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Election Dispatches 03.01.16

Election Dispatches

8pm Update

Polls are now officially mostly closed in the nine states holding primaries today (Alaska-GOP, American Samoa-Dems, Colorado and Minnesota are holding caucuses), although some Texas polling places in the Mountain Time Zone are still open and some may still be open to accommodate voters that are still in line and one Texas  polling place was forced to stay open an additional hour.

Overall, there were no major problems on Super Tuesday, but like any election day, the day was not without glitches.

The big story coming out of most states was turnout. May Super Tuesday voting states broke early voting number records and those numbers continued to be high on Super Tuesday.

Some of Texas’ new vote center counties struggled under the volume of turnout and in Dallas, some GOP polling places were dealing with ballot shortages. And despite angry calls to a local radio station about vote-flipping, officials in Williamson County said the voting machines were working just fine.

Voters turned out in large numbers in Tennessee and were met with problems in Memphis and Knoxville. Some voters in Knox County waited in lines up to two hours. Officials blamed the long wait on turnout, long ballots and sick elections workers.

Voters coped with power outages in polling places in Alabama and Oklahoma.

In traditionally Democratic Arlington County, Virginia, the county ran out of pre-printed GOP ballots. Elections officials had to photocopy ballots in order to keep up with demand.

Alabama: Voting continues in Green Hill despite power outage  

Arkansas: Few issues reported at Northwest Arkansas polling sites | Turnout brisk at Saline Co. poll sites  

Georgia: Voter turnout steady in Ga., no widespread problems | Kemp visits Rockdale elections office  

Massachusetts: Amherst voters weigh in on candidates; bake sale awaits hungry electorate | Ballots and backrubs in Bridgewater on Super Tuesday  

Oklahoma: Sterling voters cast ballots in the dark | Oklahomans flock to the polls  

Tennessee: Sullivan voting machine issue just a small hiccup on Super Tuesday | Voting machines go down at South Knoxville polling place | Morning rush, stead turnout in Burns and White Bluff | Early morning voting problems in Hixson | Franklin precincts seeing lines out the door, record numbers | East Tennesseans pack the polling places on Super Tuesday | Spring Hill precincts see steady stream of voters, after-work rush expected | Problems plague voters at East Memphis polling location | 'Ballots may total 30K' in Johnson Co. | Voters frustrated after problems at polls | Sick election workers, more voters and a long ballot are causing people in Knox Co. to wait as long as two hours to vote  

Texas: Rage Against The Machine: Some claim voting sites switching votes | Dallas Republicans scrambling for more ballots as GOP voter turnout 'through the roof' | Official: Wilco machines working fine, despite radio-show callers' beef | County officials report long lines at vote centers | Voters report ballot shortage in Bell Co. | Gregg Co. polls see brisk turnout | New polling places pose challenges for some voters | Judge assaulted at voting location | Concho Co. Dems limited to one voting site | Long lines greet Bexar Co. voters  

Vermont: Condos says no significant problems being reported  

Virginia: First time voters cast ballots in primary | Confusion in Prince William over new polling places | Arlington Co. runs out of preprinted GOP ballots | Voter turnout starts to pick up in Hampton Roads | Super Tuesday voting in Botetourt so far is not super | Ashland man killed in crash was election officer on way to polling place | Voter unhappy with Augusta Co. ADA compliance | Election leaders replace polling location destroyed by Appomattox tornado  

*Alaska (GOP), America Samoa (Dems), Colorado and Minnesota are all holding caucuses. 

4pm Update

Voting continued through the lunch hour and into the afternoon in the nine states holding primary elections today (Alaska-GOP, America Samoa (Dems), Colorado and Minnesota are holding caucuses) and while there were reports of high turnout and scattered problems, there did not seem to be any major issues.

In Alabama, Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed told the Montgomery Advertiser there were early morning reports of voting machine malfunctions in two precincts. Voters continued to cast ballots on other voting machines. There were also reported issues with voters voting for too many candidates and voting machines were rejecting those ballots.

Things seemed to running smoothly in many of Texas’ voting centers including in Lubbock County where more than 6,000 voters had cast ballots by mid-day. Although in Hidalgo County, one polling place will remain open for an additional hour under authorization from a state judge since the polling place had a delayed opening. Election monitors in Houston were reporting cases of confusion over where voters were supposed to cast ballots because the county splits the polling places between parties.

In Virginia, there were no reports of problems with the state’s new voting machines or voter ID law, but some Roanoke voters experienced confusion over newly drawn precinct lines and in Richmond, voters expressed concerns about their completed ballots being stuffed into duffle bags—according to General Registrar Kirk Showalter, poll workers could not find the key to the room with the ballot counting machine so the ballots were temporarily placed in a duffle bag.

National: Scatter problems at polling sites  

Alabama: Minor glitches at some polling places | Voting steady; Lawrence turnout could hit 40 percent | Alabamavotes.gov up and down  

Arkansas: Voters head to the polls across state | Voting delayed at state precinct | Rain greets voters | Rain ending on primary day | Primary election drawing voters to the polls, one problem reported  

Georgia: Some Lowndes Co. residents report problems in the voting booth | Glitches cause voter frustration | Lee Co. voter turnout shocking poll workers | Voting starting to pick up after slow start | Rockdale Co. polling place moved due to possible norovirus outbreak  

Massachusetts: Early voting turnout heavy in Wareham, new voting machines working well |  Carver polls busy, but a bit confusing on Super Tuesday | Some eager Easthampton voters head to the polls early | Worcester County voters head out to the polls | Did Bill Clinton violate election rules by venturing into a polling location?  

Oklahoma: Grayson Co. election officials expect a big turn out  

Tennessee: Madison Co. residents vote in primaries | A few hiccups kick off election day | Voting issues reported in Shelby Co. |  Election Day voters' stream steady | MoCo voting 'business as usual'  

Texas: Turnout 'through the roof' at some polling places | Some election day hiccups | Problems reported on Texas secretary of state website | No hiccups reported, more than 6,200 votes cast at Lubbock Co. voting centers | Weslaco voting hiccup will delay closing polls in one location | Delayed start at Weslaco polling location | This year, 'I voted' stickers in Dallas Co. include which party you voted for | Travis Co. clerk: Turnout on pace to see as many as 130K voters |  Houston voters see confusion over polling sites

Virginia: Virginia voter handed ballot that was already filled out | Roanoke's new voting precinct alignment causing some confusion, registrar says | Raising funds at Fairfax Co. polling place | Marshall temporary polling place working well | State board of elections: No reports of problems |  Thousands expected to vote at Albermarle Co. school polling places   

*Alaska (GOP), America Samoa (Dem), Colorado, and Minnesota are holding caucuses.

11:30 a.m. update

Polls are now open in all nine Super Tuesday states (Alaska, America Samoa, Colorado and Minnesota are holding caucuses).

By and large things have been fairly quiet this morning. Several precincts in Tulsa experienced technical difficulties with voting machines though and some voters were improperly turned away instead of being offered an emergency ballot. Tulsa County election board Assistant Secretary Martha Bales told the Tulsa World that the elections worker had received the proper training but, "Sometimes when they get out to the precincts, they just seem to forget some of the information," she said. 

Also in Shelby County, Tennessee machines at two precincts were not working shortly after the polls opened, but the problems have already been resolved.

Some polling places in Tennessee were reporting long lines during morning voting. “The lines are already very long,” Administrator of Elections Susan Hughes told The Daily Times. “Everything seems to be going well. We have had a few voters complain about the machines, but there is not much we can do about that right now. They are what they are.”

Heavy interest was impacting the Travis County, Texas election website early on Super Tuesday. The county was using the local media to remind voters that there are alternative sites to find polling and voting information. Alabamavotes.gov, the state’s official election website was also experiencing heavy traffic early on Tuesday.

Although it’s still early, elections officials in Georgia are keeping their eyes on the sky as the National Weather Service is saying there is a possibility for severe storms between 4pm and 7pm, just when voting is expected to wrap up.

Alabama: Alabama primary election turnout could surpass recent high| Alabama first to offer online military voting | Alabamavotes.gov slammed by high traffic

Georgia: Georgia voters head to polls in big numbers | The polls are open in Georgia, here's what to watch | Super Tuesday arrives  | Severe storms possible in final hours of voting | Stronger turnout than anticipated | Short lines and quick voting  

Massachusetts: Super Tuesday primary voting 'steady' in Westfield, West Springfield

Oklahoma: Multiple Tulsa precincts experience technical difficulties Tuesday morning  

Tennessee: Long lines at Blount County voting locations | Robertson polls open to waiting voters | Sumner Co. voting lines form early | Polls are open in Cheatham Co. | Polls are open for Tennessee's primaries; 2 minor issues fixed | Heavy turnout at Rutherford Co. polls for Super Tuesday | Austinville precincts 'busy' | Voting disrupted by lockdown situation    

Texas: Primary day live blog | Travis Co. elections website impacted by high volume |  Super Tuesday voting underway in San Antonio | GOP voters overwhelm North Dallas polling place, but turnout sparse in other spots    

Vermont: Vermont's Town Meeting Day and Super Tuesday  

Virginia: Record turnout possible | Steady turnout reported so far  

* Alaska (GOP), America Samoa (Dem), Colorado and Minnesota are holding caucuses.