Election Day Dispatches
Polls are now closed in the Eastern and Central time zones and elections officials are busy tallying votes. We’ll have plenty more news and information for you tomorrow morning, but for now, we’ll follow-up on some issues from polling places around the country.
We began the day with the sad news of the passing of Prince Edward County, Virginia General Registrar Dale Bolt and unfortunately we must end the day with news of the passing of Atlantic County, New Jersey elections chair Paula Dunn died today. Dunn had been sick much of the year.
As in previous reports, by-and-large it’s been a relatively smooth day, although as always there have been scattered problems reported at the polls in states from coast-to-coast.
As we noted previously, in early reports from voter ID states, there were few, if any problems with new photo ID laws, although as NPR’s Pam Fessler noted, we’ll never know about those voters who failed to show up today because they didn’t have an ID.
It is too early to have any hard results in secretary of state races and election-related ballot initiatives, but the Associated Press has called the Ohio race for incumbent Secretary of State Jon Husted and in Kansas, one local media outlet referred to the secretary of state as a dead heat.
In Colorado, which was conducting its first vote-by-mail/vote center election, the Statewide Colorado Registration and Election system needed to be rebooted due to technical problems that had slowed the vote at vote centers all day.
And to finish up our dispatches for the day, electionline wants it noted that we’ve heard far too many stories about voters not getting their “I Voted” stickers.
A complete round-up of news and information from 9:00 p.m. is below:
National News: Election problems cause delays, confusion | The weirdest and coolest polling places in America | Activists bemoan voting glitches | Stuck on You: 'I Voted' stickers are hot commodity, cool |
California: Electronic voting machine replace in Bonny Doon after it records false vote | Voting unplugged (briefly) at Marshall Elementary | Santa Clara Co. largely votes by mail | Power outage momentarily dims voting at San Fernando polling places | County elections site experiences problems throughout day | School lockdown temporarily closes polling location in Donna
Colorado: Newspaper owner told not to take photos at polling center | Amid controversy, Gessler visits Boulder Co. clerk's office | State voter verification system back online | Scattered election computer problems reported
Illinois: Touch-screen voting machines fixed in most McHenry Co. voting locations | Electronic voting machines unpopular | 5 Lake Co. polling places will remain open until 9 p.m. following lawsuit | Court says Lake Co. broke election rules | Didn't get an 'I Voted' sticker? Here's why?
Louisiana: Voting machine problems in DAs race checked | Poll problems: Machine malfunctions reported in Caddo, Bossier | Voters sent to registrar's office instead of precinct | Polling location chagnes cause confusion
Massachusetts: Man reported shot near Dorchester polling place
Montana: Voters get registered, cast ballots
New Jersey: Atlantic Co. elections chair dies on Election Day | Judges: Burlington Co. mail-in ballots can be counted | Somerset Dems challenge 17 absentee ballots | Morris Court hears few disputes between voters and polls
North Carolina: Several voting machines down in Thomasville | Election officials said not all machines were down at polling station | Glitch reported in Charlotte precinct | NC BOE holds emergency meeting; extends hours of 1 Robeson Co. precinct | State BOE reports few problems | Two-car wreck at polling site sends 2 to hospital | Robeson Co. precinct remains open till 8:15 | Wake Co. clears voters flagged as 'likely non-citizens'
South Carolina: Aiken Co. residents give mixed reviews at the polls
Texas: Voting irregularities: Jefferson Co. GOP decry voting machine problems | Voters dealing with lockdowns, broken computers at polling locations | Taylor Co. voters react to new polling places | Garage doubles as Election Day voting precinct | I voted. Where's my sticker
Virginia: Voting machine problems in Newport News, Va. Beach | State: 32 machines at 25 Va. Beach precincts had problems | Roanoke Valley voters remember to turn up with photo ID | New photo ID leads to some temporary IDs, provisional ballots
We’re late! It’s been a lot of story searching and we know we haven’t gotten everything, but here is what we have as some polls on the East Coast start to close and in other states, poll workers start looking at the clock!
The biggest news out of this installment, and there is a ton of “small” news is that a judge has ordered that two polling places in Hartford, Connecticut will remain open until 8:30 p.m., 30 minutes past the typical closing time.
And although we’re hearing some anecdotal reports of problems with voter ID, we’ve not really seen too many news reports about issues. If you have information, please let us know.
We'll be back around 9:30 p.m. Eastern and then we're going to bed.
Here is your abbreviated (in write up, but not links) update:
Arizona: Closed polling site reopens
California: Early surveys of polls show drop in turnout, fewer mail votes than 2010 | Contra Costa election site part of nationwide crash | East Bay voters trickle into polling places on Election Day | Evacuation lifted
Kansas: Reporting from the polls
Maryland: Steady lines seen at Maryland polls
New Hampshire: Derry poll worker ousted for comments
Texas: Voting machine glitch slows ballot counting at Montrose precinct | Bexar County ballot missing Greg Abbott's name appears to be photoshopped | Gregg Co. elections officials say polls are very busy | Travis Co. clerk: No problems at the polls
Wisconsin: Polls 'extremely busy' official says
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
Polls are now open from coast to coast with Alaska and Hawaii coming onboard shortly.
Voters in polling places in several different states faced lines during early morning voting. Voters in Bull Shoals, Arkansas were forced to wait almost an hour to cast their ballot due to mostly to turnout, but also to the malfunction of a voting machine.
Long ballots in Fayette County, Kentucky were contributing to long lines at polling places as voters sorted through their choices.
Technical glitches during the early morning rush delayed voters in Topeka and Shawnee County, Kansas.
In Georgia, thanks to a tightly contested race for U.S. Senate, voters were reporting longer than normal lines. During the early morning hours, vote wait times of up to 40 minutes were not uncommon. One of the more interesting problems faced voters casting ballots on the campus of Georgia Tech. While voters were told they would not be charged for parking if wearing an “I Voted” sticker, some voters complained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they were charged.
While there were several pre-election problems in Illinois, from questionable robo-calls to election judges and a last-minute lawsuit in Rock Island County, Election Day, by-and-large seems to be going smoothly although there have been some reported problems in Chicago. And in a shocking twist, a voter in Peoria complained about not getting an “I Voted” sticker.
Based on early reports, there didn’t seem to be any issues with Virginia’s new voter ID law, but there were problems with voting machines in several jurisdictions in the southern part of the state.
And in the District of Columbia, someone broke into a polling location in the Southeast section of city overnight and stole four electronic poll books. The poll books were replaced in time for voting and a spokesperson for the D.C. Board of Elections said that the voter information on the computers could not be accessed without being connected to the DCBOE’s network.
National News: Election tests new rules on voting
California: What makes a polling place in L.A.?
North Carolina: Minor voting machine problem reported at Kiser precinct
Virginia: Rep. Rigell: Voting machine problems in 2nd District | Several voters report machine errors in Hampton Roads | Voting irregularities reported in Virginia Beach | First-time Richmond voter Terry McAuliffe presents his driver's license as ID
Good morning America! Polls are open (or opening up) throughout the Eastern and Central time zones. We’ll update the listing of stories throughout the day and keep you posted via these occasional dispatches.
Of course, if anything big breaks, we’ll let you know about that as soon as possible.
Anecdotally so far things seem to be going relatively well at polling places throughout the Eastern and Central time zones, although there have been some issues.
In Prince Edward County, Virginia, General Registrar Dale Bolt passed away last night and state and other county officials are helping out. Our sincerest condolences to his family.
Voters in Hartford, Connecticut — including Gov. Dan Malloy—faced a series of problems this morning when they arrived to vote. According to the secretary of state’s office, the City of Hartford did not distribute voting lists to the polling places so it was impossible for voters to check in when they arrived.
In D.C. there are discrepancies between the voter’s guide and the Board of Elections list of polling places for one site in the Northwest section of the city. Fortunately the two sites are only a block or so apart.
Some polling sites in Caddo Parish, Louisiana got late starts because officials weren’t able to start the set up process until late yesterday when schools were let out.
Technical issues have closed four of 11 vote centers in Floyd County, Indiana. Technicians are working to correct the problems and voters do have the option of visiting one of the county’s other vote centers. All is quiet in Muncie, although there was some late set-up work.
Five Coastal Maine towns had to relocate polling places at the last minute due to a snow storm that had knocked out power to the original polling places.
And all polling places on The Big Island of Hawaii will be open today even though the schools that house the polling places may be closed do to the creeping lava flow.