Those voters who didn't vote early or by mail packed polls in Fort Wayne when they opened Tuesday.
Long lines at several polling sites in Fort Wayne early Tuesday seemed to amaze poll workers and voters alike this morning.
Brad Bradley, who arrived at the Allen County Public Library branch in Waynedale shortly after 6 a.m. and was still there at 6:45.
Bradley, who said he always votes soon after the polls open, said the line at the library, 2200 Lower Huntington Road, is much longer than the last time he voted – “by about 50 or 60.”
“I think it's going to be one of the biggest turnouts in a long time,” Bradley said.
It's not limited to Waynedale. Zach Klutz, a member of the Allen County Election Board, said poll workers are seeing "packed precincts and long lines. That's consistent with what we're seeing nationally."
Though the lines are long, Klutz said election officials are anticipating about 150,000 people will vote this year in Allen County. About 32,000 have voted before today, either at the election board or by mail, he said.
Klutz said he expects long lines at many precincts at many points during the 12-hour voting day. For voters whose schedules are flexible, voting between 2 and 4 p.m. likely would provide the shortest wait at the poll, he said.
At Calvary United Methodist Church, 6305 Winchester Road, poll Inspector Doug Bloom said there were “probably close to 20 people at the opening at 6 o'clock. That's double or more what it was last time.”
Even though Bloom said his polling site could accommodate about 80 voters an hour, dozens were still in line around 7 a.m.
When poll Inspector Harold Black arrived at the Unitarian When poll inspector Harold Black arrived at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne, , 5310 Old Mill Road, at 5, he found four voters sitting in their cars, waiting on the opportunity to vote like shoppers camped out for a Black Friday deal.
“There were 51 people standing in line when I opened the doors at 6,” Black said.
“I'm 72, and I've never seen it this strong,” Black said. “I think the country's at a crossroads.”