Punching Out: Live Blogging Election Day in NYC
New Yorkers vote in South Williamsburg on November 8, 2016.
J.B. Nicholas for The Village Voice
The Village Voice will be out reporting on the sweet peristalsis of Democracy, and you can find all our dispatches below. To see where your polling place is, go here. If you're in line before the polls close at 9 p.m., you have the right to vote in NYC. Problems at the polls? Call NYPIRG's hotline at 212-822-0282 (or send a tip to email@example.com). We may live in the greatest city in the world, but ballot selfies are still illegal.
CNN projects a Clinton victory in New York State, 9:01 p.m.
P.S. 153 Harlem, Manhattan, 9:00 p.m
The cafeteria at P.S. 153 in Harlem was packed until polls closed at 9 p.m. "As soon as the doors opened, it's been lines like Black Friday in here," says John Edwards, a poll worker. Claudia Bogdanos and Chloe Bootstaylor, both volunteers from Election Protection, a non-profit organization, agreed. From 7 until just after 8 this evening, there was a line forming in the hallway of the school and down the block.
Bogdanos, a lawyer, and Bootstaylor, a law student, walked the line and asked those waiting if they had any questions about the process. Many wondered whether they could still vote if they were on line after 9. Brittney Sharp, a teacher who works in the Bronx, was concerned she wouldn't make it before the doors closed. "I was on the train panicking that I wouldn't get here on time." She arrived at 8:20 p.m and finished casting her ballot in 20 minutes.
"Last election, I stayed up to find out the results. But this one, I don't think I can handle it," she says. "This election scares me — mostly because there's so much at stake."
Gregory Medina, 29, walked up and down the block of West 146th and Amsterdam by the school counting down the minutes left to vote: "Five minutes, people! Get in here! Go vote!" Born and raised in Harlem, Medina says he made sure to get his vote in after a long day as a delivery worker for the future of his 10-year-old son. "Trump's talking about building walls to keep other cultures out, speaking hatefully, and putting fear into people," he says. "I am doing what I can to keep him out." And with that, he shouted: "Two minutes! Have you voted yet?" / Anita Abedian
Columbia University Houses, Morningside Heights, Manhattan, 7:55 p.m.
"It's been slow, but steady," says a volunteer at the Columbia University Houses polling site on 410 Riverside in Morningside Heights. After 6 p.m., no more than 10 people at a time arrived to cast their ballots. Jason Brener and his neighbor, Debbie Ullman, were pleased at how quickly the process went compared to this morning. Brener says there was a huge line earlier in the day, but it took him less than five minutes to vote at 7:30 this evening. "Now I'm going to take some Xanax and go to sleep," he joked. ?Kidding aside, Brener said his anxiety surrounding election results is real: "Trump may lose, but he's not gonna go away quietly." /Anita Abedian
250 West 127th Street, Harlem, Manhattan, 5:53 p.m.
When Simon Liebling, 26, showed up at P.S. 154 in Harlem at 8:30 a.m. there were hundreds of people packed into the school's cafeteria and spilling out of both the front and a side door. Three of the site's four scanners were broken and poll workers scrambled to control the lines, which snaked around the room, as they slowly directed voters to the single functioning scanner.
"Nobody told us to come back later and we were not offered affidavit ballots," said Liebling. "I would be reluctant to put that on [the poll workers] shoulders. It was more than they could chew."
June Nelson, 62, a school aide at P.S. 154 said when she arrived this morning, voters were attempting to take their ballots outside and poll workers frantically tried to keep order. She reports seeing some voters in a line that extended out the side door and onto the school's fenced in blacktop, ballots in hand. Nelson came back later in the day, around noon, to cast her ballot. She returned around 4:45 p.m. with her two sons — one who will cast his first vote ever. Nelson said, with a wink, that she's a Democrat, implying that she'd voted for Hillary Clinton.
"I would rather her than him because instead of making us go forward, we'd go backwards," said Nelson. "With what I've seen on the news down South, burned churches? That's going backwards."
The wait was exacerbated by a seeming misunderstanding of how to fill out the ballots, which Liebling says led to additional delays as some voters had to request a new form and resubmit it to the scanner. Liebling said he waited over two hours to vote, finally casting his ballot for Hillary Clinton — on the Working Families ticket — around 10:40 this morning.
"I think what impressed me was that despite the obstacles, people weren't leaving even if it meant being late for work," he said. "They seemed committed to voting...that was positive."
Jaclyn Huberman, a self-described "very old millennial," and her husband, Jake Brandman, 29 hung out outside P.S. 154, where they cast their ballots alongside their 19 month old son, Evan, whom they taught to say: 'Go Vote!' 'Go Hillary!' and 'Nasty Woman.'
Huberman works in the arts and said she got no maternity leave after giving birth to her son, a hardship that makes voting for Clinton, who is both a mother and grandmother, for the country's highest office enticing.
"We keep saying that we are the greatest country on earth but not keeping up with that image," she said, referring to inadequate maternity leave and health insurance in the United States.
And the ugliness of the election has taken its toll. Huberman said it has revealed the "dark underbelly of American racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and a whole gamut of ism's." And while she's hoping for a Clinton win, she knows her work will be difficult if she arrives at the White House. Like President Barack Obama, Huberman said, "No one person can heal the wounds. The scary part is going to be how we're going to heal."
P.S. 53 Bay Terrace, Staten Island, and Saint Paul's United Methodist Church, Tottenville, Staten Island, 4:27 p.m.
The gulf between Staten Island and the rest of New York has always been more than physical. The borough has long been a Republican stronghold in a Democratic city, suburban more than urban. And the gap this year has been even more extreme than usual. In the Republican primary in April, 80 percent of Staten Island Republicans cast their vote for Donald Trump.
It seems likely that the island will be the only place in New York City where Trump finds support at any significant level. And that support was certainly visible almost across much of Staten Island on Tuesday. Trump lawn signs and bumper stickers were ubiquitous. Along Amboy Road, someone had posted a dozen hand-stenciled “vote Trump” signs on telephone poles.
At a polling site in Bay Terrace, Michael Roche, 40, an FDNY firefighter sporting a "Firefighters for Trump” t-shirt, emphasized the now-familiar theme of immigration.
“I want a wall,” Roche said, “I want legal immigration, I don’t want illegal immigration.” He also thought Trump might do better with job creation. “He’s patriotic,” Roche said.
His wife, Meta, 39, had also cast her vote for Trump, but seemed a little less sure. “He says some crazy things,” she allowed. But she chalked that up to being an unpolished speaker, a non-politician. And that was definitely a plus in her book.
A half dozen other Trump voters volunteered that much, but weren’t interested in talking to a reporter. Or at least didn’t want to offer up a name. One 53-year-old man, who declined to identify himself, explained that he had cast his vote for Trump, despite being a longtime Democrat, because the Republican “stands for Christian values.” (He wouldn't elaborate.)
Michael and Meta Roche and their children, outside P.S. 53 in Bay Terrace.
Jon Campbell for The Village Voice
A little further south, at a polling site in Tottenville — a Republican stronghold within the stronghold — support for the GOP candidate seemed close to universal. Asked who she cast her vote for, Angela Corallo answered simply: “The best. Mr. Trump.”
“I feel that he can help us with the security in this country,” Corrallo, who gave her age as “over 65,” explained. “And with the economics.”
She likes the fact that Trump isn’t a professional politician. She wants a change. And protection, she says, “from a lot of illegal aliens.” Not, she quickly added, “aliens that come in and are tested and all that.”
Asked why immigration was a top concern, Carallo wouldn't get specific. “Listen,” she says, “We know. We read, I read, I look at TV. I just make my own conclusions.”
When it came to Trump’s nativist rhetoric about Muslims — his proposal for a blanket ban on immigration from Muslim countries is not generally couched in terms of legality — she expressed a view that came up frequently with Trump voters on the island.
“I think he just wanted to stir the pot,” Corallo said of the ban. “He’s just stirring the pot up to bring attention to all the problems we have.”
Two exceptions to the Trump sweep in Tottenville were Greg and Linda Hauck. They had cast their votes for Hillary Clinton.
Linda, 60, knew from the start that she couldn’t picture Trump in the white house. Neither she nor her husband took him seriously at first, but the campaign came to horrify them both. “I think Donald Trump has done nothing but incite hostility at all different levels,” Linda said. “Ethnic, religious, and otherwise. And I would be embarrassed if he was the president of the United States.”
“It was very hard decision to be honest with you,” Greg, 67, added. He and Linda are both lifelong Republicans. And breaking party lines has strained relationships. Many of their friends are sticking with the nominee. “I’ve spoken to a lot of people who just don’t see my point,” Greg said. “They say, ‘sure Trump has his faults, but Hillary is just anathema.’”
“The things he’s said about minorities, about women, immigration issues. I mean, a whole litany of things,” Greg said. “It just made me think, this is not the man to lead us.” He shook his head. “This is not the man.” / Jon Campbell
J.B. Nicholas for The Village Voice
Trump Plaza, Midtown, Manhattan, 3:16 p.m.
That Giant Line Outside Your Polling Site, Across New York City, 2:30 p.m.
Neal Rosenstein, the government reform coordinator for the New York Public Interest Group, said his organization has been getting reports throughout the day about delays in voting at New York City polling places. "There are unquestionably many voters frustrated about long lines and broken machines,” Rosenstein said. "Unfortunately, this year is not an outlier for presidential election years. We’ve seen worse in many presidential years: longer lines, and systemic failures.”
In one sense, that's good news, Rosenstein said. “But it’s little comfort to someone who couldn’t cast their vote today because they couldn’t wait two hours before they had to go to work or they had to pick up their child from relatives. There are too many voters disenfranchised today who had to leave the line."
The overwhelming majority of poll workers are doing their best, Rosenstein said. "No one is trying to sabotage people’s right to vote here.” Blame for todays voting delays, he said, rests at the top levels of state government.
“The governor and the state legislature have failed to enact common sense reforms, like early day voting for high turnout years.” he said. “Imagine if the lines were half as long because half the people had already shown up. We wouldn’t have a problem. Instead, the state has a standard, that no voter should wait more than half an hour to vote, and that standard is getting violated all over the city today." / Nick Pinto
Independence Towers, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2:18 p.m.
In South Williamsburg, the fevered pitch of local elections has given way to a block-voting calm during the national. In the 2013 municipal elections, some groups resorted to vote-rigging schemes and brazen fraud. This year the auditoriums are mostly empty. School children (segregated by gender), take tours of the polling sites. As one site coordinator at Independence Towers reported, "When the rabbis are fighting, there are problems, but this election, there is peace." / Max Rivlin-Nadler
J.B. Nicholas for The Village Voice
Roberto Clemente School, Fleetwood, Bronx, 2:05 p.m.
Hostos Community College, 129 E 149th Street, Bronx, 1:51 p.m.
Abdoulaye Kendji, who is originally from Senegal, cast his first vote in an American election ever today at Hostos Community College. He moved to the United States 25 years ago and said his vote for Hillary Clinton was about "bettering my life, [and having] better expectations."
"She is the one who can run the United States and have better hope for all. No division. No hate," he said.
For Shawntay Strickland, her vote this afternoon — which she cast without delay — was about helping Hillary Clinton finish what she started eight years ago. In 2008, during the Democratic primaries, Strickland said she supported Clinton, but ultimately voted for Barack Obama after he cinched the primary.
"I go by what's in my heart," she said. Voting for Hillary "is about a movement for women. That matters to me now, seeing a woman in power and seeing how far we can lead the country. I knew I had to come out."
Other voters were more reluctant about the options listed on their ballots. Anotinette Smidth, 48, described the exhaustive campaign as "a show about nothing."
"We should have had a better line-up. We're reduced to picking the lesser of two evils and you shouldn't have to do that," said Smidth.
She reluctantly voted for Clinton, despite being against the policies she pushed in the 1990s, specifically the controversial 1994 crime bill, which scholars believed led to increased mass incarceration of people of color.
“She is an opportunist and he is a racist,” she added, noting her position change on the use of private prisons. "I don't think she doesn't like black people. I think she saw an opportunity."
Still, Smidth said that Donald Trump's history of housing discrimination and his refusal to abide by the tradition of releasing personal tax returns was unacceptable.
"I don't believe he should still be a candidate because he didn't show tax returns. Let us see. What are you hiding?" she said. "As a parent, Trump isn't going to work for me." / Alexandria Neason
J.B. Nicholas for The Village Voice
Inside the Bronx Supreme Court, Grand Concourse, Bronx 12:29 p.m.
P.S. 15 Red Hook, Brooklyn, 12:18 p.m.
Kamau Ware, 42, remembers voting for Bill Clinton when he was 19. "The fact that my political life began voting for him and now I'm voting for his wife — I don't know what that says about the strength of the republic," he said after voting at P.S. 15 in Red Hook. "I guess our democracy is the kind where you have husbands and wives running for president in one side, and then on the other you have someone who probably shouldn't be allowed to run this school."
Voting for Clinton "feels like having to take medicine," Ware said. "When you're sick, you take medicine, even if it doesn't taste good. You don't kill yourself." He faults the Clinton's for decisions they made in the 1990s — repealing Glass-Steagal, ramping up mass incarceration. "But I think they know they made mistakes, and they've learned from that. I think this administration will be way more amenable to being spoken to about justice for poor black people. Trump — I feel like that's just a protest vote for people who are uncomfortable with having a woman president, or just have hate in their hearts."
Ariel, 41, didn't want to give his last name, but said he voted for Clinton too. "She's pretty good, but it makes it easier that the other guy's a disaster," he said. "Trump is a loose cannon." Ariel doesn't consider himself very political, but counts himself as a Democrat. "Republicans have been in shambles for years and years, and this year really shows that," he said. "Clinton's got a lot more experience in the industry, so to speak. Plus she's the first woman to do this and that's a huge moment. I think she's gonna run with it."
Lisa Sanders, 48, said her vote for Clinton was about "building an economic environment where I can be financially stable." Sanders makes a decent wage, she says, but "I'm a working-class single parent, and it's hard to improve my situation." Clinton impresses her, she said, because "she wasn't just in it for herself. She was always working for women's rights and children's rights and I appreciate that. She could have been a little more selfish and she wasn't." / Nick Pinto
P.S. 222 Jackson Heights, Queens, 11:51 a.m.
At P.S. 222, the wait is around 45 minutes to an hour, and the line to vote wraps around the school building to halfway up the next block.
“It’s been very busy since 6 a.m.," says Giovanni Garcia, the BOE coordinator on site. "I’ve been doing this for ten years and I’ve never seen it like this. It’s volume, not malfunction.”
Nazia Bhuiyan, 24, is waiting on line with her parents, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh. "For a second generation American, it's really important to be here to vote against a candidate who just doesn't make sense to me. I'm not confident about what Hillary will do as president, but it really matters to me that she's the one moving us forward." / Max Rivlin-Nadler
Bronx Supreme Court, Bronx, 11:42 a.m.
Was just turned away at the courthouse on Grand Concourse with press permission from BOE in hand. Coordinator says no photos no matter what.— alex neason (@alexandrianeas) November 8, 2016
P.S. 59, Midtown, Manhattan, 11:00 a.m.
Donald J. Trump is loudly booed as he goes in to vote.
Scene outside PS 59 as Donald Trump arrives to vote for himself for the second time ever pic.twitter.com/u2ut5yjDss— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) November 8, 2016
P.S. 142, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, 10:52 a.m.
Snaking lines of voters filled the gymnasium of PS 142 in Carroll Gardens this morning, but longtime voters Susan Weltman, 71, and Steve Gervis, 79, said the turnout didn't seem unusually large for a presidential election cycle. "We've been voting since before you were born," Gervis said. The couple went to North Carolina this year to do get-out-the-vote work for Clinton, and Weltman has been phone-banking from Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn. "I ask people: 'Who would you want as a neighbor?'" Weltman said. "Clinton, if you asked her to look after your kids, at least she'd probably hire a competent babysitter! That usually gets a laugh."
Andy DiManso, 80, said he was voting for Trump. "He's pro-life, and we need babies. Life is a primary issue for me. Without life, there can be no population." Even so, DiManso says, other aspects of Trump's candidacy concern him. "I would have liked to have seen another pro-life candidate," he said.
Frances Velluzzi, 65, said she voted for Clinton. "She's the most stable," Velluzzi said. "Her experience speaks volumes. And it means a lot to me to be voting for a woman for president."
Naomi Mersky set up a bake sale stand outside the polling place with her children Jonah, 6, and Arlie, 2. "We'd been stress-drinking with some friends about this a few nights ago, talking about how stressed out the campaign was making us, and how even the kids were stressed," she said. "We decided this was a thing we could do." A sign on the table next to the muffins urging people to "vote for good" is "Kind of coded language," she said. "We didn't want to get in trouble so close to the polling station."
It's not the only way the bake sale team dialed their agenda back. "Jonah had a good idea, that was illegal, to charge Trump voters more," she said. Instead, they're charging $1 for coffee and hot chocolate, and 50 cents for snacks, regardless of the political affiliation of customers. / Nick Pinto
Naomi Mersky w/ Jonah, 6, & Arlie, 2, selling muffins outside PS146. "Jonah had a good idea, that was illegal, to charge Trump voters more." pic.twitter.com/i54yjrnBCD— Nick Pinto (@macfathom) November 8, 2016
135 West 106th Street, Manhattan, 10:42 a.m.
Salvador Santiago, a New Yorker working as a Spanish translator for the Board of Elections at the 135 West 106th Street polling station, poses for a picture before assisting voters on Election Day, November 8th, 2016. / Chris Jones
J.B. Nicholas for The Village Voice
80 Clymer Street, South Williamsburg, 10:40 a.m.
P.S. 52, Inwood, Manhattan 10:36 a.m.
Aracelia Waters, and her elderly mother, tried voting earlier this morning. But the line was wrapped around the block at 650 Academy in Inwood.
So Waters made a second attempt at 10 a.m. "It's still the longest line I've ever seen, but it was worse this morning." Waters says it's worth waiting to get her vote in for Hillary. / Anita Abedian
Esplanade Gardens, West Harlem, 9:44 a.m.
Poll workers at Esplanade Gardens in West Harlem arrived early this morning to discover they were missing ballots for two of the three election districts they host. The site, housed in a large New York City Housing Authority complex tucked behind an MTA transit hub, serves as a poll site for election districts 18 through 20. Jean Goldsmith, the site's coordinator, says they had the correct ballots for district 18, but were missing ballots for districts 19 and 20; in their place, they had ballots for election districts 24 and 25. Around 100 people showed up to vote when the polls opened at 6:00 a.m. and many were unable to do so. Most live in Esplanade Gardens, according Goldsmith.
"We were told to let them use affidavit ballots but they did not move. They said 'I don't care how long it takes,'" said Goldsmith, who has worked at the site for nearly 30 years. "I'm surprised people weren't upset." Goldsmith says about 10 people accepted affidavit ballots and about 5 people left. The rest waited, mostly calmly.
The Board of Elections sent a representative to retrieve the incorrect ballots within the hour. Goldsmith says it was another 30 minutes, around 7:00a.m., before the representative returned with the correct ballots. Goldsmith says there have been no additional problems since. / Alexandria Neason via ProPublica's Electionland.
Manhattanville Houses, Harlem, 9:15 a.m.
Elias Vanderhans, 31, from Harlem says it took him no more than 15 minutes to cast his vote for Hillary. Why her? "I was raised by a single mother, and what Trump says about women is horrible. That is reason enough for me." There were longer lines earlier in the day, which is why he showed up after 9. / Anita Abedian
Shrine Church of St. Anthony of Padua, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, 8:30 a.m.
P.S. 93, Crown Heights, 8:15 a.m.
P.S. 93 was packed by 8, with a solid thirty-minute wait for voting. But after what has felt like an interminable campaign season, the predominant feeling was relief. One woman, asked for a quote, told a Voice reporter, “You want a quote? I’m exhausted.”
Simon Lawrence, 35, who cast his vote for Clinton, agreed. “I’m just relieved to finally be done with this,” Lawrence says. “Everyone I know has just been beaten down so much by this campaign. Tomorrow is just going to be like, ahh.” He pauses. “Hopefully.”
Assessing a healthy crowd of about a hundred in the early morning rush, Lawrence said he was pleasantly surprised. “I was worried that the voter turnout would be really low, but I was actually kind of shocked by the number of people that were here today.”
Cheryl Inniss, 56, said she felt an obligation to be here today. “For me it was very important that I went in there this morning and placed my vote. From the beginning to the end, I knew where my heart was.”
In a district where a grand total of two people voted in the Republican primary — compared to 325 Democrats — every voter the Voice spoke with cast their lot with Clinton. And while some copped to misgivings about their chosen candidate, Lily Philpott, 26, was not among them.
“I was really excited to vote for Hillary,” she says, “I’ve been really emotional all day. It feels amazing to vote for a woman, to see a woman’s name on the ballot.”
“I’m very disgusted with this whole election," says Jasmine, who preferred not to give her last name. “I feel like he degrades women, and immigrants, and what he represents just brings out ugliness in this country." Asked if hers was a vote against Trump or for Clinton, Jasmine admitted it was a little bit of both, but said she was ultimately satisfied with her vote. “Anyone but him, at this point, but I have been supporting her for a few years now.”
For Philpott, the lesser-of-two evils argument never held much water. “I didn’t understand that,” she says. “To me there always seemed to be a clear good in the race.” / Jon Campbell
The scene at P.S. 316
P.S. 316, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 8:05 a.m.
Here is the scene at the polling site for the Voice's engagement editor Tatiana Craine, who figured she'd have plenty of time to vote and get into work if she got there at 7:15. Apparently not.
At one point during the wait, a woman walked behind the voting machines when another told her to stop: "If you unplug that machine it's all over! This is a crisis!"
I.S. 230, Jackson Heights, Queens, 7:30 a.m.
At I.S. 230 in Jackson Heights, Muhammad Rahman, 27, cast his first vote as an American citizen. Rahman immigrated from Bangladesh six years ago, and is studying computer science.
"I felt that many minorities are fearful that their rights are going to be taken away by one of the candidates on the ballot," Rahman told the Voice. He explained that he voted for Democrats down the line, and supported Bernie Sanders during the primary even though he wasn't a citizen yet. He became one in July. "I never expected that in my first election, there would be someone running who was so anti-immigrant. America always represented many good things to me, but know I know who are some good people in this country, and there are some bad ones."
Rahman had brought along his papers from Immigration services to prove he was a citizen. "I became a citizen so I could vote," he said. "If Trump wins, it's very scary, because the rest of the world knows how powerful America is. A lot of other countries are impacted by what happens here. This power, if it fell into the wrong hands, it would be devastating to the entire world."
Rahman didn't get much sleep last night, in anticipation of voting. "I woke up early this morning, I was just so nervous. I slept only four hours. I looked at the clock, I said, I'll go vote when they open, and then I'll go home and get some sleep. Now I feel good."
Marco Aurelio, 51, came to the United States from Colombia in 1981. He doesn't think much of the Clintons in general, but was adamant about voting against Trump. "You laugh for the first couple of months of the campaign, because he was such a joke," Aurelio told the Voice. "But then he beat seventeen other candidates for the nomination, and in my opinion, if this clown was able to beat all those candidates, you begin to get worried. I spent the last six months in fear that this joke would become president. It's unsettling."
Aurelio has been heartened by what he's seeing from fellow Latinos across the country. "I'm so excited to see the Latino vote waking up. I have to acknowledge I had a little spring in my step coming here. I couldn't wait to vote against this guy." / Max Rivlin-Nadler
West Side High School, Upper West Side, Manhattan, 6:20 a.m.
Leroy Watson, an election worker, started the day at 4:40am. "There were people lined up by 5 a.m." Watson works as an Accessibility Clerk: "I help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. It's been busy, but smooth so far." It's his second time working at this UWS polling site. Watson tells the Voice he voted for Hillary. "She has answers, solutions, and experience."
Jeff Maurone brought his 3-year-old son, Bennett, to vote at Westside High School. "I remember going into polling booths with my parents as a kid, so I wanted to bring him with me." He's voting for Hillary. "I care about an inclusive country and extending the great work we've done for the past eight years." / Anita Abedian
J.B. Nicholas for The Village Voice
Outside J.S. 50, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 6 a.m.
I.S. 25, Sunnyside, Queens, 6 a.m.
Just after 6 a.m. in the working-class neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, a small line peeked out of I.S. 125, where voters were showing up in far greater numbers than primary day almost seven months ago.
Zain Islam, 21, was voting in his first presidential election. He didn't want to disclose who he voted for, but explained what was important to him as he cast his vote. "The issues I'm voting for today are women's rights, immigration, and taxes that will help the middle class. I'm for equality for all, and I'll leave it at that."
Down the street from Islam, Jim Magee, 36, and his mother, Christine Magee, 72, made their way to the polls.
"My last name is spelled the Catholic way, but we're Protestant," Jim, who's a lawyer, told me. He's voted for both parties in the past, but believes this election is different than any that's come before. "Fascism is on the ballot. I've always loved Donald Trump, actually, but I'm scared to death of what happens if he takes over. The presidency can be flipped into a dictatorship very easily."
Christine has voted in every presidential election since 1964. She didn't initially support Clinton for president, but that changed once Trump became the Republican nominee. "I would have rather it had been Joe Biden," she told the Voice. To her, it held no special import that a woman was on the ballot. "I'm voting for her because by a long shot, she's the better of the two."
Sarah, 75, pushed her walker up the sidewalk towards the polling site. She hadn't voted in the past couple of elections, but was making the extra effort to vote for Clinton. "I'm voting because of people like him," Sarah told me, pointing at her friend Joel, a Trump supporter who was a few paces in front of her. "He's voting for that monster. The two of them agree about who shouldn't be in this country. This has been a country of immigrants from the very beginning."
Joel returned down the block and pointed at the "Vote Here" sign affixed to the school's fence. "Look at this, this is the problem," he told me. "It's written in six different languages. If you live in the United States, you have to speak English." / Max Rivlin-Nadler
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