Long Voting Lines in Kalispell

By Beacon Staff

Hundreds of people were lining up at the Flathead County Fairgrounds late Tuesday afternoon to register and vote in the final hours of the 2012 election.

Flathead County election supervisor Monica Eisenzimer was working the phones and helping people register up to the last minute. She said voter turnout was similar to 2008, and considerably larger than 2010.

“We’re here to solve problems and make sure that everyone who wants to vote, gets to vote,” she said.

Eisenzimer said the long lines to register were not surprising, adding that many people wait until the last minute.

Michelle Deitrick of Hungry Horse acknowledged that she was one of those who procrastinated. Shortly after 4 p.m., she was at the tail end of the registration line and expected to be waiting for more than an hour.

“I thought I was registered to vote because I got all of the political propaganda in my mail with my name and address,” she said, holding a stack of campaign mailers.

Meanwhile, fairgrounds manager Mark Campbell was entering his 10th hour of directing traffic in the jammed-pack parking lot. He said there was “great” voter turnout and that there had been a constant flow of traffic all day.

“There are more cars than space sometimes,” Campbell said.

Polls will remain open until 8 p.m. and Eisenzimer said that anyone in line when polls close would get a chance to vote.

“It’s been smooth,” she said. “Just really, really busy.”

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