Marquette casts votes on election day, positivity seen at polls

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ELECTION DAY – Pictured above is the Marquette Municipal Service Center, where Marquette’s precinct four voted. The weather was gorgeous this Election Day and the sun was shining. Jesse Wiederhold/NW

Jesse Wiederhold

Election Day spread steadily over Marquette as students and members of the community trickled through the polls to vote. Though the atmosphere was very busy in the morning, the polling stations were pretty quiet at times. This is particularly due to the number of absentee ballots cast this year.

It couldn’t have been a better day to choose the next president of the United States. The sun was shining with some light cloud cover and temperatures scraped into the low 60s. The combination of gorgeous weather and Marquette having multiple voting precincts made it a breeze to get out and navigate respective polling stations. Voting officials were hard at work, making sure Marquette’s voice was heard this year.

For those who were out and about, they didn’t have to worry about lines too much. In fact, all of the polling stations sounded relatively quiet on the inside and out. Despite the lull of chatter in the background and bright lighting to ensure people check the correct boxes, Election Day in Marquette appeared to be civil and uneventful for the most part.

Sarah Cormier, an NMU senior studying indoor agriculture, voted at the Marquette Municipal Service Center, located at 1100 Wright St. She said that it felt “generally safe” COVID-wise. This particular voting center was the smallest in Marquette, and Cormier said that there weren’t many booths. “I was forced to be close to another person at the booth,” said Cormier. “But there was Plexiglas separating the poll workers from the public, so it was a little more reassuring.”

Cormier said that “the staff was very friendly.” She also explained her take on the importance of voting. “The only way we can see change is by being the change,” Cormier said. “There was no possibility of me not voting, because that is simply a privilege I don’t have as an LGBTQ+ woman in America. I want to see change, I want to see reform, and I want necessary protections for our country’s most vulnerable,” said Cormier.

Down at the Municipal Building across from campus where Marquette’s Precinct 4 voted, there was a lot of fun happening. The poll workers were dancing, having a great time. They wanted everyone to know they were the “most fun” place to vote at. Yvonne Bonsall, one of the workers, said that there was a “steady flow of people coming in.” She also said that everyone had been very “positive” which makes for a good voting process.

Bonsall explained that the only issue was a few people wearing political masks. The showing of a particular party or candidate on clothing is a problem, because this kind of display is prohibited within 100 feet of a polling location. However, Bonsall said it was very easy for the people to swap the mask around to hide the political message.

The YMCA was the largest and naturally the busiest place to vote in Marquette. This is because they handle Precincts 5, 6 and 7 which are heavily populated residential areas spanning east and west of Third Street. The YMCA was very spread out, and appeared to have a very quick-moving system. The workers were kept on their toes there, handing out voting stickers, directing people to the right tables, and other tasks.

There wasn’t much direction to get into the actual area to vote, other than some signs. However, it was clear enough and there were enough people around to ask if you got lost. Sue Holliday, a voting poll worker, explained they were taking proactive safety measures at the YMCA. She said they were making sure to keep tables sanitized, and people were to keep their pens after voting. Of course a pandemic complicates things in general, but it could not stop an important election. 

The Baraga Gym voting center was popular too, hosting Precincts 1, 2 and 3. The location had lots of hand sanitizing stations, and people were able to register as voters and then vote in one large room. For the most part, people seemed like they just wanted to get their vote cast and then leave with a smile at all of the polling locations.

As of 10 p.m. on Nov. 3, the Associated Press reports Joe Biden received 131 electoral votes. Donald Trump is at 98, and it would take 270 to win. Biden received 48.2% of the current popular vote with about 37.6 million votes. Currently, Trump is sitting at 39.2 million votes, about 2 million more than Biden, at 50.2%. Beware of jumping to conclusions, however, because the New York Times reported that only nine states would have 98% of their results by noon the next day. Additionally, more than 20 states allowed mail-in ballots to arrive after Election Day. To keep an eye on the latest results overnight and into the next days, check out this visual representation by the Associated Press hosted by Google.