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Long lines are a good thing say voters

Long lines at several voting precincts around Suffolk signal better civic participation, said voters at the Kennedy precinct on Election Day.

&uot;I was a little surprised, but it’s a good thing,&uot; said voter Molly Owens. &uot;My hometown in North Carolina probably has less than 100 people voting today.&uot;

At 11:15 a.m., about 30 people were standing in line at Kennedy Middle School to use two voting booths. About 500 of the precinct’s more than 2,800 registered voters had already voted at that time.

&uot;It’s just surprising,&uot; said Vernice Maloney, the chief election official at Kennedy precinct. &uot;This is the largest turnout I’ve ever had, and I’ve been working the polls for 20 years.&uot;

About a dozen people were waiting when the polls opened at 6 a.m., Maloney said, and the turnout had been steady ever since. At one point, the line was out the door of the school’s gymnasium.

Ryan Rezendes said he waited about 20 minutes to cast his vote.

&uot;That’s a long time if you’re impatient, but I’m not,&uot; he said with a smile.

Jane Smith also took a good attitude toward the wait.

&uot;I didn’t think it was a long wait. I’m just glad people are voting,&uot; she said.

Maloney said the voter turnout for this election was more than she saw for the presidential election two years ago.

&uot;They either want to vote for something to change or want it to stay the same, either way.&uot;

tracy.agnew@suffolknewsherald.com