By Josh Bootsma and Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (November 3, 2020) – For an election season that had Early Voting election judges
marveling at turnout, Election Day itself turned out to be pretty standard. Although voting numbers are not yet available on a precinct-by-precinct basis, conversations with election officials suggest that Early Voting and mail-in voting were a more popular option for Lansing residents than usual.
The Lansing Journal visited all seven Lansing voting locations multiple times throughout the day, talking to voters and election judges alike. Our journey is chronicled in photos, below.
Election Day in Lansing
The polls opened at 6:00am, and at Bethel Church the line of waiting voters was down the sidewalk—but by 6:30am, everyone was indoors being served. Bethel is the polling place for Lansing residents who live in Bloom Township, Precincts 5, 14, 18, and 44. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A lone voter enters First Church PCA around 7:40am. First Church served as the polling place for Thornton Township Precincts 43, 47, and 57. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“I hate that mentality that people have, ‘Well, one vote isn’t going to count, it’s not really gonna matter.’ That’s not the truth,” said Noe Garcia, a 7-year Lansing resident. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
“All votes matter,” Sharon said as she stood in line at the Lansing Police Department. Sharon was a bit nervous for the outcome of this year’s presidential election but was sure to cast her ballot. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Election officials at the Lansing Police Department served Precinct 17, and had a short line at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday morning. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
“I feel it is an important time for me to be here, especially with me being so young, I’m only 22 years old,” said Camya Wiley (right), “I feel like it’s really important that we know who we’re voting for, not just the president but also the other people on the ballot as well.” Her stepfather Marlon Jones explained that they had been in line on Monday for Early Voting but were told to leave at 7 p.m. Their account was later corroborated by an election official who had been serving that evening. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Reavis Elementary School hosted precincts 13 and 61, and didn’t have much of a line at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Election official Reggie Robinson sanitizes a chair in the Reavis gym. Robinson said he thought Early Voting was the reason turnout was moderate on Election Day. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Siblings Myrna (left) and Hilario Ruiz said voting was faster this year than in the past. Myrna works long hours as a nurse and happened to be off on Tuesday. Hilario decided voting was worth being a few minutes late to his mechanic job. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Election official Marilyn Freeman meets a voter at the doors of the Coolidge School gym and directs her to her precinct inside. Coolidge served Precincts 16, 51, 56, and 65 on Tuesday. The school became the new polling place for residents who formerly voted at New Hope Church. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Election officials Marilyn Freeman (left) and Nimotalahi Lawal share a moment of conversation at Coolidge School. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Leroy Long hasn’t voted in two decades, but said “the divisiveness of the climate we live in today” got him out to cast his ballot on Tuesday. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Jada Simmons has voted in Wisconsin, Chicago, and now Lansing. “I feel good about voting. I feel like it matters, for sure,” she said. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Just before noon, voters at Oak Glen Elementary School experienced minimal waiting. Officials there were anticipating more of a rush around 3:00 or 4:00pm. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Shortly after 4:00pm, a departing voter reported that she had voted with no waiting. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The upper level of the Lansing Public Library was closed on Tuesday, and voting took place in the lower level, which voters accessed through the courtyard door. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Tuesday’s beautiful weather allowed election officials to use the courtyard as an outdoor voter processing area. Voters then entered the youth area of the library to cast their votes. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The last time brother and sister Vince Zamora and Elba Zamora cast a ballot was during Barack Obama’s first run for president. They felt this election was important enough that they should participate again. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Few voters remained at Reavis School at 6:30 p.m., a half hour before the polls closed. Election officials at Reavis said voters came in steadily throughout the day, but it was never very crowded. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Election official Sam Abbasy (right) chats with a colleague just a few minutes before the polls close at Coolidge School. Coolidge officials said that technology issues made things slower throughout the day. An internet hotspot was set up for each of the four precincts in the Coolidge gym to allow for communication with Cook County. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
At Bethel Church, Precinct 44 officials (from left) Keyanna Turner, Dianne Simmons, and Michele Davis were still smiling at the end of a long day. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Though the polls close at 7:00pm, the work continues for the election officials and technicians. At 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, they were still in the process of taking down election equipment and packing up. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.
Hopefully not all in this election!!
“Jada Simmons has voted in Wisconsin, Chicago, and now Lansing. “I feel good about voting. I feel like it matters, for sure,” she said.”
Hi Bruce, Jada has voted in a different location for each of the last three national elections. Thanks for the clarification!
LOL Bruce I was thinking and wondering the same thing!!! Josh Thanks for the clarification!
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