Polling stations 2016

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Verde reporters camped out at the polling station in Palo Alto High School to talk to voters and volunteers at the polls. Alicia Mies, Stephanie Lee, Frances Zhuang, Rebecca Yao, Tara Madhav and Amira Garewal spoke to voters and pollsters and took photos of them in action.

lixia

“Well actually, this is the first time I can vote. I got my citizenship last year. I registered as I take the oath, and then this year it’s a big chance, so I decided to come and see how it would go. I got my register by mail, so I stared at the ballot for a while, and then I tell you, when I wrote, I actually had a ruler, I don’t want to make any mistakes. It feels so awesome. Everyone needs to speak up for their opinion, and I think it’s a great process. I think by voting, you can tell people your own opinion, but at the end, it’s all the majority, so you follow whatever the majority says.”
— Lixia Hou, poll volunteer worker

hannah

“A lot of people see voting as a right, but I see it as a right and a duty. We live in a democracy and part of that is the peaceful transition of power, and that happens through voting and representation of the populace. This is the way that regular Americans can make their voices heard, whatever that really means. To me, that means that this is my chance aside from getting involved in civic engagement. This is something that I like to do and something that I like to be informed on.”
— Hannah Cunningham

jim

“What do you think the unique importance of this election is?”
“Oh my gosh, there are so many important things. Probably the biggest thing that concerns me is the divisiveness of this country. That exists currently in the country and I’m not sure that either candidate is equally qualified to help amend that divisiveness.”
— Jim, Palo Alto resident

chute

“Any last words regarding this election?”
“I’m just glad it’s going to be over soon.”
— Deanna Chute, Palo Alto High School math teacher

nabeela

“What do you think is the significance of voting in general?”
“I don’t know anymore. For me, I personally feel that a lot of politics is basically run by corporations, so my husband — he doesn’t vote at all because he feels like it’s not important and it makes no difference and I kind of feel the same way but for me I’d rather just know that I voted so hopefully the person I want to win will win.”
— Nabeela, pre-school teacher

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“Have there been any moments in the election where you thought ‘Oh wow I’ve never really seen this before’?”
“Many. Well I mean it’s just, it’s crude. It’s just not policy-oriented, it’s very much kind of personality and character-oriented. There are a lot of important issues and those weren’t really dealt with and I think it was because the whole election was brought down into the gutter by, you know, the politicking of all.”
— John, voter

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“I think that it’s important that young people come out and take part in the democratic process because right now, whether we know it or not, history is happening in front of us and it’s a very pivotal election for a variety of reasons, so I think it’s important that people not opt out and instead exercise the privilege that they have, because the political climate will change significantly in the next 15-20 years.”
— Ted, voter

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“Well it started very early at 6 a.m. but the turnout has been good and I enjoyed meeting a lot of new people like these poll people here, and overall it’s been fun.”
— Hala Elhamdi, Paly junior and volunteer at polls

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“I think that what has gone on for the last two years is awful — it’s ugly — but I think the process that we’re doing right here is beautiful, because everybody gets a chance to vote and express themselves and a ballot and there’s no questions, no violence, no putting people down or anything, everybody is their own individual voter and we’re very happy to volunteer to be in this position to help people vote.”
— Ed Schmidt, volunteer at polls

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“What we wanted to accomplish today was to create an atmosphere for voters to come in, exercise their right to vote, whoever that may be, for whatever issues that are on the ballot; just to come in and do that without any election engineering or all of that pressure and stress. We don’t need that here. A lot of countries don’t have that so I think in this country we work hard to accomplish that and having worked in three different counties i can say that.”
— Renee Anderson, volunteer at polls