By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,253)
“Voting has been heavy in Portland. Perhaps heavier than in 2008, said Kathy Jones, city clerk late this afternoon from her office at city hall. City employee Jimmy Lobley was sitting at a large table in the entry way of city hall directing voters to the proper polling location. “It’s been a steady stream of people here looking for information,” he said. “At least 200 people and probably more than that. There have been a lot of non-English speaking voters. Sometimes we ask them to write their street addresses on paper which helps,” said the Hill resident, Lobley.
East End Community School serves as a voting location in District 1. As of 5 pm this afternoon, Denise Shimes, warden, said that 1,825 people had voted thus far. The voting was very heavy until 11 am this morning, tapered off mid-day and picked up when school was out and people were getting out of work. Polls are open until 8 pm.
One of the numerous voters at EECS was Willilam E. Leo, 88, and a long time Hill resident. The first time he voted was in 1943 for Franklin D. Roosevelt. He’s missed only one presidential election since then. He and his wife, now deceased, raised ten children. “Singing makes me happy,” he said as he serenaded poll workers and voters with “God Bless America” and other patriotic songs. He was unable to fill other singing requests because of a “raspy” throat. (See above photo of William E. Leo on right.)
Liana James, a Hill resident and law school student at USM, Portland said that her mother volunteers for the Democratic Party in Colorado. “She’s nervous about tonights election. The student vote is important in Boulder. Obama has spent a lot of time there, so maybe it will work out okay,” she said.