Yorkers head to the polls

Alyssa Pressler
  • Carol Hill-Evans was first in line to vote at Jackson K-8 this morning, a tradition of hers.
  • Polling at Jackson K-8 went without any issues, but there was a slight problem with a machine at Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center.
  • The issue was fixed within 15 minutes for the huge turnout Grumbacher Center saw.

The polls at Jackson K-8 school opened with a line and a bit of a wait this Election Day morning. Voters were excited to exercise their civic duty, including Carol Hill-Evans, the 95th House District Candidate and the first voter in today's line at Jackson K-8.

Voters arrive and depart the polling place at Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, at York College of Pennsylvania. Amanda J. Cain photo

Hill-Evans said being first in line at the polling place, which is in the 15th ward, is a bit of a tradition. "In fact, one year when I wasn't first they called the house to make sure I was OK," she said. She arrived at the polling center at 6:20 a.m.

Hill-Evans is running against Republican Joel Sears for the House seat. Her political fate will be decided today, which she said she felt good about even though she's had approximately 80 days to campaign. Hill-Evans was selected by the Democratic Party of York County in August to run for the position after current Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, announced he would not seek reelection. She encouraged others to vote today in local and national elections.

Jackson K-8 Polling Clerk Wayne Wilson, right, of York City, opens the door right at 7 a.m., as Carol Hill-Evans, middle, Lynn and Susan Adams, left and others await their turn to vote Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

"What happens today is going to direct our nation," she said.

There were a mix of voters at Jackson K-8 voting for Clinton and Trump.

York City resident Tracy Asah said she voted for Clinton because she's hoping to see the policies that President Obama worked on continued in the next four years. York City resident Donald Knaub also voted for Clinton. As a 72-year-old gay man, he wants to see progress for minority groups continue, he said.

Interactive map: Find your polling place

"I've followed her career my whole life," Knaub said of Clinton.

Julia and Sacha Porter voted for Trump. They believe the country is in need of change.

"I don't know if he's the best person, but he's the best choice," Julia Porter said. Sacha Porter expanded and said that he thinks Trump is the best choice because he hasn't been a candidate before for any elected position, so he's not connected with anything just yet.

As for Congress, the Porters would like to see the elected officials unified, no matter which party has control.

As for the local elections, LeRoy Jones, a York City resident, said that he voted for Katie McGinty in the state Senate election, along with Clinton in the national election. The Porters both voted Republican in the local elections as well as the presidential election. Knaub voted for McGinty, who is running against Pat Toomey for the state Senate seat, and he also voted for Hill-Evans for the 95th House District.

Mark Skehan, a York City resident, was at the polling center passing out literature for Sears. Skehan said he has been standing at that very polling center for the last eight local and national elections to ensure that people are informed before making their vote. Skehan planned to vote for Trump when he was finished with his duty.

"These people (the candidates) are our proxies, so if we're not informed we have no one to blame but ourselves," Skehan said.

The Judge of Elections for the 15th Ward, Shirley Towles, said this morning's turnout at Jackson K-8 was the largest she's seen in her five years at the post. She said that there were no issues at the polling place as of approximately 7:45 a.m.

At Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center, less voters were willing to talk about who they voted for. Rick Gold, a Spring Garden resident, said that he voted for Clinton because she is the most qualified and has the most experience in politics. For the local elections he voted for McGinty and for Sears. As a registered Republican, he said, it was an easy decision to support Clinton this election.

"This year it was an easy decision. It's better than that clown car," he said, referring to the Trump campaign.

Jeff and Elisa Schwenk, Spring Garden residents, both voted for Trump in the presidential election and also voted as Republican in the local elections. Jeff Schwenk explained he was drawn to Trump because he thinks he has better policies that will protect the country and turn the economy around.

Jim Sagner, a Spring Garden resident, plans on voting later today once the lines are shorter and he is finished with work. Before heading to his job, he explained that he would be voting for Trump and for Republican candidates in the state and local elections. He also believes that Trump's policies are better, specifically related to the economy and the military.

"We need someone to help, and she's not for anyone but Hillary," Sagner said.

The Judge of Elections for the 4th ward, which houses Grumbacher Center, was David Carney. He said that one of the voting machines had issues with its card activator first things this morning, but a replacement was brought to the polling center within 15 minutes. Carney said that there were at least 100 voters waiting in line when the polls opened at 7 a.m. As of 9 a.m., 360 people had voted at the center.

Polls are open until 8 p.m. tonight, but anyone standing in line at 8 p.m. will be permitted to vote. To find your polling center, visit the Dispatch's interactive map.

Interactive map: Find your polling place