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The Emory Wheel is monitoring Election Day proceedings and updating news live as voting is underway in DeKalb and Newton Counties.
Limited Evening Turnout at Emory Polling Stations
During the late-afternoon and evening hours of Election Day, Druid Hills High School and the Emory Presybterian Church, both polling locations in Dekalb County, had limited voter turn-out.
One of the few people who voted on Election Day night was 23-year-old Aditya Kapoor, who voted at the Emory Presbyterian Church. He said he experienced no lines or waiting.
“I voted on Election Day in the previous election,” Kapoor said. “I was going to vote by absentee ballot this year, but my ballot never came.”
However, not all of the people walking out of the polls were there to vote.
A voter named Louise said she filled out an absentee ballot beforehand and dropped it off over the weekend, but really wanted a sticker, prompting her to drive to Druid Hills High School to pick one up. She also noted that when in the polling location, she thought everything was COVID-19-safe.
“Everyone that I saw was wearing a mask, maintaining their distance, and it was not crowded at all,” Louise said.
A poll worker at Druid Hills High School said that at about 6:35 p.m., there was nobody currently voting, and it had been that way for some time.
Likewise, Jason Aspes, a poll worker at the Emory Presybterian Church said there have been very little voters during the evening hours, but at 7:00 a.m., there was a little line.
“There have been no substantial lines for waiting at all today,” Aspes said. “It would have taken someone about five to 10 minutes to get through the line.”
Oxford Students Outraged by Pro-Trump Chalkings
Pro-Trump phrases such as “MAGA” and “Keep Georgia Red” were chalked in front of Seney Hall and the Oxford Student Center on Tuesday from self-described “Underground Republicans.” Someone also hung a Trump sign from a tree outside of Fleming Residence Hall.
Emory administrators defended the 2016 chalkings under the University’s Respect for Open Expression Policy, which gives the Committee for Open Expression the authority to “investigate alleged infringements of the right of members of the Community concerning speech, debate, open expression, Protest, Dissent, and other related matters, between all members of the Community.”
Since the chalkings were discovered this morning, students have washed away the chalk and took down the sign from the tree. The Emory College Republicans Twitter account responded to the incident writing, “the chalkings … do not present a threat to the community.”
Elena Juarez (21Ox), an Oxford student, said the chalking was invasive of individual safe spaces.
“People don’t find political affiliation to be safe and right now it’s a lot of threatening from both sides,” Juarez said. “Especially for me, like I have to tell my family to stay inside and not speak spanish in public.”
Correction (5:25 p.m.): A previous version of this update incorrectly attributed a quote to Amanda Przygonska. It was in fact Elena Juarez.
Dekalb County voters experience smooth process, cold weather at Druid Hills High School
Dekalb County residents braved the 40 degree temperatures as early as 6:30 a.m. to vote this morning at Druid Hills High School. The process went relatively quickly, with most voters waiting 15 to 30 minutes to get checked in and vote.
While no social markers were placed to keep six feet apart from each other, voters wore masks and stood distanced while in line. Poll workers handed out sample ballots to voters as they waited.
Individuals who came to vote ranged from those who just turned 18 to people who had voted for decades. came to the high school for this “pivotal election.”
“There’s a lot on the line,” said an Emory Rollins School of Public health graduate student that came with a friend. “We’re voting for our futures.”
Older voters said while the process felt the same as it did past years, the gravity of engaging in this process was more heightened because of current times.
“This is a pivotal election,” a voter of 20 years said.
As polls open, Newton County Voters report ‘normal’ experience
At the Oxford City Hall polling station in Newton County this morning, voters waited in line in 40 degree weather. The line had a 30 minute wait time at 7 a.m. when the polls opened.
“I think it was pretty normal,” Oxford resident Sheryl Turner said. “There were some questions on there I didn’t know the answer to though. I’m sure a lot of people probably don’t.”
Newton county residents Jan and Carl Simpson spent a total of 20 minutes waiting in line and voting.
“We always prefer to vote on voting day,” Jan said.
Carl cited a mistrust in mail-in ballots as part of their choice to vote in person.
This year, Newton County sent out approximately 1,985 mail-in ballots, three times the amount sent out in 2016. For in person early voting, 1,614 residents voted. This number is a small increase from the 1,583 who voted early in 2016.
By 8:30 a.m., there were only a few people still left in line.