UPDATED: Redistricting Prompting Voter Confusion, Election Judges Report
Turnout and same-day voter registrations have been steady all day at a number of precincts in Eagan, judges said.
UPDATED, 2:50 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6:
Election officials in at least two of Eagan's voting precincts say redistricting has caused some confusion among Eagan voters, who have shown up at the wrong polling place, only to be redirected to other locations.
Barbara-Ann March, an election judge in Eagan's Precinct 6A, said election staff at the polling station have had to send a limited number of voters to other precincts. Redistricting, which occurs once every decade following a national census, reshuffled many of Eagan's voting precincts this spring.
Despite the difficulties, nearly 886 people had voted as of 1 p.m. at March's polling station in the Eagan Civic Arena. March, an election judge since 2002, said she was also surprised at the number of same-day registrations this year. In Precinct 6A, 125 people registered and voted on Tuesday, March said.
Down the road at Thomas Lake Elementary School, election supervisor Pam Schmitz said she's seen "average" turnout, and blames the slower pace in Precinct 11 on redistricting. When the precinct's boundaries were redrawn, several high-density residential locations, like the Thomas Lake Pointe apartment complex, were excluded from the precinct, Schmitz said. Only 700 of the roughly 1,300 registered voters in the precinct had cast ballots as of 1:30 p.m.
Like March, Schmitz said a number of voters had to be redirected to other polling stations due to redistricting confusion.
POSTED 12:31 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6:
Coffee and chocolate.
That's what election judge Susan Shumer is relying on to get her through Election Day this year. Shumer, who staffs the polling place at Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School in Eagan's first precinct, said turnout at her station has been steady on Tuesday morning.
Roughly 10 percent of the precinct's 769 registered voters turning out in the first hour, Shumer and fellow judge Lynn O'Gorman said, with approximately 20 same-day registrations through 9:15 a.m. at the polling place.
Shumer and O'Gorman's observations were echoed in at least two other precincts this morning, where election judges are seeing a constant flow of voters.
"It's been brisk," said Jeff Kamm, a judge for Eagan's second precinct. In the first hour of voting, judges at the second precinct station at the Eagan Community Center saw 226 voters—slightly less than 10 percent of the total number of voters registered in the precinct.
Over in the third precinct, a total of 550 voters had cast ballots through mid-morning, with 55 same-day registrations, according to election judge Rob Shumer. A total of 1,864 voters are registered in that precinct, Rob Shumer said. So far, voting in the third precinct was proceeding smoothly, with no hiccups or complications, he added.
University of Wisconsin-River Falls students Kelly Kommer, Zanda Ra, Tyler Kerber and Kristine Gates were among the voters at the third precinct Tuesday morning.
All four are Eagan residents, and traveled from Wisconsin specifically to vote against the marriage and Voter ID amendments, Kommer said.
"The marriage and voter restriction amendments were very important," Gates said. "You can't complain about the government unless you've done something to change it."