freelance Writer in St. Louis. He worked on several stories for the STL Beacon.