Voters on BU campus lacking direction? Yes, but a well-posted sign would help

The sign outside the 111 Cummington Mall polling station, with an arrow point straight down the hall instead of around the corner, causing confusion. Photo by Jenny Rollins / BU News Service

By Jenny Rollins
BU News Service

This article was published as part of “Ground Truthing the Midterms,” a reporting project from the GroundTruth Project, the Google News Initiative and the Society of Professional Journalists.

BOSTON – Local voters were seen meandering through the halls of 111 Cummington Mall, the Math and Computer Science building on Boston University campus, turning to the people around them to ask where the polling station is.

Multiple sources confirmed that they did not see the sign on one of the outside doors of the building and wandered through the halls searching for the room, tucked around a corner near the exit.

Although they did eventually locate the room, some expressed that they were frustrated that there were not clearer directions.

“I’m a BU student, so I knew where Cummington was, and I walked in and there were no signs anywhere, so I was wandering around for quite a bit trying to find the poll,” Caroline Vigna, 22, said.

However, some voters had no problem finding the room at all using the room number, like 20-year-old Layth Hert.

Despite the difficulty in finding the room, the warden precinct election supervisor Mark D. Trachtenberg said that this particular polling station has been extraordinarily active, citing 178 votes around 1:30 p.m.

“This is as busy as it’s ever been in a midterm election,” he said.

As far as the difficulty of locating the room, he said, “that’s not a problem.”

Instead, he said the biggest issue the staffers encounter is people who go to school or work at Boston University showing up to vote at this polling station rather than their own assigned station, like 24-year-old BU graduate student Isabella Muratore.

Although 20-year-old Sofia Koyama was turned away because the location had been set based on her old address, she says the staff helped her locate her actual polling station and were “very helpful and patient.”

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