Early voters face long waits ahead of Hurricane Sandy
With Election Day just 10 days away and early voting underway in D.C. and Maryland, residents coped with long lines Saturday thanks to Hurricane Sandy's impending arrival.
Voters waited in lines for up to five and a half hours to cast their ballot. Voters and election officials say they've never seen anything like it.
Sylvia Turner of Temple Hills said, "Even though the line moved, it was a slow move."
"It was worth it. I would have waited 10," added voter Vestree Dildy of Fort Washington.
An estimated 1,400 people wrapped around Oxon Hill Library to use nearly 20 voting machines.
"They said 19, but I counted 18 that were still working.," Turner added. "It seemed like it was just the volume of people coming through."
Voters at the library and elsewhere say election staffers told them they had not anticipated such a huge turnout.
Rachel Lange of D.C. said, "I think it's an adventure. Looks like everybody had the same idea."
Voters in the district also experienced one to three hour waits. Many hoped to cast their ballot before Hurricane Sandy's arrival.
"Because of the hurricane and because of work," explained Carlos Oliver of D.C. "...don't know what's going to happen on Election Day."
Even D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was a little frustrated
"We would want these things to be operational. Seems like we have one glitch of one kind or another each time we have an election," Gray said.
Despite the waits, many were happy to exercise some patience.
"I would have stayed here longer, slept here if necessary, because it was for a good cause," Vestree Dildy of Fort Washington said.
In the district, the common complaint was not enough voting machines and slow service. Gray says he hopes to discuss those concerns with the Board of Elections.
Early voting continues until Saturday, Nov. 3.