DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. — When Michael DeVries arrived at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Tuesday morning to vote, he and his family took one look at the long line snaking through the parking lot and decided to return home.
“I came down with my wife and her sister who is challenged and we saw a line and decided we didn’t want her to have to wait in line that long,” DeVries said. “So, we turned around and I decided to come back.”
DeVries returned later to vote, which he said was easy. He’s in Precinct 3 and there was no line. However, all the people he saw waiting were for Precinct 2.
“This is really shocking,” said Jessica Harrison, who waited in line with her four kids. “Usually when we come vote, even for like the mid-elections, you just park and you just go in and no line whatsoever.
However, Tuesday morning, for Election Day, people were waiting in line for at least an hour to vote. Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski said it was due to a computer problem at the precinct that morning. But, the election team quickly fixed it.
“They’re up and running,” Genetski said during an interview outside of Plainwell City Hall. “The medical emergency [at a different location] was taken care of and everybody’s fine there. In general, just really high turnout with a lot of people enjoying good weather. It’s decent weather to wait in a line.”
It was sunny and close to 60 degrees throughout Allegan County for Election Day. Genetski spent the day traveling throughout to the different polls, making sure everything was running smoothly. And, he said he’s seeing long lines at most polling places.
“We’re a battleground state in a presidential election,” Genetski said. “So it’s more or less the World Series and the Super Bowl all wrapped into one for people who like elections and for people who it means a lot to vote.”
Genetski said a few people have been turned away at the polls for wearing candidate paraphernalia. That’s against Michigan law and when it happens, a voter isn't given a ballot.
At St. Peter's the line continued to grow as the day progressed. Some people waited in line two hours in order to vote. However, it's what people said they expected.
“I’m just very proud of our community for coming out and voting regardless of which way they go,” said Rosemary Lelieveld. “We’re about community out here, everybody sticking together so. Just happy to see the community active.”