WEST LAFAYETE, Ind. (WLFI) - Mackey Arena opened its doors Wednesday for the first time as an early voting center on Purdue University's campus.
Mackey was the first and only early voting site at Purdue. Nearly 1,300 people voted, according to staff at the polls.
A line of voters wrapped all the way around Mackey Wednesday morning. They were required to be socially distanced and were encouraged to wear masks.
"The line looked a lot worse than it actually was," said senior Stephanie Roth. "It was wrapped around half of Mackey. I would say it only took me 30-45 minutes in line and then casting a ballot once I got inside was really quick.
Anna Adamsson, a student leader for Purdue's civic enagement and leadership development office, said Mackey was an ideal location for voting in the era of COVID-19.
"There's so much space there to really be able to spread people out and to be able to have enough voting stations so that people can come in and out relatively quickly," she said.
Barbara Knochel, the site supervisor for the Tippecanoe County Election Board, said poll workers ran into issues checking in newly registered voters.
"There are a lot of people registered at the very last minute and there's a timing issue, and people are coming in before everything is totally updated in the system," she said. "So we're having to do a little manual override to get them in, but their vote is being counted and we are taking them. It's just a little bit slower."
Voters can cast ballots near Purdue's campus this Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas and Faith West Community Center. A full list of early voting locations is available on the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections website.