Election 2004

Election Protection Watch

Look here for updates on voter intimidation, turnout, exit polls from these crucial battleground states. REPORTED NOW: Election Protection News in PA, OH, FL
Note: These are listed at PST times.

As reported by Election Protection:

This is a summary from some of the calls to the Election Protection Hotline, 1-866-OUR VOTE, and some of the reports from the field.

ARIZONA – 8 p.m.

Election Protection received a report from Pima County, Ariz. of a people wearing "U.S. Constitutional Enforcement" shirts harassing Rep. Grijalva supporters and asking voters for ID. This is most likely Russ Dove, whom we covered in our Barriers to Voting report.

PENNSYLVANIA – 8 p.m.

A first-time voter in Philadelphia reported that she asked for assistance on the machine and the poll worker pushed the button for the candidate he wanted her to vote for, but did not tell her how to take it off. When she asked him to show her how to change it, she reports that he saw that she was trying to vote for a different candidate and the poll worker yelled out her choice when she would not vote for the other candidate.

In a polling place in Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, electronic machines were down at one point but when a voter filled in a paper ballot, a poll worker said that the ballots would not be counted because they were not properly sealed.

MICHIGAN – 8 p.m.

One Election Protection volunteer from Flint, Mich. reports that when the box for collecting ballots was filled to capacity, the election poll president came to the front of the building and announced that the poll was closed. The volunteer reports that many voters are frustrated; when the volunteer called the city clerk's office, they were of no assistance – the precinct is simply overwhelmed.

FLORIDA – 8 p.m.

In Broward County in Florida, two voters complained that when they tried to select for Kerry, the electronic machine kept selecting for Bush. After several tries they were able to select their chosen candidate.

NEW MEXICO – 8 p.m.

In Bernalillo County, N.M., a number of voters reported that when they attempted to select for Kerry the electronic machine selected the libertarian presidential candidate instead. After several tries and notifying poll workers, they were able to record their chosen candidate but they expressed concern about the accuracy of the machines.

OHIO — 3:00 p.m.

As reported by Election Protection:

This is a summary from some of the calls to the Election Protection Hotline, 1-866-OUR VOTE, and some of the reports from the field. Election Protection has received 53,000+ plus calls as of 1:30 pm EST.


In Toledo, Election Protection coalition lawyers won a lawsuit overturning Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's ruling that voters who did not receive their absentee ballots in time should be turned away from the polls. Instead, any such voters statewide can cast provisions ballots. We are urging broadcasters to send that message that voters turned away earlier in the day can return to the polls to cast a ballot.

In Cincinnati, two precincts report running out of ballots by 4:00 p.m. - hours before the polls close. Another precinct in Cincinnati has reported running out of styluses to punch the punch card ballots – they are trying to use paper clips.

PENNSYLVANIA — 3:00 p.m.

As reported by Election Protection:

In Philadelphia, many voters reported getting recoded phone calls from a Bill Clinton impersonator, urging them to vote on Nov. 3.

FLORIDA — 3:00 p.m.

In Orlando, poll watchers saw a disturbing pattern in several of the predominantly minority precincts. People were leaving the polls without voting after waiting in line for two hours only to be placed in another two hour (or longer) line for affidavits, provisional ballots or other non-specified reasons for being on a "must call Election Supervisor's office" list.

In Palm Beach, lawyers reported two persistent problems: the inability to fix voting machines that go down; and convincing officials to allow people to vote on paper ballots if the wait is too long. Palm Beach also reported that many voters were not aware that their polling locations were changed due to hurricanes; that voters and advocates could not reach the supervisors office; that voting machines running on batteries lost power and lost votes; that provisional ballots were not being provided, and that voters who went to the precincts where they voted in previous elections were sent to different far-off precincts after long wait, then sent back to their original precinct.

In Tallahassee, people were given blue pens to fill out ballots with instructions that only black pens should be used. The manager of the Killearn Country Club admitted to allowing Bush supporters to demonstrate at the polling place at the club, but forcing Kerry supporters to leave with escorts. EP lawyers informed him the action was illegal.


Stories of phone calls from people impersonating Bill Clinton, or an African-American woman, or a member of the Teamsters, continue to pour in. These calls either tell voters to remember to vote on Nov. 3 or tell them that their polling location has changed, and give them a false location. Such phone calls are being reported in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin among others.

EP has received a report from West Palm Beach, Fla. of poll workers telling a voter they are not handling Hispanics, blacks or Asians. This is the second incident of this type from West Palm Beach.

EP received a report from a poll watcher in Tallahassee, Fla. alleging that a poll worker in Wakulla Springs told an African American man that he could not vote if his child support was not current. The voter then left the precinct without voting.

OHIO – 1:11 p.m.

Judge Rules Media Allowed to Conduct Exit Polling in Ohio

The AP reports that "a federal judge ruled that exit polling can be conducted within 100 feet of a polling place on Election Day in Ohio. Judge Michael H. Watson's ruling on Monday night overturned an October directive by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to prohibit exit polling within the 100-foot boundary. Five networks — ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox News and NBC — and The Associated Press had sued on Monday to block Blackwell's order. The organizations said the rule would have hindered their ability to gather information about the political process and would violate constitutional guarantees of free speech."

*****

OHIO – 12:45 p.m.

Franklin, Delaware, Cuyahoga, and Lucas counties in Ohio all have numerous complaints of equipment malfunction.

At 1393 E. Broad Street, Franklin County, Ohio reports are of a 3-hour line to vote. Only 3 of 5 machines working. Reports of hour-long or greater lines throughout county are pouring in.

"State inspectors" in Ohio are reportedly taking names of people at the door. Then they go inside and have to be checked off another two times. Really slowing down the lines.

Many security guards and poll workers in Cuyahoga county are reportedly demanding signatures from everyone before handing out ballots.

The hotline has recently received a glut of calls from Ohio complaining about, among other things, long lines and inadequately staffed polling stations. Many callers have telephoned complaints about EPVC # 10 in Cuyahoga County, where voters have been unable to park and lines are reported to be over two hours long. One caller noted that the three precincts that are voting at this station have been divided into three lines. The lines for the two less-populated precincts (1a and 3b) are moving more rapidly than the line for the third precinct (2a); this caller felt that there may be partisan motives behind the delay. One caller reported a rumor that the precinct judge had quit earlier in the morning.

Similar problems have been reported by callers in other polling stations in Cuyahoga County, and in polling stations in Summit, Franklin, Hamilton, and Mahoning Counties. Callers from many of these counties report that lines are long, crowd control is poor, disabled voters are being denied access, and voters are routinely leaving the sites without voting. One caller from Franklin County reports that poll workers are pressuring voters to hurry, and are denying requests for assistance with electronic voting machines. Another caller from Summit County reported that elderly voters with disabilities, carrying oxygen tanks, are standing in the long lines. One caller in Lucas County complained about the lack of privacy for people filling out their ballots; the caller claimed that it is very easy to see who other people are voting for – when she filled out her ballot, one person looked over at her and gave her a thumbs up.

FLORIDA – 12:45 p.m.

As reported by Election Protection:

This is a summation from some of the calls to the Election Protection Hotline, 1-866-OUR VOTE, and some of the reports from the field.

In Pinellas County, Fla. callers report that individuals purporting to be from the Kerry campaign are going door-to-door handing out absentee ballots, and asking voters to fill them out, and then taking the ballots from them, saying "Vote here for Kerry. Don't bother going to the polls."

A field attorney in Miami-Dade, Florida, reports that the wait at one precinct is over 3 hours. That attorney also reports that twelve cars with disabled voters have been waiting for over two hours to be able to vote, and that only two poll workers have been assisting the disabled voters, which has led to this delay.

*****

PENNSYLVANIA – 12:45 p.m.

As reported by Election Protection:

This is a summation from some of the calls to the Election Protection Hotline, 1-800-OUR VOTE, and some of the reports from the field.

So far, 7,500 problems were reported in Philadelphia, mostly regarding polling places opening late and broken machines.

However, there have been 41 voter intimidation reports, including reports of suspected off-duty police and GOP operatives going around in a van in small teams. When they arrive at a polling place, they reportedly pull random people out of line and ask them questions like "Where do you live?" "When did you become a citizen?" and "When did you register?" As soon as EP people confront them about this activity, they flee.

A caller in Pennsylvania has alleged that Republican Party operatives are engaging in partisan activity inside a polling location – handing out literature, trying to persuade people into voting for Bush.

The hotline recently received a call from a woman in Philadelphia who has a van full of disabled voters. She states that the polling station is inaccessible, and that the judge in the polling station is refusing to provide paper ballots.

******

OHIO – 11:30 a.m.

Deanna Zandt, who is in the Election Protection offices in Columbus, Ohio reports that some precincts are reporting a 80% turnout rate in Columbus. Some of the precincts, she reports, have a 3+ hour-long wait.

Deanna says that there have been reports from election protection officials that there is some voter intimidation going on. She has heard that groups of Republican-backed intimidators have been walking up and down voter lines, misleading voters about their eligibiity to vote and telling them that they need to vote in another precinct.
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