Stories from the polls: Election Day in The109!

Update: 8:05 p.m.

The Tarrant County results are flying in by the minute. Check out the live results right here! 

Across the country, Americans took to the polls to cast their vote in the 2016 election.

In The109, the voter turnout was mixed. Many polling spots saw just a trickle of voters, possibly due to the drizzly, chilly Fort Worth weather, or maybe because a large number of residents voted early or absentee.

Reporters were out in full force Tuesday in The109. Here are some of their stories from the polls.

Last minute voters

Hunter Geisel 

People quickly and quietly traveled through the rain into R.L. Paschal High School to exercise their right to vote minutes before the polls closed Tuesday evening.

People came to polls later than they expected because of reasons such as getting stuck at work or procrastinating until the last hours. Despite some of these obstacles, people are still getting to the polls, said retired engineer and Trump supporter Brian Pearce, 58.

“Undecided, some of them are tied up at work, can’t get away, but most of them voted early this morning,” Pearce said. “We got over 700 voters so far, so we’re doing good.”

Pearce voted for Trump although he didn’t find any of the candidates appealing.

“[Trump’s] the lesser evil,” Pearce said. “He’s still a mess but that’s all you can do in these elections is vote for the lesser evil.”

Alcon Labs Executive Talent Acquisition Emily Trulove, 32, said deciding between the candidates and work were reasons why she did not get to the polls until 6:28 p.m., 32 minutes before they closed.

“Got to work at around 6:45 [a.m.], so got off work little bit later than I anticipated,” Trulove said. “Honestly, I was procrastinating too.”

Trulove, who typically aligns with the Republican party, said she doesn’t want to vote for Trump because he doesn’t align with her values but she doesn’t believe Clinton will do the job either.

“I have the choice to not vote but I’m also a registered voter, and there’s a lot of people that fight for the right to do this and at the end of the day, I need to fulfill that,” Trulove said. “It’s the patriotic thing to do and I’m no better than Colin Kaepernick if I don’t do it.”

 

Why vote on Election Day?

Kayley Ryan

The 109 visited the McClean 6th Grade Center to talk to voters who decided to vote on Election Day rather than submit their ballots early.

It was drizzling and overcast Tuesday morning when the polling place at McLean Middle School opened its doors at 7 a.m.

For the next hour and a half, voters trickled in to cast ballots in the general election, which includes candidates for president.

Michael Reznikoff, 67, was one of the first to vote at McLean. While 48 percent of registered Tarrant County voters opted to early vote, Reznikoff said he purposely waited.

“I wanted to see what happened at my precinct,” he said. “I wanted to see what my lines were like and what would be happening at the precinct itself.”

He said chose Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump.

“It’s time for a woman to run this county.”

Early birds at Arborlawn UMC

Sam Bruton, Laura Belpedio


At 7 a.m., the early birds came to Arborlawn United Methodist Church to cast their ballots.

Many voters, who were on their way to work, waited until election day to vote due to long standing traditions.

Marjorie Borgerding, who voted for Trump, said, “I think our country needs leadership that’s not a part of the establishment and I think that so much of this country is turning towards the elite establishment.”

Most voters said they were excited for this exhausting and untraditional election to be over.

Jamie Erwin, undisclosed voter, said, “It’s going to be very interesting to see where our country goes from here.”

Going to the chapel

China Perkins

With rainy weather, few voters showed up to the Trinity Chapel in Fort Worth around lunchtime on Tuesday.

As voters slowly arrived to cast their ballots, a group of women held their weekly bible study in the church as well.

Karen Dennis, a member of the women’s bible study, said she did not vote in this election.

“I can’t personally feel good about voting for either candidate,” Dennis said. “I know that God is in control of it no matter how it ends up, so I’m letting God take the reigns and not making the decision myself.”

The 31-year-old said this was the first time she did not participate in a general election since she registered at the age of 18.

Campaigning while it’s raining

Elizabeth Hinz

For one candidate, campaigning didn’t end with Election Day voting.

Joe Drago, the Democratic candidate running for the 348 District Court of Tarrant County, spent hours outside the polling place at Paschal High School holding up a sign that said “Drago for Judge.”

Drago said he planned to stop at several different polling places to make a last minute push for his campaign.

Drago said he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president because she is a known quantity.

“We know what we’re going to get with Hillary,” Drago said. “With Donald Trump, he’s such an unknown quantity that I’m not sure what we’re going to get.”

Drago said it has been a crazy election from the start, but the voter turnout has been really strong.

“However many votes are cast for president are going to be the same number of votes that are cast in our race, so it will be well over probably 600,000 votes,” Drago said. “When you think about it, that’s just phenomenal!”

Quiet scene at Trinity Chapel

Sarah Jane Grisham

As the rain slowed to a drizzle during the lunch hour, the parking lot of Trinity Chapel remained relatively sparse.

No lines formed or groups of voters gathered outside the church, one of the many Tarrant County polling sites. And those bleak faces who did partake walked back to their cars still uncertain.

Voters were not confident in democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton or republican party nominee Donald Trump.

“My biggest issue is with getting rid of career politicians,” said 48-year-old sales manager Charles Gibbs. “And the republican nominee was just not a valid leader.”

Gibbs said he voted for Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson.

This story will be updated as the day goes on.