Retired Rabbi Jonathan Gerard, 60, of Easton, was concerned — as were many voters — that there was just one electronic voting machine in the polling place, where for years there had been two mechanical machines. Poll workers said it was because Northampton County went from 600 uncertified machines to 300 machines from a different vendor. Voting was considerably slower than normal, in a primary in which there were several people lined up outside the polling place before it opened at 7. Many of the voters at the Burke and Cattell street church will be students, Gerard said, adding that he registered many of them to vote. “They will be forced to make a choice” between waiting in line and getting to class. Gerard figures lines favor older voters, thus giving Hillary Clinton a possible advantage.
As of 7:45 this morning in Bethlehem Township, 21 voters had cast their ballots at Miller Heights Elementary School. More than 140 voters had been to the Upper Nazareth Township municipal building by 9 o’clock.
In rural Allen Township, Northampton County, poll workers were busier than usual. On previous election days, they did needlepoint or snacked during lags between voters.
“Before 7 a.m., they were lined up from the door out to the parking lot. That’s unusual,” clerk Olinda Koch said about 8:30. When asked how many years she’s been working at the polls, to put turnout into perspective, she laughed. “Oh my gosh, It’s been so long. I can’t remember.”
A half a dozen people stood in line to vote at 9:15 a.m. at College Hill Presbyterian Church, but a poll worker said it was the shortest line all morning. He said he expected even greater crowds at the Easton polling place this evening.