Election Day Live: Obama Called Winner, Big Night for Drug Reform
Continued from previous page
On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, hundreds of voters waited on the sidewalk and packed into a gym at Public School 163. Voters had to wait in different lines to determine their election district, to get a ballot, to fill out the ballot and to get the ballot scanned. The process took an hour. There was no help for the disabled, and people grew increasingly upset.
Across the storm-damaged region on Monday, bleary-eyed, disheveled residents drove long distances and waited in long lines at government offices to cast early ballots, and many said voting felt like an important step back toward normalcy.
On Tuesday, the line to vote at an East Village polling station extended half a block down First Avenue and rapidly built westward on Ninth Street. By 8:40 a.m. at least 175 people were patiently reading papers, manipulating smartphones and drinking coffee, advancing not even a foot a minute.
12:21 PM: Voters are reporting long lines around the country. In Virginia, a crucial swing state, there were early reports of long waits that may have discouraged people from voting.
The Election Awareness project, operated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, received this complaint from a woman in Virginia:
Voter is frustrated because she has been standing in line to vote for two hours. The polling place does not have enough machines to accommodate the number of people that they knew would be voting today. She thinks this is a voter intimindation problem. The polling place is in a minority neighborhood with lots of elderly and single mothers. People are leaving the polls because they have to vote - "something has to be done". Outrageous. She wants something to be done about this polling place. Salem Middle School - Virginia Beach, VA (near Lynn Haven Parkway).
The Wall Street Journal writes that some Virginians were discouraged by the long lines:
At nearby Stonewall Jackson High School, some people went away without voting Tuesday morning due to long lines, said Amy Myers, who works with Organizing for America and was standing outside the polling site telling voters she could help with problems. “We had some people say they waited an hour and 15 minutes,” Ms. Myers said. “And lots of people walk away because they can’t wait that long.” After 9 a.m., she said the lines appeared to be moving faster.
A commentor on a sports blog who said they were from Arlington, Virginia, observed the following:
My voting station was a couple of blocks away at an elementary school. The line was wrapped around the playground... after waiting in line in the 35-degree temperatures outside, we finally got inside, where the line meandered around the gym like a line at Disney World.
More than a two hour wait. This is a very heavy 'Democratic-leaning' area, and four years ago I only waited about 45 minutes. So I'm interested in what this turn out means. I guess we'll find out.
A few other glitches in the state according to the AP and CBSDC:
Power outages briefly disrupted voting at at least three polling places in Eastern Henrico. Dominion Power says all electricity was restored by 7:41 a.m.
In Spotsylvania, election official John Adams says one precinct had machines available only for one of two congressional districts. Additional machines were brought in.
The Grayson County Voter Registrar’s office says a poll worker made a mistake setting up voting machines at one precinct.
Malfunctioning ballot counting machines were reported at a polling place in Newport News.