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Hours-Long Lines, Malfunctioning Machines as Voting Begins

Some of the biggest issues are being reported in Georgia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2018 1:59 PM CST
Voters were lined up outside of the Vigo County Annex in Terre Haute, Ind.,. on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, to take advantage of the final day of early voting.   (Austen Leake/Tribune-Star via AP)
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(Newser) – Long lines and malfunctioning machines marred the first hours of voting in some precincts across the country Tuesday, the AP reports. Some of the biggest problems were in Georgia, a state with a hotly contested gubernatorial election, where some voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote. At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children's chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours. Voting machines at the Gwinnett County precinct did not work, so poll workers offered provisional paper ballots while trying to get a replacement machine. One voter, Ontaria Woods, said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines. "We've been trying to tell them to wait, but people have children. People are getting hungry. People are tired," Woods said. Woods said she and others turned down the paper ballots because they "don't trust it."

Joe Sorenson, a spokesman for the county's supervisor of elections, said some precincts "have had issues with express polls," devices election workers use to check in voters and create access cards for voting machines. Across the United States, even before Tuesday's vote, there were a wide variety of concerns with voting and registration systems around the country—from machines that changed voter selections to registration forms tossed out because of clerical errors. Reports of broken ballot scanners and long lines surfaced at polling places across New York City. There was also confusion in Phoenix, Arizona, after a polling site was foreclosed on overnight. And there has been concern that last-minute court rulings on voter ID requirements, the handling of absentee ballots and other issues in a handful of states will sow confusion among voters and poll workers. Click for much more, including problems with early voting and voter registration.

(Read more Election 2018 stories.)

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