Election Day Voting Marred By Lots of Glitches, Some Disenfranchising Voters
(Editor's Note: This is a comprehensive list of voting problems as of 2:30 PM EST compiled by ElectionLine.org. The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which runs a national election protection hotline, reported at its 3 PM EST news conference that the biggest problems are in Georgia, where upwards of 40,000 individuals who registered in grassroots drives did not find their names on polling place lists.)
Polls are now open everywhere but in Guam (4 p.m. Eastern). As with earlier dispatches, by-and-large voting continues to go smoothly from coast to coast but of course there have been some issues.
As we reported earlier election judges in Illinois received “malicious” robocalls over the weekend and according to local news reports more than 100 election judges failed to show up for duty and the city had to employ 250 stand-by judges. Chicago Board of Election Commissioners Chairman Langdon Neal said the reliance on stand-by judges shouldn’t impact the election.
We’ve had our first report of a gun at a polling place. A voter in Shelby County, Alabama was arrested for openly carrying a holstered pistol into a polling place. The voter, a member of a gun rights group, encountered a sheriff’s deputy in the hallway and ultimately surrendered his weapon to the deputy. All polling places have signs posted that prohibit guns.
In Connecticut, fallout from the late opening at Hartford polls continues. Gov. Dan Malloy, who is on the ballot for re-election, has asked a judge to keep the polling places in Hartford open until 9 p.m.
There are reports out of several jurisdictions in Wisconsin about long lines due to the heavy turnout. There have been no reports of issues with the state’s on-again, off-again voter ID law.
Although the secretary of state’s office is predicting a low voter turnout statewide, officials in Saint Louis County, Missouri had to print additional paper ballots as polling places reported shortages. The elections office typically plans for 15 percent of voters at each polling place to request paper ballots, but according to Rita Days, Democratic director of elections, for some reason more voters were choosing paper.
As with every election there have been a hodgepodge of unexpected issues affecting voting. In Tucson, Arizona a gas leak closed one polling place. Los Angeles County, California voters were evacuated from a polling place after a bomb threat. In Brentwood, Pennsylvania, a small fire in a polling place caused a bit of a scare that closed the polls for about 40 minutes. And in Volusia County, Florida there was a report of an attempted abduction outside of a polling place.
More stories are below:
National News: Ga., Conn.: Voting irregularities reported on Election Day
Alabama: Birmingham precinct gains extra voters after another polling place is vandalized | Pelham voter wearing holstered pistol arrested at church polling site | Florence polling site loses power for brief time, all restored now
Arizona: Gas leak closes polling place
Florida: Miami-Dade counting absentee ballots; precinct changes confuse voters | Possible attempted abduction outside Volusia polling place | Shorter lines at polls on Election Day in central Florida | Voting hits one early snag in West Palm Beach, smooth elsewhere | Incomplete midterm election ballot found in Broward voting precinct
Indiana: Machine malfunction makes for rocky start at South Bend polling place | From the polls: Experiences of voters, candidates and poll workers | Election report: Additional voting machines sent to poll centers | Marion Co. reports no major problems on Election Day
Minnesota: Yes, you can take a picture of your ballot
New York: Polling machine rejects Schneiderman's writing, frustration ensues | What voters think of new technology tested in three CNY polling places | Sparse morning turnout on Staten Island for Election Day 2014 | Bad batch of ballots forces hand counting in New Hartford
North Carolina: 400 volunteers monitor polling places
Pennsylvania: Voting machines go down in Maxatawny precinct | 27 vote in wrong race in Fayette Co.| Philly DA says election fraud investigators out in full force | Fire, smoke cause scare at local polling place
Rhode Island: North Kingstown polling place sees busy morning
Wisconsin: Voting is brisk, lines at most polls | Dozens of voters mistake Zeidler building as their polling place | Heavy turnout reported in early voting across NE Wisconsin | 'Hectic' election day seeing few problems at Winnebago polls