Tom Gannam/AP

Voters Undeterred By Election Day Glitches

November 04, 2008 12:30 PM
by Emily Coakley
Minor errors at the polls, both mechanical and human, have occured in several locations.

Minor Problems Reported Nationwide

Earlier today, CNN reported that some voting machines had broken down in New Jersey and Virginia.

In North Carolina, the rain had led to some damp ballots that optical scanners couldn’t read. Election officials fixed that by asking election workers to give voters a paper towel before handing them a ballot, CNN reported.

Voters in 13 Michigan cities had complained before noon today, reported the Detroit Free Press. In Grosse Pointe Woods, for example, two machines were malfunctioning at a polling place, but voting never stopped.

A number of human errors were making things difficult at a few precincts throughout the country as well.

In Denver, election officials said one precinct didn’t have its entire voter registration list, which led to some people getting a provisional ballot from election headquarters or simply waiting around for the error to be remedied. According to The Rocky Mountain News, the problem was resolved in “20 minutes” when a new copy was sent to the precinct.
The late arrival of an election chief delayed one North Carolina precinct’s opening. In Kansas City, one precinct had the wrong voter registration books. And a voter in one Cleveland suburb told CNN that a precinct was handing out only the second page of ballots—not the page with the presidential race.

And despite millions of people voting early, long lines persisted at many precincts.

Related Topics: Analyzing and protecting America’s voting infrastructure

A report issued a few weeks ago suggested that Election Day could see widespread voting machine breakdowns and other problems, findingDulcinea reported.

Another feature from findingDulcinea explores what has been done to safely update voting equipment.

In 2000, the presidential election results were delayed because of a close race, confusing ballots and recount problems. Read about how the 2000 election has changed voting today and what lessons have been learned.

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