Election Day: Mariachi bands play for voters waiting in line
LOS ANGELES - Amid an unusual Election Day, mariachi bands in multiple states were keeping spirits high by playing for voters as they waited in line to cast their ballots.
A mariachi band serenaded voters at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as they lined up at the polling site. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, an immigrants’ rights organization, arranged for the band to play in celebration of newly naturalized citizens voting for the first time in the United States.
In Denver, Colorado, a mariachi band opened Election Day outside the Denver Elections Division building with a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."
“This is how @MileHighClerk opens the polls!” tweeted Denver Elections, alongside a video of the musicians. “36 Vote Centers and 38 24-Hour Ballot Boxes are open until 7pm in Denver. Let’s get those ballots back!”
Minor problems occur every election, and Tuesday was no different. There were long lines and sporadic reports of polling places opening late, along with equipment issues in counties in Ohio, Texas and Georgia. This was all expected given voter enthusiasm, the decentralized nature of U.S. elections and last-minute voting changes brought on by the pandemic.
At least 101.9 million people had already voted before Election Day, about 73 percent of the nearly 139 million who cast ballots in 2016, according to data collected by The Associated Press. Given that a few states, including Texas, had already exceeded their total 2016 vote count, experts were predicting record turnout this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.