Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Minnesota’s polls opened at 7 a.m., and many locations have been seeing long lines ever since, with some voters reporting waits of up to one or two hours.
Voters near Sibley Park, where the line stretched well out the door, say they had to wait about an hour and a half, and voters at another polling station in Northeast Minneapolis near Spring Street and Jackson Street NE said the line was more like two hours.
There was a wide range of posts on Twitter and Facebook Tuesday morning, with some people saying it took 10 minutes to vote and others reporting they waited more than an hour.
Polling locations in Minneapolis seemed to be have the biggest crowds in the morning as voters hoping to beat the rush as the polls opened quickly found out they had company.
“The line was pretty much wrapped around the building already at 7 o’clock,” Alyssa Novak said. “”It’s a high stakes election and it’s great to see everybody out here.”
The lines at the two precincts at Emerson School in downtown Minneapolis were a block long, and wait times were up to an hour.
Something people WCCO-TV talked with didn’t expect this sort of turnout, but appreciated the enthusiasm.
“The Presidential race is so close, so you want your vote to count, but also the constitutional amendments is such a hot issue here right now,” Andrew Jones said.
In Uptown, hundreds of people waited in a line down the block at Painter Park off Lyndale Avenue. They said they were waiting for up to an hour and a half to vote.
And the crowds kept coming. Late to work or not, voters like Emily Cooper patiently waited for their moment to weigh in.
“It’s an important election. It’s our future,” Cooper said. “Two really divisive candidates that have completely different viewpoints and it’s important to people as far as the direction our country is going to go.”
Light drizzle was falling in the eastern part of the state, but was moving out and a dry day was forecast.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has predicted voter turnout approaching 80 percent. That would be about 3 million Minnesotans.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)