November 4th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Undervotes reported in Palm Beach County, Florida

 Voters in Florida wait to cast their ballots Tuesday morning, despite problems at some polling stations.
Voters in Florida wait to cast their ballots Tuesday morning, despite problems at some polling stations.

West Palm Beach (CNN) - Florida's Palm Beach County is reporting problems at a couple of polling stations: so-called "undervotes," where machines reject ballots because some voters are not filling out the second page of the ballot, a spokesman for the county Board of Elections confirmed. The page contains proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution.

The spokesman said these undervotes are legal. The scanner spits the ballot back and reminds the voter to vote on the second page, the spokesman said, adding that the voter then has the choice of voting or registering the undervote.

Watch: Floridians vote

He said in some cases people simply forget to fill out the second page, but most voters seem to be intentionally skipping that part of the ballot.

The town of Palm Beach is also reporting minor sporadic voter machine failures, the spokesman said. A handful of machines had to be replaced.

One polling station in the county opened one hour late because of a problem with their precinct voting list.


Filed under: Florida • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
10:19 AM ET
3 years ago

Soggy ballots challenging scanning machines in Chesapeake, VA

 Virginia voters faced rainy weather early Tuesday morning while waiting to vote.
Virginia voters faced rainy weather early Tuesday morning while waiting to vote.

(CNN) – Some voting machines are not working properly in Chesapeake, Virginia because of wet weather, according to voters and the State Board of Elections. Spokesman Ryan Enright confirmed the rain is throwing a wrench in the works in a few places that use optical-scan paper ballots.

He said ballots were getting soaked as water drips off wet voters walking into polling stations. That makes the scanner unable to read a ballot.

The Virginia State Board of Elections is encouraging all voters to dry off before filing out ballots to avoid problems.

And to solve the problem of wet ballots, the polling station is collecting them in a secure container next to the polling machine. Once dried, these ballots will be tabulated by officials, Enright said.

He added that while this will mean a longer processing time for election officials, it should not affect voters and their wait time.


Filed under: Virginia • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
10:09 AM ET
5 years ago

Podcast: Election Day has arrived

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.
CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team.

(CNN)–The 21-month marathon is over: Voters head to the polls today to elect the 44th President of the United States. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily: Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain hold their last round of rallies in key battleground states, as CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux and Ed Henry take a look at what has been the longest presidential campaign in history.
 
Plus: Are Republicans about to become an endangered species? CNN’s Jim Acosta breaks down the balance of power in the House and Senate and why GOP anxiety is at an all-time high.
 
And: Broken machines and long lines are just some of the issues voters are facing at the polls.  CNN’s Carol Costello breaks down common Election Day problems, and offers helpful tips to the affected in her voter survival guide.
 
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
 


Filed under: 2008 Election • Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Podcasts • Political • Senate • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
09:50 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP poll workers removed from some Philly polling places

Several Philadelphia polling precincts had to remove non-authorized workers.
Several Philadelphia polling precincts had to remove non-authorized workers.

Philadelphia (CNN) – At least six Republican election board workers in Philadelphia were told to leave their polling precincts because they did not belong to the party in the majority and had not received a court order to work on election day, Philadelphia County Board of Elections Supervisor Bill Rubin confirmed.

Rubin said the Election Board requires a court order issued by the Commonwealth Court in Philadelphia for those workers who are not elected to the post.

"The same thing happens in every election," Rubin added. "These are mostly minority areas that are heavily Democratic and there isn't a lot of Republican representation."

But Bill Porritt, a spokesman for the McCain-Palin presidential campaign, said the campaign might seek legal action.

"Election board officials guard the legitimacy of the election process and the idea that Republicans are being intimidated and banned for partisan purposes does not allow for an honest and open election process," Porritt said Tuesday.

Rubin said the Republican workers were headed to the courthouse Tuesday morning, and that some had already been issued the court orders needed to allow them to start work immediately.

Rubin said the workers were not official overseers or monitors at the precincts, but function as representatives at the voting tables for any voters who had questions.

The precincts affected include Philadelphia's 44th Ward, Divisions 12 and 13, 6th Ward, Division 12, and 32nd Ward, Division 28.


Filed under: Pennsylvania • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
09:41 AM ET
5 years ago

Voting machine breakdowns lead to long lines

 Residents wait in line to vote Tuesday morning in Annandale, Virginia.
Residents wait in line to vote Tuesday morning in Annandale, Virginia.

(CNN) – Voting machines were breaking down or simply not deployed in adequate numbers in some polling places Tuesday morning, slowing balloting as Election Day dawned.

Watch: Last push in Colorado

Long lines were seen in rainy Richmond, Virginia, where Henrico County switched to paper ballots at the Math and Science Center after five of seven machines broke down.

Callers to the CNN Voter Hotline originally said there were no paper ballots. But Virginia's State Board of Elections said the center has started using the ballots and the board is in the process of deploying more equipment.

Watch: Obama's first win

Fairfax County, Virginia, General Registrar Rokey Suleman said a handful of memory cards did not work when machines were started Tuesday morning. He said replacement memory cards already have been sent to those precincts with problems.

Full story


Filed under: Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Lines, machine problems plaguing Indiana county near Chicago

(CNN) – Voting machine problems and some delays are reported in Lake County, Indiana, just across the state line from Chicago.

Damian Rico, communications director for the city of East Chicago, Indiana, said at one precinct in Riley Park, two machines were down for about 15 minutes when the polling place opened. Both machines are up and running now.

County election director Sally La Sota was not aware of any major problems, other than long lines.

The county is expected to vote heavily for Democrat Barack Obama. There is a significant black population and the county is just southeast of Obama's hometown of Chicago. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lake County has a 26% black population, 13.9% Hispanic population.

Statewide, officials say there are no significant problems. Jim Gavin, communications director for the Indiana Secretary of State, said there were long lines statewide but no issues that he was aware of.


Filed under: Indiana • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
08:40 AM ET
5 years ago

Forgotten, wet ballots slow down voting in North Carolina

 Raleigh scanners are having trouble handling ballots that are wet from rain dripping off of soaked voters.
Raleigh scanners are having trouble handling ballots that are wet from rain dripping off of soaked voters.

Raleigh, NC (CNN) - A soggy and delayed start to the voting day in a Raleigh, North Carolina, precinct, after some confusion at the polling station. Wake County Board of Elections director Cherie Poucher reported there were problems this morning at the Barwell Road Community Center (formerly the Ebenezer Church Road precinct). She confirmed that the chief judge forgot to take the ballots out of her grandson's truck when being dropped off this morning. The elections director says the truck drove away, and the judge wasn't able to track down her grandson. The Board of Elections delivered new ballots and voting began at 7:06am, 36 minutes behind schedule. Approximately 300 people were waiting in line.

"When the board meets today, I expect that they will vote to keep the precinct open an additional 36 minutes," Poucher added.

Rain has also been a factor this morning in Wake County, North Carolina. Soaking voters dripped water onto their ballots as they were filling them out, causing problems for the optical scanners.

"When we put the ballot through the scanner it is soggy and doesn't go through," Poucher said. "One ripped and got stuck when the voter tried to get it out." The scanner then had to be taken out of service.

Poucher said voters with soggy ballots were being asked to deposit them in the emergency ballot box. When they are dried and the scanners are back up and running, the ballots will be put through the optical scanners, the official added.

Poucher said that voters will not be inconvenienced because of this situation.


Filed under: Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
07:34 AM ET
5 years ago

Machine break down causes slow start in Richmond, VA

 Paper ballots are now being used in Richmond after complaints that none were available.
Paper ballots are now being used in Richmond after complaints that none were available.

RICHMOND (VA) - Voting machine problems at the Math and Science Center in Richmond have forced the county to switch to paper ballots at the location.

Watch: Early voting in Virginia

The board of elections tells CNN the location is using paper ballots after five of seven machines broke down. Callers to the CNN Hotline originally said there were no paper ballots. But the Board of Elections now says they have started using the ballots and are in the process of deploying more equipment.


Filed under: Virginia • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
07:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Memory cards cause problems in Fairfax County, VA

 Paper ballots will be used until machines in Fairfax County are fixed.
Paper ballots will be used until machines in Fairfax County are fixed.

Fairfax County, Virginia (CNN) - General Registrar Rokey Suleman said a handful of memory cards did not work when machines were started this morning. He tells CNN that new memory cards have already been sent out to those precincts with problems. He said a "very, very small number of machines" were affected, and voters at those locations could use paper ballots instead until the problem was corrected.

Suleman said there are long lines everywhere. He added they expected that and are prepared for that. The 228 precincts in the county use both optical scan and electronic voting machines.

People started lining up to vote at 4:30am. The polls opened at 6am.


Filed under: Virginia • Voter Problems
November 4th, 2008
06:47 AM ET
5 years ago

Polls open in historic election

 Residents of Hart's Location and Dixville Notch lined up at midnight to cast their ballots.
Residents of Hart's Location and Dixville Notch lined up at midnight to cast their ballots.

NORFOLK, Virginia (CNN) – Voters headed to the polls Tuesday morning in a historic 2008 presidential election, with citizens across eastern United States casting their votes.

People in the isolated New Hampshire village of Dixville Notch cast their ballots just after midnight. The village, home to around 75 residents, has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960, drawing national media attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known.

Watch: Obama's first win

Democrat Barack Obama won 15 of 21 votes cast, and Republican John McCain won six votes. It was the first time since 1968 that the village leaned Democratic in an election.

Since 1996, another small New Hampshire town - Hart's Location - reinstated its practice from the 1940s and also began opening its polls at midnight. The tally was Obama 17, McCain 10 with two votes written-in for Ron Paul.

Polls opened at 5 a.m. EST in Vermont and 6 a.m. EST in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. EST in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Polls were to open at 7 a.m. EST in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Many voters chose to cast their ballots in the days and weeks before the election. With more states allowing voters to cast early or unrestricted absentee ballots this year, the potential for election-day problems have spread to other states now seen as battlegrounds in the race. Registration and absentee ballot issues topped last-minute concerns among voters in the days before Tuesday's presidential election, with one analyst predicting previous flashpoints may cause headaches again this year.

Of the more than 11,000 problems reported to CNN's Voter Hotline so far Monday, the largest number of complaints - more than 1,500 - come from Florida, where a hotly disputed recount settled the 2000 election. Another 450-plus originated in Ohio, where massive election-day turnout delayed the count in 2004.

The biggest complaints were early voting lines stretching for several hours, names that did not appear on voter rolls or absentee ballots that never reached the people who requested them. Similar patterns showed up among callers nationwide.

Broken voting machines were reported at the Penny Packer school in Willingboro, New Jersey, according to Joe Dugan, chairman of the Burlington County Election Board.

He said a mechanic was working on the machines and they are expected to be repaired soon. In the meantime, voters were being given emergency ballots.


Filed under: Voter Problems
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