The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 6, 2012

Pittsburg, Kan., voters say first time to see lines at polls

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
astefanoni@joplinglobe.com

PITTSBURG, Kan. — When Carol Miller Cummins arrived at her polling place at the First Christian Church Tuesday morning, it was the first time she’d ever stood in line outside of the building on Election Day.

“It was a great turnout,” Cummins said. She arrived at 8:10 and was out in about 20 minutes, she said, as voter No. 250.

Pittsburg voter AnnDee Peterson said she avoided lines altogether by voting before Election Day at Meadowbrook Mall — a new effort this election that proved worth it, said Crawford County Clerk Don Pyle.

According to Pyle, 1,305 voters took advantage of the opportunity, surpassing what he had hoped would be about 1,000 votes. A few hundred Crawford County residents voted in person in the clerk’s office in advance of Election Day, and 2,000 voters turned in advance ballots by mail.

Despite Peterson’s advance vote, “I saved my sticker so I could wear it today,” she said.

At Greenbush, a tiny unincorporated town west of Girard, Kim Viets said the polling place at which she voted was “pretty laid back.”

“It’s kind of like ‘Cheers — where everybody knows your name,” she said. She arrived at 8:30 a.m. and was voter No. 33. She was accompanied by her 7-year-old daughter, Ainsley, who received and voted on a pink ballot for children.

“There wasn’t a line, but there was a steady stream in and out,” Viets said.

Cummins reported that her granddaughter, Ellie, 7, also voted as part of a mock election at Lakeside Elementary School.

“She was very excited that they all got to cast their votes,” said Cummins, who noted she was happy Ellie got an introduction to participating in politics. “They’ll be our leaders someday.”