Elections in the News

Mixed News

  • California (San Diego): In one polling place, “the touch-screen voting machine for disabled voters was not functioning properly. No disabled voters ended up needing it, and all voters were handed paper ballots and pens, with completed ballots being placed inside a locked box.” Also, voters complained about campaigning in support of Proposition 8 taking place closer than 100 feet from polling places. Other voters were “angry” because they were asked to show an ID, which is not required in California. In addition, similar to other places around the country, voters complained about being forced to fill provisional ballots “because they never received the mail-in ballots they requested from the county weeks ago.” In general, we noted that voters are not very confident about provisional ballots being counted at all. For instance, a San Diego voter said:

“I don’t know what the policy is for provisional ballots. I heard they just get tossed.”

He said he was handed a provisional ballot this morning when he showed up at his neighborhood precinct, but he has doubts about whether his vote will be counted.

“I’m not very confident,” Taylor said.

  • Florida (Sarasota and Manatee): “Election officials replaced eight optical scanners this morning after the machines broke down and did not record votes in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The ballots were set aside and would be counted after the polls closed, election officials say.”
  • New Jersey: “Between 8,000 and 10,000 of the New Jersey voters who registered just before the deadline had to use paper ballots instead of voting machines by 6 p.m. today because election officials could not keep up with the crush of new registrations. Other voters endured long lines and broken machines at polling places, and some sought relief in court for the right to vote.” However, officials said that problems were not significant. Also, the voting irregularities hotline received very few complaints –most “garden variety problems (…) about campaign volunteers and police officers standing too close to polling sites.” In addition, similar to what happened in Louisiana and South Carolina with DMV registrations, there were problems with those voters who registered to vote at the Motor Vehicle Commission.
  • Wisconsin (Madison and Dane): “The problems in Madison included hundreds of students whose names weren’t on the poll books even though they were registered, long lines and confusion at a new polling site, and wards with incorrect ballots.” In Dane County “police evacuated Middleton High School shortly after 3 p.m. after receiving a bomb threat and moved the school’s polling place to a nearby fire station.”

Inés and Janell