Note: This article is based on the events of November 8, 2016.
Have you voted? Do you want the election to be over? So do these voters waiting outside of Palladium. Some of them have been here for over 2 hours.
“Thank God it’s not that cold today,” said a woman into her second hour of waiting to vote. It was balmy 60 degree weather outside NYU’s Palladium Residence Hall on 13th Street. The woman in question, Stanislawa, a 20-year-old student from Alphabet City, waited from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. before she was able to enter Palladium to cast her vote for Hillary Clinton. She skipped a class in order to do so.
For many voters, skipping class and being late to work is the norm to have time to exercise their civic duty. “My professor said it was okay if we missed class to vote, so that’s what I did, but I feel like a lot of people are just going to miss class to miss class,” said Alex, a 21-year-old student. “Although [Hillary’s] not the best candidate, but her stances on women’s reproductive rights, her foreign policy, and her effectiveness in governing is better than Trump’s,” he said.
The 2016 election has been shrouded in controversies: from Hillary Clinton’s emails, to Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, to the attacks they have directed towards each other. Because of the circumstances surrounding the election, many voters decided it was essential to make their opinion heard.
The line outside Palladium stretched down 13th street from about 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. After that, voters still entered the building, but in lesser amounts. “I had to leave work for a bit to come vote. I’m going to be much later than they expect me back because of the wait, but it’s worth it,” said Lori, a 47-year-old resident of Gramercy Park who works in marketing. “As a small business owner, tax breaks are important to me and I need to know we’ll be getting them.” Lori voted for Hillary Clinton because of her stances on women’s reproductive rights and her opinions on the economy..
Those who agreed to share for whom they voted said they voted for Clinton. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. I know I didn’t vote for a xenophobic, misogynistic racist. I voted for Clinton, so my conscience is clearer than it would’ve been had I voted for Trump,” said Thomas, a 60-year-old lawyer. Erin, a mother rushing home to put her son to nap declined to share her vote. “I don’t think now is the right time to be asking these questions, as people are leaving the polls,” she said while turning her back and walking away.
Who will win the election? Outside of Palladium, there was a sense of desperation as the final stretch of the election ends, but Stanislawa is still hopeful.
“This election was like the Twilight Zone for a really long time and it still is, but I’m optimistic. I hope Hillary Clinton wins and I think she will. I think she’s what’s best for our country.”