11/3/20 Election Day Photos, St. Lawrence

Elementary school students walk by a mass of election signs at St. Lawrence Catholic Church.

Election Day is here, and voters can cast their ballots if they get into line before 6 p.m. The Exponent is reporting on polling location wait times, problems at the polls and anything else that happens today.

You can find current wait times on the Tippecanoe County interactive online map here.

Read our live updates below, and send any news tips, concerns or questions to city@purdueexponent.org.

6:00 p.m.

Andrew Charlton, a Trump supporter, and Noah Smith, an organizer of the Black Lives Matter protests on campus, sat down on chairs two students brought from their dorms to have a discussion.

Though much of the discussion was drowned out by an Antifa member and cars passing by, the two discussed President Donald Trump’s response to Black Lives Matter movements.

“From my perspective it seems like Trump has done a lot for (minority) communities,” Charlton said.

Smith also handed his phone to Charlton to speak to D'Yan Berry, the former president of the Black Student Union, who was on FaceTime.

Berry said the two debated about how Trump had enabled white supremacy and misinformation, which Charlton said was “still information,” and how he uses Twitter.

Charlton did concede that he wasn’t entirely comfortable with Trump, and said “hopefully we can get some better options.” After talking to Berry on the phone, he said he had homework to do, but thanked her for speaking with him, adding “I don’t talk to leftists” that much.

“Whoever wins, it’s gonna be okay,” Charlton said, before leaving.

“I hope,” Smith said.

-Sean Murley, campus editor

5:30 p.m.

Angela M, a West Lafayette resident and a disabled veteran, says that she wants a president in office who understands and prioritizes veterans.

“I see firsthand our system, and how broken it can be,” she said. Angela served in the army for seven years, and she says she had difficulties in acquiring healthcare after her service. She declined to give her last name.

Though Angela says she has encountered hardship because of her status as a disabled veteran, she knows others have it much worse.

“I’m a pretty able-bodied person so I can kind of navigate around it, but I know there’s a lot of people that can’t. So I’m extremely passionate about making sure that we get people in office that recognize those issues,” she said.

-Raina Sternke, staff reporter 

5:30 p.m.

Students continue to stand against each other. At 5:17 p.m., after almost an hour of waiting, a Trump supporter sat down in a chair that the Biden supporters had provided.

Noah Smith, an activist in many of the past Black Lives Matter protests around campus, was waiting in another chair, ready to talk.

“I’m just curious why people would support Trump,” Smith said. “I am waiting to have a respectful dialogue with them.”

Smith also expressed his discontent with Purdue and local law enforcement.

“This draws a parallel to last year with the incident at CVS where they made us move saying it was not a ‘free speech zone,'” Smith said. “This year, Trump supporters are out here and they did not make them move.”

-Luke Hoppenrath, staff reporter

5:15 p.m.

With 16,233 voters casting ballots on Election Day as of 4:30 p.m., Tippecanoe County has surpassed 70,000 votes, according to data from the clerk's office. That figure breaks the previous record-high turnout set in the 2008 presidential election, when election data shows that 69,574 people voted.

Bokeh Plot

Almost 71,000 people had voted as of 4:30 p.m., according to the data. This record follows a record-high early voting turnout of 54,444 voters in Tippecanoe County.

Over a thousand people have voted at Mackey Arena today, and over 500 have voted at St. Thomas Aquinas. Lafayette Fire Station No. 5 on North Creasy Lane is the most popular polling site, attracting nearly 1,600 voters.

-Jordan Smith, managing editor

4:30 p.m.

Students with “Make America Great Again” hats, American flags and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, as well as separate groups of students with signs that read “Love is not a sin” and “Hammer Down Hate” gather by the polling site. Around 4:20 p.m. both sides set up chairs.

11/3/20 Chair photo

Individuals protesting several people in Make America Great Again hats offered a chair to them to have a conversation.

A line of trucks with Trump signs passed the polling place, accompanied by cheers from the groups wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. 

11/3/20 Election Day, Trump

A truck with flags promoting President Donald Trump drives down Northwestern Avenue.

Other than that, it was a slow hour at Mackey Arena, with only about 15 people entering the building to cast their votes. A separate pickup truck from another procession passed the polling location with an American flag, a Trump 2020 flag and a “Blue Lives Matter” flag attached.

David Purpura, a candidate for the West Lafayette School Board and a professor of human development and family sciences, held one of his campaign signs throughout the hour.

-Luke Hoppenrath, staff reporter

3:30 p.m.

Matt Boulac, who is running for Superior Court 4 judge and was at River City Community Center, said he wants to look at substance abuse and mental health in the court as opposed to “just putting people in jail.”

“We would attempt to address those issues through the court process,” Boulac said.

Chris Campbell, who’s running for state representative in District 26 and was also at the River City polling location, said she’s running for more education funding, as well as addressing mental-health issues in the state.

“It’s an enormous problem in our state, people are just going in and out of our jails and prisons, just for substance abuse, and we’re not treating the mental-health issues,” she said.

Next year is a redistricting year, and Campbell said it’s important to make sure the districts are created in fair and impartial ways.

-Charlie Wu, staff photographer

3:00 p.m.

Luca Carvalho, a 19-year-old sophomore in the College of Engineering from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was one of a group of students holding signs in support of President Donald Trump.

11/3/20 Election Day, Luca Carvalho

Luca Carvalho, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, stood outside of Mackey Arena Tuesday afternoon with a group of students holding flags in support of President Donald Trump. 

“We are out here sending a message that we are for President Trump,” he said. “We are for the conservative agenda in this country and we oppose the democratic agenda that Joe Biden and the Democrat party are trying to push.

“This is the most important election of our lifetime as college students and Generation Z. There is one side who supports evil, abortion, killing children, gun confiscation, limiting of free speech and individual liberties and the other side is President Trump, who opposes that.”

Carvalho said that as a Christian, there was only one clear option to him in the presidential election: to vote for Trump.

“Trump puts America first, he has brought back manufacturing that was hollowed out of our country by predator multinationals that were willing to sell out our middle class in order to save a quick buck by getting cheap materials from China and Mexico," he said. "He’s pulled out of toxic agreements like NAFTA that damaged our country, and put our country first and our interests, which is in America’s best long-term plan.”

“I’m out here to show support for President Trump and let fellow conservatives on campus know that they’re not alone. A big problem for them is feeling isolated,” said Andrew Charlton, a sophomore in the College of Science from Greenwood, Indiana.

11/3/20 Kayla Neal

Kayla Neal, a 19-year-old sophomore in the College of Education from Granger, Indiana, votes outside Mackey Arena.

Kayla Neal, a 19-year-old sophomore in the College of Education from Granger, Indiana, said that racial issues as well as school issues were the main reason that she made an effort to vote.

“I’m hoping that things can get better,” she said, “and also for there to be more of the people’s voice reflected in decisions that are made.”

-Sam Montgomery, staff reporter

3:00 p.m.

As of 2:10 p.m., 12,807 people had voted in Tippecanoe on Election Day, according to data from the clerk's office. Combined with more than 54,000 early voters, that figure is just over 2,000 votes short of the record-high turnout in Tippecanoe County in 2008.

Mackey Arena is the fourth most popular polling location, according to the data, as it approaches 1,000 voters on Election Day. Nearly 1,300 people voted at Mackey on Oct. 13, the one day of early voting the arena hosted.

Nearly 450 people have voted at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center today, surpassing its early voting turnout of 423.

Lafayette Fire Station No. 5 has been the most popular polling location today, with 1,263 voters visiting. River City Community Center in Lafayette has also hosted more than 1,000 voters today, according to the data.

–Jordan Smith, managing editor

2:15 p.m.

David Eisele, 18, decided to vote for the first time on Election Day for “tradition’s” sake, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center.

“The U.S. as a whole, we just need to see some type of change," Eisele said. He said he believes Joe Biden is that change.

– Ariana Acevedo, staff reporter

Chloe Humphrey, a freshman in the Polytechnic Institute, said she voted at Mackey Arena for Biden because “he’s not Trump.”

This is Humphrey's first time voting in a presidential election.

“I just moved to Indiana & I figured if I’m going to be here for the next four years, I might as well just be registered here,” she said.

Jacob Richards, a junior in the Krannert School of Management, said he wanted to vote for the issues that he thought should be addressed the quickest.

“Economic and social issues drove my vote,” Richards said. “I hope to see less polarization between the two parties.”

Jadan Bourne, a freshman in the College of Health and Human Sciences, is volunteering to help with the election with his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. He said that the tension in America weighed on his mind when he casted his ballot.

“Definitely social and economic issues pushed me,” Bourne said. “I’d like for things to settle down.”

–Alex Brophy, staff reporter

2 p.m.

Kathryn Fuiza Malerbi first-time voter and student in the College of Science, said she has decided to vote for Joe Biden at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center.

“This is an issue about human rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, Black and brown human rights,” Malerbi said. “They’re all at stake today.”

–Ariana Acevedo, staff reporter

1:30 p.m.

West Lafayette resident Shannon Versher said she voted for Joe Biden at Faith West Community Center, but she thinks Donald Trump is going to win.

"Am I hopeful we're gonna do it this election? No," she said. "Sometimes to bring about the change we want, we have to mirror the truth of where we really are. ... I think it'll be more of he'll lose the popular vote, win the electoral votes."

She said she's tired of the government putting more effort into pushing through tax breaks for corporations rather than improving schools. She also thinks this election is different.

"There are just some basic, humane things that I think should be checked for, regardless of who or what you stand for Republican or Democrat-wise," she said, "and I feel like that has been lost somewhere in this election."

She looked at her 13-year-old daughter, Sariah Smith, who was sipping a drink.

“Hopefully she’ll have someone better to vote for,” Versher said.

Half an hour later, first-time voter and student Joshua Cohen said that walking into the polling place, he had no idea who he was going to vote for.

“I didn't have a strong stance on who to vote for, cause I'll be honest, I'm not really attracted to any of the candidates. ... I chose the best of the two evils, in my opinion,” said Cohen, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts from northwestern Indiana.

Though he said he considers himself moderate and doesn’t agree with conservatives on positions like gay marriage, he said his anti-abortion views ultimately swayed him to Trump’s side. He said he didn't want to vote, but felt he had to exercise his right to do so.

– Alisa Reynya, special projects reporter

1:15 p.m.

Maria Makin, a biomedical engineering professor, talks about how she voted this year. 

– David Hickey, photos editor

1:05 p.m.

At Lafayette City Hall, Carlos Ayla, a maintenance technician who lives in Lafayette and recently moved from Guatemala, said he voted for Biden because “it’s time for a change.”

– Ray Couture, staff reporter

1 p.m.

More than 9,800 ballots had been cast by noon today in Tippecanoe County, according to Tippecanoe County Clerk Julie Roush. That tally, added to early voting totals of over 54,000, nearly equals turnout in the 2016 presidential election, which finished at 64,227.

Roush projects around 10,000 additional votes will be counted today. As the noon deadline to receive mail-in absentee ballots passed, Roush said she doesn’t expect more than a few hundred additional ballots to arrive.

A poll worker at Lafayette Fire Station No. 5 on North Creasy Lane was sent home when the Election Board found out there had been cases of the coronavirus at her workplace, Roush said. The clerk said plenty of poll workers were available to staff the 20 voting locations.

Short lines persist at the 20 vote centers open across the county, Roush said. There have been no significant issues with polling machines, as has happened in the past when a miscalibration led a few machines to wrongly select candidates.

– Jordan Smith, managing editor

12:30 p.m.

Aidan Darlington, a junior in the College of Agriculture from Noblesville, voted for a presidential candidate for the first time at St. Thomas Aquinas Tuesday morning.

11/3/20 Aidan Darlington

Aiden Darlington, a junior in the College of Agriculture from Noblesville, Indiana, voted for a presidential candidate for the first time at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

He said that personally, he doesn't need anything to change, but that he would like to see change for others, especially minorities.

Students leaving the polling location were greeted with loud construction directly outside of the polling location's doors.

-Sophia Horn, staff reporter

Lines have started to slow down, with hardly anyone waiting at Mackey Arena just after noon.

Shyam Sriram, a political science instructor at Butler University, was campaigning for Purdue professor David Purpura, who is running for the school board. Sriram and Purpura were fraternity brothers during their time at Purdue.

“David specializes in children’s education,” he said. “What better person to represent the interests of parents at the school board?

“A lot of my students were campaigning, and I thought I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t join, so I taught my first class and then drove down here to campaign.”

Angela James, who is also running for a seat on the school board, was campaigning outside of Mackey with her daughter, Bethany.

“The core issue of my campaign in transparency,” she said. “I want parents and students to be able to know what’s going on in their districts.”

James said she has been campaigning since 8 a.m., but noted the turnout has been slower than she expected.

“I want my being out here to show a willingness to work and engage with the community,” she said.

Dan Moore, who is running for the Judge of Superior Court 7, a new court that will begin on Jan. 1, was also on the scene. The new court is meant to deal with high-level criminal cases, Level 6 felonies, evictions and family law.

“I want people to vote for me because I have experience,” he said. “I’ve spent the last six years as the magistrate judge and 13 years before that in private practice.”

Sam Bohnet, a sophomore in the College of Health and Human Sciences, donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and held an American flag and a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag outside of the polling site.

“I was asked to take off my hat when I went inside,” he said, “but technically I am allowed to wear it because it doesn’t have the name of a candidate.”

State law defines “electioneering” as "expressing support or opposition to any candidate or political party or expressing approval or disapproval of any public question in any manner that could reasonably be expected to convey support or opposition to another individual." 

“Electioneering” includes having an article of clothing, sign, button, or placard that states the name of a political party or includes the name, picture, photograph, or other likeness of a currently elected federal, state, county, or local official, according to Indiana's election handbook. 

Bohnet, who said he voted for Trump, has been at Mackey since 11 a.m. and reported that crowds have been civil.

– Nidhi Shekar, staff reporter

12:22 p.m.

A line is slowly starting to form at Lafayette City Hall as voters gather inside. Several voters declined interview requests as they were too rushed for time.

“I’m on my lunch break and I won’t even have time to eat,” said one voter as they speed-walked to their car.

Nicole Ballinger, a senior in the College of Education, said she voted for Joe Biden. Health care and a possible repealing of Obamacare by the Trump administration were the biggest issues Ballinger considered in her vote. 

“I’m worried that the Supreme Court, now that it has been packed by Donald Trump, that they’re gonna repeal Obamacare,” Ballinger said. “That’s the health care that my family had and I have.”

– Ray Couture, staff reporter

11:40 a.m.

Purdue student-volunteers stand both inside and outside of Mackey Arena helping students vote. Voter turnout hit its peak early this morning, but has been relatively low all day, according to many poll workers.

“For early voting, there were a lot of people here, we had a line wrapping around,” said Josh Reeder, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts. “Today there haven't been as many, but I feel like a lot of people did early vote and voted by mail."

Abby Marcin, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, agreed.

“(Voter turnout) hasn’t been nearly as big as early voting,” she said. “Early voting was huge here, we had lines all day.”

But those who have come to vote have been carefully following the mask guidelines and adhering to the rules of the polling place.

“I was concerned about masks and following the regulations,” Marcin said. “But… a lot of people, we just hand them a mask and they put it on right away, but we haven’t had many problems with it.”

“Everybody has been really, really responsible about mask-wearing and protecting Purdue, which is really good,” said Jordan Harris, a freshman in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

11/3/20 Election Day Jordan Harris

Jordan Harris, a freshman in the College of Health and Human Sciences, said everyone has been responsible about following COVID-19 precautions.

She added that some people came to Mackey wearing hats denoting a political preference. Poll workers asked the voters to take off their hats before entering the building. 

According to Marcin and Barb Knochel, the location supervisor, one poll watcher came to Mackey.

“Somebody came and told us they were a poll watcher,” Marcin said. “She just announced it to us … and walked in.”

– Maggie Piercy, staff reporter

11:15 a.m.

Redshirt freshman basketball player Mason Gillis passed the poll entrance at Mackey Arena. He has already voted and noted the number of athletes that have voted in this election.

“We’ve all talked about (voting) individually and as a team,” Gillis said. “We’ve all noticed that there’s been a lot more push for all of us to be able to vote.”

– Emily Primm, staff reporter

10:45 a.m.

Daniel Bohnet, a senior from Indianapolis in the College of Liberal Arts, stood outside of Mackey Arena dressed in a suit and red tie matching his “Make America Great Again” hat and holding a rosary. Bohnet said he voted by mail-in ballot, which marked his second time voting in a presidential election.

“President Trump puts America first and Biden does not,” Bohnet said. “Trump is a different breed.”

– Emily Primm, staff reporter

10:30 a.m.

Jacob Gilbert, a campaign volunteer for school board nominee David Purpura, a professor of human development and family studies, stands outside of Mackey Arena asking voters to consider voting for Purpura. 

“If you care about public education, if you care about service to the community, David is a professor here at Purdue, and he’s very involved in the Purdue community,” he said.

– Taylor Benes, staff reporter

10:20 a.m.

Freshman in the College of Science Michelle Lin said she based her vote on climate change and women’s rights.

“I hope that women are able to get the health care they need,” Lin said. “I also hope that people take climate change more seriously."

Fellow freshman and student in the Polytechnic Institute Nicholas Foord said he sees disunity in the country, and he hopes his vote can change that.

“Voting is the one thing you can do to make your voice heard,” Foord said. “I want people to have more empathy and sympathy for each other. I want unity.”

– Taylor Benes, staff reporter

9:45 a.m

Tommy Steele, a senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the Polytechnic Institute, and Nicholas Dukarm, a junior from Dayton, Ohio, in the College of Health and Human Sciences, donned President Trump hats as they walked into Mackey Arena. 

Both voted early but said they received letters from the Tippecanoe County Election Clerk saying there were problems with their ballots. The two came in order to solve the issue.

While the two were explaining their difficulties, a Purdue Votes volunteer approached them, advising that they would be scolded by poll workers inside if they did not take off their hats, as Indiana code forbids political clothing inside of poll stations. The students then took off their hats.

 – Emily Primm, staff reporter

9:40 a.m.

Evan Queen, a senior in the Polytechnic Institute, discusses his decision to vote outside St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center Tuesday morning.

 – Ryan Chen, special projects reporter

9:28 a.m.

Volunteers from Purdue Votes clad in “Purdue Votes” masks sang and danced to music from a speaker outside of the polling entrance to Mackey Arena. They directed voters inside and handed out pamphlets with information on all of the candidates and their respective platforms.

– Emily Primm, staff reporter

9:15 a.m.

About 700 people who haven't voted since the 1970s have voted in the 2020 presidential election, according to Tippecanoe County Clerk Julie Roush.

Exactly 54,444 voters in Tippecanoe County cast ballots before Election Day, Roush said during a Tuesday morning meeting with the Tippecanoe County Election Board.

The county projects turnout to be about 75,000, a modern record and the most since the 2008 presidential election when more than 69,000 votes were cast, according to election board data.

Roush said she expects a quiet 20,000 voters to show up to one of 20 polling locations today. Around 30,000 voters on Election Day is normal, Roush said, "but nothing about this election has been normal."

“I have not gone to sleep," she added.

11/3/20 Tippecanoe County Election Board

Tippecanoe County Clerk Julie Roush, left, speaks to fellow members of the Election Board Randall Vonderheide, pictured at back, Joseph Bumbleberg, pictured at front, and E. Kent Moore.

Members of the county election board said turnout at Mackey Arena and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church seemed low this morning because over 1,700 voters combined turned out early in mid-October.

“I think Mitch Daniels was favorably impressed with our early voting downtown,” member Randall Vonderheide said. “I know he was.”

The clerk estimates around 85% of votes will be counted by election night.

Mail-in ballots must arrive by noon to be counted, and more than 10,000 have been received so far, Roush said. Several hundred people have opted to surrender their absentee ballots and vote in person out of concern the ballots would not be received by the deadline, according to Roush.

About 80 people have opted to vote by traveling board, which is a bipartisan team the county sends to voters’ residences because the voter is ill or frail. Dozens of people requested a traveling board this weekend because they tested positive for COVID-19 and had to self-quarantine, Roush said.

Fire Chief Kevin Ply was named a "traveling board" by Julie Roush, the Tippecanoe County clerk and facilitated the collection of votes from students quarantined or isolated in on- and off-campus locations, according to a Purdue News press release.

A survey was sent to isolated or quarantined students under the care of the Protect Purdue Health Center, and those qualified and registered to vote were delivered ballots. Ply then took those to election officials.

The clerk said nearly 20 people at Purdue requested a traveling board.

– Jordan Smith, managing editor

8 a.m.

Voters continued to trickle in every 10-20 minutes at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center this morning. Julian Stanfield, a sophomore in landscape architecture, says the most important issues to him include social and environmental topics.

“I’m big on environmental issues, especially with (President Donald) Trump cutting back on (regulations),” he said.

“Abortion seems to be a big issue, I don’t really get why it’s such a big issue for some people,” he added.

It’s Stanfield's first time voting in a presidential election, and he said he wants to see a focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the coronavirus response.

“I hope that we just get unified, that’s all I care about, really, it’s so divided.”

7:23 a.m.

For over 15 minutes, no one entered the polls at St. Thomas.

Patrick Kirane, a West Lafayette resident, said this was his first time voting in a presidential election.

“I voted for the American Solidarity Party because they are pro-life and not Donald Trump.”

He acknowledged that the party would not be winning this election, however, he still wanted to show his support.

6:50 a.m.

The lines at St. Thomas have remained fairly short, compared to the hundreds of voters who turned out on Oct. 17 for early voting. More than 400 people voted at the church that day.

Ben Eichelberger and Leo Ortiz came early to vote at St. Thomas Aquinas’s polls. Eichelberger, a student in first-year engineering, said political issues didn’t matter to him as much this election.

“To me, this election was just based on character,” he said.

Ortiz added, “We’re in a time where we should be more accepting of diversity. It’s a matter of character in my case also.”

Ortiz said he hopes to see his vote lower divisiveness, which he said played an important part in his choice for a presidential candidate.

“I feel like in modern day (administration), it’s been more divided within the nation," he said. "A strive for more unity would be something I’m very happy to see.”

This is Anika Kansky’s first time voting in a presidential election, she said. A senior in the College of Engineering, Kansky says racial justice and climate change are important to her in this election.

She also prioritizes the “general competency of the candidates,” she added. “I’d really like to see climate action and police reform."

– Kyle Oler, staff reporter

6:10 a.m.

A short line formed outside of the doors of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church this morning as voters eager to mark their ballot filed in.

John Niemann was the first voter at St. Thomas. He studies in the College of Engineering and is from north of Indianapolis. He said he voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Niemann said that some of the most important issues to him are civil liberties and abortion law. He is staunchly anti-abortion, he said.

“Freedom is really big, and also pro-life issues," he said.

Something that Niemann said he hopes to see as a result of the election is a decrease in government intervention, although he added, “I’m not really expecting that, so at least not an increase in government power.”

– Kyle Oler, staff reporter

5:30pm Mackey

Students continue to stand against each other. At 5:17, after almost an hour of waiting, a Trump supporter sat down in a chair that the Biden supporters had provided. Noah Smith, an activist in many of the Black Lives Matter protests around campus, was waiting in the chair to have a debate. 

 

“I’m just curious why people would support Trump,” Smith said. “I am waiting to have a respectful dialogue with them.” 

 

Smith also expressed his discontent with Purdue and local law enforcement. 

 

“This draws a parallel to last year with the incident at CVS where they made us move saying it was not a ‘free speech zone’,” Smith said. “This year, Trump supporters are out here and they did not make them move.”

 

-Luke Hoppenrath, Staff Reporter

 

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