By Juan Mendoza
East Hollywood residents joined the lines like millions of voters across the country on Nov. 3.
Officials opened the doors exactly at 7 a.m. on Tuesday where a couple of people were waiting outside for a few minutes in front of the L.A. City College Vote Center.
There was a chill in the morning air, and the early voters appeared excited because finally, the day had come. They were looking forward to the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
The toxic environment created over the last few months by political rhetoric caused voters to mistrust the mail-in ballot choice.
“This is my first time to vote, and I just got my citizenship this year and I’m really excited to practice my right as an American citizen,” said John Cardona who is a new immigrant from the Philippines. ”I care about job security, and to end poverty. And after the election I would like to see more unity between people.”
Voters would come and go all day at the Vote Center which was located in the Student Union Building. There was no waiting, no lines, no protestors nor anyone to harass voters. Everything moved in the right direction throughout the day.
It was a different scene just eight months earlier at the election primaries in March. Voters waited in line for a least 20 to 30 minutes to cast their ballot.
“We have no lines and people are not waiting because the majority of voters sent their ballot by mail or vote early,” said a poll worker who did not want to be identified.
More than 100 million votes had already been cast by Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.
Election Day generated fear among some City College students like Daryl Jim Diaz who is working on a certificate in Elementary/Intermediate Japanese. He believes L.A. County wanted to protect the integrity of the election and didn’t want votes to be tampered with.
“I’m nervous about election day. It stresses me out,” Diaz said. “I am nervous that our current president will find a way to cheat the system. We know politics can be corrupt. He doesn’t want to give out a second stimulus check to the American people unless he is president again … That says a lot.”