BronxVotes: People Waited Up to 90 Minutes to Vote in Parkchester

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Michelle Ortiz, 51, is a probation officer, waited nearly two hours to vote for Hillary Clinton in Parkchester.

William Mathis

Michelle Ortiz, 51, is a probation officer, waited nearly two hours to vote for Hillary Clinton in Parkchester.

Nearly 200 people stood for over an hour and a half in a line that wound through the paths of the Parkchester North Condominiums.

“We got here at 5 a.m. and the lines are never stopping,” said Dawn Carr-Harris, 57, who has worked polls at the location for the last 10 years. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

Despite frustrations, some people said the opportunity to vote was worth the wait.

Monica Barimah, 57, a home-health aide, traced the line backward as it wound through the apartment complex courtyard and took her place at the end.

“I’m hungry, but I want to vote so I’m going to join the line,” she said with a smile. “I don’t want to miss my first time to vote.”

Barimah immigrated from Ghana four years ago and was sworn in as a citizen on April 22.

“I’m so happy, I’m so proud of that, to swear in,” she said as she brought up a picture on her cell phone of herself holding an American flag at her citizenship ceremony. “I want to vote because I’m a citizen.”

“I’ve been here almost an hour now, and I still have almost an hour left,” said Will Lane, 60, a high-rise construction worker.

“For us in this neighborhood to wait this long, we kind of feel like it’s a setup. It’s all about discouraging us,” Lane said. “But am I discouraged? No, I want to make a difference.”

He said he hopes the next president helps create jobs and improves relationships between people in the city and the police.

“When we were kids we had the neighborhood cop, he knew the community,” Lane said. “I’m hopeful my vote might make a difference.”

Michelle Ortiz, 51, a probation officer, was leaving after waiting nearly two hours to cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton.

Ortiz said this election was particularly important for women, with her 8-year-old niece at her side.

“What’s at stake is the future of our children,” she said. “We got young girls growing up, we don’t want to set ourselves back to the 1930s.”

An afternoon on line was a small price to pay.

“I’ve been voting all my life. I just feel it’s my right , it’s my voice,” Ortiz said. “It was worth the wait.”

Monica Barimah, 57, is an immigrant from Ghana and voted for the first time this election after receiving citizenship in April.

William Mathis

Monica Barimah, 57, is an immigrant from Ghana and voted for the first time this election after receiving citizenship in April.

Will Lane, 60, (right) works construction on high rises. His friend, Dennis Ortiz, 59, (left) is a counselor at Montefiore Wellness Center.

William Mathis

Will Lane, 60, (right) works construction on high rises. His friend, Dennis Ortiz, 59, (left) is a counselor at Montefiore Wellness Center.

City Limits is partnering with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on covering Election 2016 in the Bronx.

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