Calhoun College, 11:30 p.m. — At 10:55, Olivia Paschal ’18 looks up from her phone. “Guys, they called Florida,” she said. “For Trump.”
Nearly 10 minutes later, CNN reports that the DOW futures are down nearly 700 points. Students sit in clusters on the carpeted floor, talking amongst themselves. The constant murmur of chatter is punctuated by an occasional cheer — when Clinton wins California and Hawaii, pushing ahead of Trump with 190 electoral votes — and questions — who voted for Gary Johnson? How could this be happening?
At 11:19, a hush falls over the room as CNN shows Trump leading by 22,695 votes in Michigan. The crowd, largely if not entirely pro-Clinton, remains hopeful that she can take Michigan as the gap closes. Five minutes later, the two candidates are just 0.5 percentage points apart in the state.
As of 11:28, CNN has still not officially called the decision in Florida, and the now-silent students in the Calhoun basement are still glued to the TV.
Calhoun College, 10:00 p.m. — The buttery of Calhoun is buzzing with life, as The Yale Politic’s watch-party continues to draw students. The entire room is glued to the increasingly narrow race. Spread out across the floor, all watch on as Trump continues to pull away from Clinton in key battleground states like Ohio, North Carolina, and Michigan. A hush fell upon the room when CNN predicted that the Republican Party would likely keep control of the House of Representatives. Considering the YDN’s recent survey of the student body, of which the vast majority support Democrats and only 5 percent support Trump, it is not unlikely that the group gathered in Calhoun is a bellwether for the spirit of Yale student body’s spirit at large during this election.
As the New York Times shows Trump to be the more likely candidate to win, the room takes on a nervous energy, a new intensity. One student comforts a dejected friend in the corner of the room, reminding him that tomorrow, Obama will still be president. And yet, the night is young, and the results continue to come in. Every laptop screen flashes with blue and red maps of the country, eyes frantically interpreting the data — but it is safe to say the heart of the room remains hopeful, and on the whole, Yale blue.
New Haven Hall of Records, 9:00 p.m. — With lines dwindling since late afternoon, the polling station at the Hall of Public Records closed without much fanfare promptly at 8:00 p.m.
However, the work for voting officials certainly didn’t stop with the end to voting, as they quickly tabulated votes at the station. The station serves part of New Haven’s Ward 7, and saw over 40 percent voter turnout throughout the day — 2,378 out of 5,552 eligible voters.
As the station moderator announced numbers that overwhelming favored Democrats, voting officials seemed unsurprised. In the presidential race, Clinton led Trump by 2,101 votes to 164. Sen. Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 took 1,873 votes to Republican opponent Dan Carter’s 248, while Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s 1,890 tallies overcame Republican opposer Angel Cadena’s 241.
Officials continued to count absentee ballots as the clock passed 9.
New Haven City Hall, 8:50 p.m. — There was an uproar after the same day registration closed at 8 p.m. sharp at City Hall. Jonathan J. Einhorn, a civil and criminal litigation lawyer who identified himself as an “election official,” asked potential voters to vacate the same-day registration room. There was not much of a response, so he waved his arms toward the crowd and repeated the command in a louder tone. People started leaving, but one woman began loudly condemning him for acting so “violently.” She challenged him to speak in the same violent fashion outside of the room, where various news cameras were rolling. Einhorn began speaking in a calmer voice, and asked the crowd to begin leaving the room; the woman replied that that was better as she left the room.
A large portion of the disgruntled potential voters were upset with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many of the people on line shared an identical story: although they had already registered to vote at a local DMV, their polling center had turned them away because their names were not listed in the official checklist. The confusion had brought a number of these people to City Hall, the only location offering same-day registration in New Haven. Due to long lines, however, many of these people were not able to register by 8:00 p.m. and, per Connecticut State law, had to be turned away by election officials like Einhorn.
Shortly after 8pm, two police cars arrived carrying six police officers to City Hall. The police officers went up to the second floor, where the same day registration was located. The reporters were stopped by a police officer at the entrance.
—Jingyi Cui and Britton O’Daly
Shubert Theater, New Haven, 8:25 p.m. — Timmy Tickey, campaign manager for deLauro, says he expects another wide margin of victory. Rocco Calo of the Teamsters, a part of Change to Win, said they have been supporting deLauro for over 30 years and added that he also expects another wide margin victory.
The venue’s attendance has increased drastically. It’s very busy here tonight, with people chatting both excitedly and casually with each other about everything from work to inside jokes to the different states’ results so far. The top floor, especially, with complimentary drinks, is bustling as energetic music plays over speakers. Everyone is friendly and, nunsurprisingly, vastly Democratic. Representatives from unions, workers from the state as well as voters and longstanding fans of deLauro are present.
Blumenthal is the projected winner of the CT Senate and Tickey also expressed hopes that Blumenthal would win his bid for re election.
New Haven Public Library, 7:55 p.m. — The polling station at New Haven Public Library is looking quite sleepy; upon entering the facility, one official was getting a head start taking down voting signs in the window. The five polling officials who manned the tables inside far outnumbered the one or two voters casting their ballots.
Since 4:45 p.m. — just under three hours ago — this location has clocked a only 34 votes, about 11 votes per hour. The total is now up to 440 ballots cast.
New Haven City Hall, 7:40 p.m. —This is the first presidential election in which Connecticut residents can register to vote on the day of the election. According to Kevin Arnold, moderator of Election Day Registration in New Haven, at least 1,500 have voted with the same day registration. The line was still long as of 7:30pm. With the estimated wait time of 90 minutes, people standing at the end of the line might not get to vote after all the waiting.
Many Yale students were in the line, holding their registration form. Some of them came because of problems with their absentee ballots.
Constance Thurmond ’19 joined the long line at 6:30 p.m. She said she had to do the same day registration because she never got her absentee ballot.
“I had classes all day so I had no choice but to come here now,” Thurmond saidd. She was still positive that she could get registered before the 8pm deadline. “The line is moving quickly,” she added. “So as long as you get registered you are fine.”
Same day registration also played an important role as a safe net. Ginny Gutierrez, a New Haven resident, who has queued for an hour already, came because their names were not listed as registered in the polling places. “We went to our poll sites and we were told that we are not on the list,” Gutierrez said. “They stated that we didn’t show up as registered voters and they told us to come here [the City Hall].”
Asked about the possibility that the people standing near the end of the line might not get registered in time, Tomas Reyes, Chief of Staff of the Mayor, said that was the risk they had to take.
Reyes said that the voter turnout increased by a significant margin from 2012. He mentioned that what was different today was that there were a lot of people early in the morning. According to him, there was a line at seven o’clock in the City Hall. “Just the fact that there were more people earlier would indicate that there were more voters overall.”
Michael Kearney ’20, waiting in the line said that there should be more same day registration centers.
—Jingyi Cui and Britton O’Daly
New Haven Hall of Public Records, 7:20 p.m. —
No lines at the Hall of Records on 200 Orange Street, but still a notable trickle of voters casting their ballots. Despite a long, tiring day, the voting officials here are impressively patient and upbeat.
Outside, volunteers distributing surveys seemed excited that their time in the cold would soon come to a close. Upon leaving the scene, they generously offered me the bulk of their left over stickers.
Shubert Theater, New Haven, 7:20 p.m. — So far between 20 and 30 supporters and friends of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D–New Haven) are here already. Her re-election event won’t happen until polls close, but there is a full bar of drinks and food, with several tables located on each of the first and second floors. A young girl is eagerly handing out Rosa stickers and buttons to supporters who enter, and a crowd is steadily gathering. The venue has retro music playing in the background and CNN live on a television monitor. Live results are coming in from another monitor and everyone is waiting expectantly for the results
New Haven Public Library, 4:45 p.m. — The occasional voter here at New Haven Public Library can almost hear a pin drop – the place is nearly empty. A registering assistant told the News that the ballot count has surpassed the approximately 300 votes cast during the April Primary; the count stood at 406 as of 4:45 p.m. He said that around 30 to 40 percent of the vote usually comes in after 5:00 p.m. for a typical polling place. However, he noted that the Library may not compare, due to the high number of Yale students allocated to this station. Officials manning the polls said that voting has slowed since noon. After some logistical confusion here earlier in the day, Yale voters were patient and persistent, the registering assistant said.
—Andrew Ballard and Laura Street
Hartford, 4:40 p.m. — Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 D-Conn, the senior senator from Connecticut, is running for reelection against Republican candidate Dan Carter.
Blumenthal, who is the former attorney general of Connecticut, was elected in 2010 with 55 percent of the vote. Carter has served for three terms in the Connecticut state House of Representatives.
As of June, Blumenthal boasted a 60 percent approval rating, and has consistently polled a comfortable 20+ points ahead of Carter. FiveThirtyEight, the poll analysis website, predicts that Blumenthal has a 99.7 percent chance of winning.
Polls close at 8 p.m. in Connecticut. Members of the press are currently setting up at the Hilton Hartford Hotel, where Blumenthal’s election night watch party will be held.
New Haven City Hall, 3:00 p.m. — At 3 p.m. lines at City Hall stretched around the second floor of the building, into the Hall of Alders.
City Hall Moderator Kevin Arnold said the city had not been keeping track of numbers of same-day registration voters but estimated that the number was close to one thousand. The number would be over one thousand by the end of the day, he said.
Voter Steve Blazo said voting had been orderly and organized even though the line was long. He said he had made time to come vote.
Kwasi Enin ’18 said it took him roughly two hours to register and vote.
“The process itself is straightforward, it’s just a long line,” Enin said.
Felicia Alvarez, a West Haven resident and first time voter, said she had been sent to two different places before being told she had to vote in West Haven. The confusion had made her ultimately give up on voting for the day, she said.
New Haven Hall of Records, 2:30 p.m. — Although the line to vote at the Hall of Records stretched down Orange Street and wrapped around far down Elm Street this morning, by 2:30 p.m. the line had shortened enough to fit inside the building.
Outside of the Hall, volunteers from New Haven Rising and the Board of Alders distributed surveys to see what residents’ top concerns for their city and neighborhoods are.
Ward 7 Alder Alberta Witherspoon, who was distributing surveys, said she was pleased with today’s voter turnout.
“People are voting and that’s a good thing,” she said. “People who never voted before are voting.”
Witherspoon said there was a slight delay at the Hall this morning and that voting did not open until just after the supposed 6 a.m. start time, but that things had otherwise progressed smoothly.
George Carter, the moderator at the Hall of Records, said the turnout was “overwhelming.” He explained that lines were longer today than in previous elections and that he had needed to bring in more officials to check voters in. Still, he said there were not enough voting booths and that people had to wait again after checking in to cast their votes.
“I only have 5 booths,” he said. “If I had more booths those folks wouldn’t be waiting.”
Wexler-Grant School, New Haven, 1:00 p.m —
“My nephew William came to vote with me today. Although I came to vote for Hillary, he came to make sure that I did. He shouted ‘vote for Hillary’ when I was filling out the ballot. I showed him the ballot that I did vote for Hillary and he was okay after that,” said Anthony Cogdell, a New Haven resident. His nephew William added “[Hillary] works harder than Donald Trump.”
New Haven Public Library, 11:30 a.m. — Since 8:00 a.m. this morning, voting has “significantly picked up pace,” a Registering Assistant, who declined to be named due to of job policy, told the News. The line to cast ballots is negligible, but — as was the case earlier this morning — many students who have changed dorms in the past year are required to complete forms to denote the change, which must then be confirmed by a phone call to the previous polling location to ensure that said student has not double voted. The same assistant told the News that the confusion manifesting itself at this location can be in part attributed to the fact that the Yale campus falls within the bounds of four different wards. The result has shown itself to be a process requiring patience.
Thus, despite growing traffic at New Haven Public Library, a large portion of voters here are facing complications. Venita Sims, a polling official who has worked this and nearby polling locations for approximately 30 years, said that this confusion is not unique to this election and is often the case when dealing with student voting in New Haven. Pablo Morrone, another official who worked the primary election in April at this same location, confirmed this, but said that he expected more of students for this particular election.
“It’s not complex mathematics,” he said about the voting process. He said he wished more people had confirmed their polling place ahead of time.
For students who have not had to deal with location complications, the voting experience is simple. The line is nonexistent. Russell Heller ’19 was one such student. He said he was in and out of the polling place without having to wait.
—Andrew Ballard and Laura Street
New Haven Public Library, 8:20 a.m. — A little over two hours after opening its doors to voters, the polling station at New Haven Public Library seems calm but confused. Lines are short to nonexistent, but the help desk is notably more crowded than the check-in desk. A voting official expressed frustration with the number of voters who appeared at the station only to discover they were designated to vote at another. He said that there was “a lot of discombobulation.” On the bright side, there looked to be a steady stream of Yalies making their way to the location — and I got three I Voted stickers.