Flint, MI— The power went out at Freeman Elementary, a Flint polling location, for about three hours during the middle of Election Day. But poll workers said it did not deter the voting process. 

Around 2 p.m., Freeman Elementary and the surrounding neighborhood lost power. Poll workers were able to secure a generator for the ballot machine. 

“We still had a steady flow of voters. The process was slower,” Jason Rogers, a first-time poll worker said.

Voters used their phone flashlights to read and fill out their ballots. 

“[We] were close to panicking a little bit…it was different. I did this a couple of times but never in the dark,” Swe’z Townsend said, a fourth-time poll inspector.

Voters were patient and understanding, Townsend added. 

“People were just status quo. They were intent on voting even it meant voting in the dark. I didn’t hear any complaints. It was more a sense of sympathy about what we doing and trying to service them in these conditions,” Rogers said.

Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Faith Church Christopher Martin livestreamed on Facebook about the incident. 

“It’s kind of funny that we would have a power outage on the south side in good weather on Election Day. Anybody think that’s kind of weird?” he asked viewers. 

He said he called Congressmen Dan Kildee who worked to get generators to the elementary school. Martin encouraged Ninth Ward residents to keep voting. 

Power was restored around 5 p.m. It is still unclear what caused the outage. 

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...