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Milwaukee voters talk delays at polling station: 'I never had to wait this long'

If you voted at Riverview Apartments, you may have found yourself stuck in long lines.
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Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 09, 2022

Although turnout was down in Milwaukee County, that didn't prevent long lines from forming at some polling sites.

If you voted at Riverview Apartments, you may have found yourself stuck in long lines.

RELATED: Long lines, cramped conditions reported at Milwaukee polling location, TMJ4 confirms

Our cameras rolled as people stood in long lines that wound down hallways, and up four flights of stairs.

"Every turn was a surprise," said Maggie Garvey, as she waited to vote.

Garvey said she immediately wished she did things differently.

"Oh crap, why didn't I early register, and I will never make that mistake again," Garvey sighed.

"I never had to wait this long this is a new thing," said Sarah Koenig.

So, why did this happen?

Long lines, cramped conditions reported at Milwaukee polling location, TMJ4 confirms
Long line at Milwaukee polling location

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said it's due to many reasons.

"Probably more in-person registration as well, which may have backed up the system," Christenson said.

That was the case at Riverview Apartments.

That long line was for unregistered voters. Those who were already registered were in and out in about 25 minutes.

"If you have a lot of people registering in person, it can take a while," Christenson said.

He said it typically takes anywhere between 10-15 minutes to get someone registered.

In Wauwatosa, some people waited more than an hour to cast a ballot, for similar reasons.

The clerk told TMJ4 he needed more electronic poll books and people to run it.

RELATED: Milwaukee County voter turnout plummets in 2022 compared to 2018

Even with long lines, Christenson said voter turnout was lower in Milwaukee County, coming in at 68%. That's down from 79% in 2018.

"I would hope to have more people come out," Christenson said.

He's hopeful turnout will increase in the next election cycle.

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