Just a few hours into Election Day, problems are popping up in several key states with long lines and broken machines all against the backdrop of what is expected to be the largest turnout in history. As of right now, one national voter protection group says it has received 27,000 reports of problems.
- In Virginia, problems at polling places have been reported from over ten locations all across the state, including Richmond, Portsmouth, Lynchburg, Chesapeake, Vienna, Newport News and Virginia Beach, according to voter protection groups. The most common complaints are about long lines. However, problems with voter registration and polling machines not functioning properly in several locations has also been reported. Some voters are reporting there have been no offers of paper ballots. And even as of 7am, Some polling places were not open.
- The Washington Post reports that some precincts have discovered an unusual weather-related problem. Rain in some areas of the state have been causing problems with the optical scanners because of wet ballots.
- In Pennsylvania, Bethlehem, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have reported a number of problems with voting machine malfunctions in, as well as major breakdowns at three precincts in Allegheny County.
CBS Newshas confirmed with state officials that there have been machine malfunctions throughout the state.
- There have been reports of a few precincts in Philadelphia running out of paper ballots. People have been given provisional ballots in these cases. (If 50 percent or fewer of the voting machines are working, polling officials must provide paper ballots to voters, according to a recent ruling by a judge.) State guidelines also dictate that these provisional ballots must be marked "emergency," so they will be counted with the rest of the ballots today.
- The McCain/Palin campaign has sent out an email stating that Republican election board workers in at least six precincts in Philadelphia have been tossed by the Democrat judge of elections. The reason provided was that they are the "minority party." They are seeking an injunction in court today for the improper removal of "credentialed" poll workers.
- In Ohio, voting rights groups have received reports out of Columbus that many people are experiencing problems with malfunctioning voter machines, resulting in long lines. In a few of these locations, they say, the machines are not working at all.
By Wendy Krantz