Saturday, February 13, 2016

Line stretches down block in Elkins Park

Jeff Gammage reports:

Line stretches down block in Elkins Park


Jeff Gammage reports:

7:28 a.m.

Election day dawn broke cool and cloudy -- and enormously crowded, with the line at the Elkins Park Library polling place stretching out the door, down the sidewalk and around the block.

About 1,400 voters are registered there, and minutes after the polls opened at 7 a.m. it looked like all of them were standing in line. Parking spaces became impossible to find.

"Unbelievable," said Edward Lichstein, a Democratic committeeperson. "I think we broke all records."

In some previous elections, he said, the line has reached to the street, but never down the block.

Nearby, Republican committeeman Louis Capoferri looked downcast. He called the voter turnout "outstanding," but realized that prospects for McCain looked dim.

Obama campaign volunteer Yosaif August stood ready to provide voters with whatever they might need for a long wait, be it a chair, a cup of water or help getting to the bathroom. The gray-headed August, who registered voters in Mississippi back in 1965, could hardly believe what he was seeing.

"America has come a long way," he said.

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Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000, and has covered Harrisburg as well as city, state and national politics for the newspaper. He was a “boy on the bus” in the 2004 presidential campaign and during primary contests in 2000 and 1996.

Nathan Gorenstein has covered politics and government in the city, state and nation for the Inquirer. He's worked in the city hall bureau, had a stint on the business desk, and once covered the suburbs. After serving as assistant regional editor, he was named editor of the "Politics" web site.

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