From Los Angeles to New York City, early voting numbers surged during this election season. Before the polls opened officially on Tuesday morning, the weekend in LA saw lines up to four hours long for early voting locations.
Some people thought that if they arrived at their polling place early enough, there wouldn’t be much of a wait, but one man said that he arrived at 6:45 A.M. and still hadn’t voted by 9:45 A.M..
A record-breaking 19.4 million Californians registered to vote ahead of the general election, and every one of them probably spent time standing in line last weekend to vote early.
Over 78% of state residents registered to vote early in the 2016 general election, which is the highest percentage in over 20 years.
An additional 1.2 million voters registered for the general election, a number that far surpassed voter registration from 2012.
More than 8,000 people in Los Angeles voted early on Saturday alone. Organizers and city officials report that the atmosphere was peaceful rather than stressful.
However, voting tensions were high elsewhere in the nation.
Voters and officials alike were so concerned about voter safety on Tuesday that several organizations banded together and staffed voter hotlines during the course of the day.
Organized by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 100 or more of the nation’s largest legal departments worked together with volunteers to provide much needed support to voters who had questions or who felt they were being misled.
Voting issues have even caused lawsuits in the past, although not nearly as many as the 3,000 patent lawsuits the U.S. sees every year.
Hundreds volunteered before the election and helped voters the day of.
Most reports were of faulty messages that said voters could cast their ballot via text message.
Regardless of issues, there was a record turnout at polls during this election season.