Long lines greet voters early in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Long lines greet voters early in Glenwood Springs

Pete Fowlerpfowler@postindependent.comGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Stina Sieg Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS Huge lines at polling places kicked off todays historic election.But the lines reportedly moved through fairly quickly and things calmed down with fewer people streaming in throughout the day.I was in Carbondale and there had to have been 150 people waiting to vote when we first opened the polls, said Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico. I dont think anybody waited more than 15 to 20 minutes at the most.As of mid-day, things for the most part were going smoothly. Alberico said, You know its just a typical election day. Theres little fires that have to be put out everywhere. We had big lines at every place when things opened up this morning. We had some issues with a couple pieces of equipment getting up and running.

Jan Kaufman, an election judge at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, said there were three lines of 30 or 40 people each stretching around the front desk and out the door at the community center starting at 6:30 a.m. The lines were down and everyone moved through by around 8 a.m. about an hour after the polling places opened, she said.Kaufman has been working the polls as an election judge for about 25 years. Shes been politically active for some time and even said, My children will tell you theyve campaigned since they could walk. She first got involved in election judging through working for Dick Lambs campaign. Shes since chaired the Garfield County Democratic Party and worked with the League of Womens Voters.I have always felt that we really have only two responsibilities as citizens. One is voting and the other is jury duty, she said. I take them very seriously because both of them affect my life.

The countys Republican and Democratic parties were both working on last minute efforts to get people out to vote.Were going door to door and were calling people, said Democratic volunteer Samantha Pearl. There are tons of volunteers here today. Its insane.Democrats are gathering at the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company tonight while Republicans will go to the Ramada Inn.Milt Blakey, chair of the countys Republican party, said his party started calling voters at 8 a.m. and would continue until the polls closed.I am very optimistic for John McCain and Im very optimistic for our local candidates as well, he said. Nationwide I think at the congressional level it may be a tough day for the Republicans, but well see.Blakey said after the polls close hell probably be at the courthouses keeping an eye on things along with his counterpart Ed Sands, chair of the countys Democratic party.Sands said he could be there until 2 a.m. unless another Democrat comes over to the courthouse and relieves him. One thing Sands and Blakey will do is observe a resolution committee. The committee had already tried to decipher one early voters ballot who put down marks for all 16 presidential candidates, Sands said, but there was no way to tell what the voter was thinking so that presidential vote wasnt counted.Sands was trying not to be too optimistic for Democratic candidates. He said hes already gotten e-mails from people selling Yes we did it pins for Barack Obama.Those kinds of things can jinx the whole thing, he said.This morning a state senate candidate was harassed when a woman thought he was campaigning too close to the polling place in Carbondale. It turns out he wasnt.Ken Brenner, Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate District 8, was within his rights as he campaigned outside Carbondale Town Hall this morning, but he moved across the street anyway. Someone yelled at him and demanded the town clerks office call the police on Brenner, but Brenner agreed to move across the street. He was within his rights not to move since he was over 100 feet from the polling place, as is required.After things wrap up at the polling places at 7 p.m., the counting begins.Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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