This year, Election Day began like many other election days past. Poll workers set up tables and booths across the country, and eager voters lined up at their respective precincts. And one fact of life remained constant across the nation: lines. From New York to California, from North Carolina to Nevada, lines stretched outside of doors and circled parking lots and city blocks.
In some areas, long lines gave people hope for high turnout that would result in a decisive victory for their preferred candidate.
Line to vote in Philly. If big turnout here, HRC will win PA. City of Brotherly Love will trump hate (and Trump). pic.twitter.com/hJsuiCp3Fl
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) November 8, 2016
Prayed this morning for strong turnout – end up parking a quarter mile away. It's the longest line I've waited in to vote & glad to do so. pic.twitter.com/yGGeuPl7Ac
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) November 8, 2016
New York, NY
It's 650am & the line to vote is 2 blocks long. Latino's in the house!!! pic.twitter.com/wTlcFuFMaP
— Luis A. Miranda, Jr. (@Vegalteno) November 8, 2016
— Patrick Mowrer (@stiggler) November 8, 2016
Jersey City, NJ
— Justin alcon (@Justinalcon) November 8, 2016
East Lansing, MI
— Julia Nagy (@nagyjulia727) November 8, 2016
While many people on social media seemed to be excited about the democratic process, taking the long lines to mean their fellow citizens viewed voting as important, too, in other areas, long lines may have had to do with problems with voting machines. In Arizona, many voters waited over an hour due to broken poll booths. One voter told ThinkProgress “This is the longest I’ve had to wait in a presidential election. But I did it.”
Overall, lines at polling places can only tell part of the story of Election Day turnout. But they can be indicative of the larger narrative of an election, and the narrative this year seems to be one of national urgency.