Early voting is now under way in the District, and at two sites in ANC 3F – the gyms at UDC and Murch Elementary.
UDC is home to one of the DC Board of Election’s “Super Vote Centers.” The UDC Sports Complex is tucked away in the northwest corner of the campus by Yuma Street.
Election volunteers Tom Johnson and Joe Krauss arrived Monday morning to find no signs to guide voters to the gymnasium. So they got to work.
Voters arriving for the first day of early voting on Tuesday found signage on Van Ness Street at the garage entrance…
…the stairs from the student center…
…and through Dennard Plaza.
Johnson and Krauss had not expected to find the steps to the gym from Yuma Street taped off.
Here, their signs route you by the tennis courts and up the stairs by the UDC Theater of the Arts.
Johnson was happy to hear that the signs were effective in marking the route.
There were no lines when I visited, and the large space held few voters. One of them remarked that it had been quick and easy. By around 12:30 p.m. there had been 110 voters.
Over at Murch, there was signage at 36th and Davenport Streets directing voters to the Davenport entrance…
…But not at 36th and Everett Streets. A woman in a motorized wheelchair approached the school at this intersection and needed directions.
Murch offers curbside voting and wheelchair accessibility, which are not available at UDC.
For the first hour or so after the Murch voting center opened, there was a line. At one point it crept around the corner. But by 10 a.m., voter assistant clerk Jon Kelinson said they were looking for voters.
By around 1 p.m., around 200 voters had cast their votes using the voting machines. This number did not include the voters who had received curbside assistance.
Like UDC, the Murch site was clearly laid out. And again, it looked empty and in need of more voters.
Reports from other early voting sites across the District were similar – few lines, voters in and out quickly. Given the lines and long wait times in other polling places in this region and around the country, it looks like our neighborhood and the rest of the District have been well served so far by the Board of Elections.
Great experience in #VanNess today voting @udc_edu with @Vote4DC. In and out in less than 10min! So by #mail, drop off, or in person, please #vote and if you can #VoteEarly! 😷🇺🇸✅ pic.twitter.com/ZCUbr2ByUm
— Cassio DaCunha (@cassiodacunha) October 27, 2020
So if you have been waiting to cast your vote in person, bring a mask and be sure to thank our election volunteers. Early voting continues through Monday, November 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Election Day, the UDC and Murch Vote Centers are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., an additional Vote Center opens at Capital Memorial Church. Remember, you can vote at any of the Vote Centers in the District, even on November 3rd.
And until 8 p.m. on Election Day, you can place your mail-in ballot in any of DC’s dropbox locations, including the Tenleytown, Cleveland Park and Chevy Chase libraries.
As for who to vote for, we can help you with the research.
And once you have voted, let your friends and neighbors know how it was and encourage them to get out and vote.