UCLA students face waits of more than 2 hours to cast ballots at campus vote centers

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Students at UCLA were met with long lines and over two-hour waits Tuesday as issues with electronic poll machines slowed down voting at campus centers.

Many students were taking advantage of same-day voter registration, which caused a slow-down with the electronic poll books that are also used by registered voters, according to Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office spokesman Mike Sanchez.

The registrar’s office said it helped with speeding up the machines and also delivered new ones after finding out about the issue.

Video showed long lines wrapping around the university’s Ackerman Union building and the Hammer Museum, where students have until 8 p.m. to cast their votes.

“We have been trying to add capacity on campus, but are not being permitted to set up outside,” Dean Logan of the registrar’s office tweeted in a response to online complaints about long waits at the campus.

Logan said this is the first year that voting and same-day registration were allowed on campus.

Rafael Návar, the Bernie Sanders campaign’s California state director, called for UCLA to allow mobile vote centers.

“Lines are almost 2 hours long for students who need to go to class,” Návar tweeted. “Please resolve this ASAP to ensure all students are able to vote.”

Voters were also met with long lines at centers at USC and Santa Monica College, according to Návar.

Bernie spokeswoman Anna Bahr said volunteers were handing out pizzas to voters at the campuses “to encourage them to stay in line and cast their ballots.”

Sanchez said the issues at UCLA all stemmed from the poll devices and he was not aware of any problems with the voting machines.

Outside UCLA’s Ackerman building, one student with an “I voted” sticker on her shirt said she saw some people being told to head to the Hammer Museum, where the one-hour wait was shorter, but she waited a long time in line to cast her vote at Ackerman.

“Worth it,” she said.

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