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Ann Arbor City Clerk identifies cause of Election Day voting delays

Voting Booth
Sam Felder
Voting booth

Officials in the Ann Arbor clerk's office have a clearer idea about what led to long lines of students waiting to vote in the wee hours of Election Night.

Officials with the Ann Arbor clerk’s office say they were using data from the 2020 election to gauge staffing needs this year. In 2020, with one on-campus satellite city clerk’s office, they registered more than 5,000 students over a 40-day period.

Since they were registered, there were multiple polling places on campus for them to actually vote on Election Day.

This year, there were fewer students registering over the past month.

Then, all of a sudden, says Ann Arbor City ClerkJacqueline Beaudry, more than 1,400 students showed up to register on Election Day.

“So, we saw almost no turnout at our polling places because, for whatever reason, the behavior this time was that everyone waited to go to our satellite office and register on Election Day."

Should this occur in the next election, she says, they will contemplate adding additional staffing on Election Week.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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