Some Voters Faced Long Lines To Cast Their Ballots On Tuesday
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Voters supporting Donald Trump and other candidates turned out in huge numbers yesterday in Arizona, Utah and Idaho, where one line into a caucus site was reportedly longer than a mile. NPR's Nathan Rott waited it out with Arizona voters last night.
NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Three hours after this polling location in Tempe was technically closed, there was still a hundred or so people waiting to cast their ballots. County election officials decided to let anyone who was in line by the 7 p.m. cutoff still make their vote. Scott Berger and his son made it at about 6:59.
SCOTT BERGER: Last man standing.
ROTT: They ordered a pizza around 8. And they learned that Arizona was called for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about a half-hour later.
BERGER: Now it's just the principle.
ROTT: You got to wait.
BERGER: I'm voting no matter - I'm still voting. I'm in all the way.
ROTT: There was some frustration and anger from waiting voters, who wondered why Maricopa County reduced the number of its polling sites from around 200 last election to just 60 this time around. There was frustration from the Bernie Sanders camp, who on Twitter called it a national disgrace that people had to wait for hours to vote. But near the back of the line here in Tempe, people like Elena Huizar were in fairly good spirits as volunteers handed out snacks.
ELENA HUIZAR: They're energy bars.
ROTT: And were still willing to wait it out, even though in Huizar's case - her candidate, Hillary Clinton, had already won.
HUIZAR: My husband called me and said, come home. And I said, absolutely not. I definitely want to be a part of this.
ROTT: That was a sentiment for almost all of the people here, from the somewhat seasoned voter like Seamus McSherry...
SEAMUS MCSHERRY: You've got to fulfill American duty, you know.
ROTT: To the first-time voter like Sasha Escobedo, a daughter of immigrants.
SASHA ESCOBEDO: I mean, I'm going to vote because I'm, like, super excited. Also on behalf of my whole family that can't vote, I'm voting.
ROTT: And that enthusiasm lasted after the crowds dispersed. Until finally, at nearly 11 p.m...
BERGER: Three hours and 53 minutes.
ROTT: ...Scott Berger and his son, the last guys in the line, exited the polling place.
BERGER: You know what? It was worth it. This is why we live in America. Every vote counts. Don't take it for granted.
ROTT: No matter how long the wait. Nathan Rott, NPR News, Phoenix, Ariz. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.