Election Day Dispatches 2016
Election Day 2016 Dispatches
It’s Election Day in America and your electionline team will be with you throughout the day providing updates and posting all the news that’s fit to post. We’re joined by Charlotte Kovach, Georgetown University COL’18 who will be helping us throughout the day.
There’s a lot of news to cover this year and so if we miss something that you think is relevant, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send us a Tweet @electionline and we’ll get it posted.
We’ll be provide updates all day, but look for them around 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. If there’s breaking news, we’ll update this site as quickly as possible and you can always check on Twitter @electionline
Our first batch of stories are up where they usually are at electionlineToday, so check there to get all your early morning news.
Good luck! And may the democracy gods have mercy on our souls.
Good morning! Polls are now open throughout three time zones and much of the country is now voting. Although there were reports of early morning lines and a few problems here and there, nothing different than a typical Election Day in America.
Voting machines in several Connecticut towns weren’t functioning, so voters continued to vote and their ballots were put in auxiliary bins to be counted at the end of the day. Also in Hartford, a voter was hit by a truck around 6:10 this morning. According to local police, the voter suffered a minor head wound and was taken to a nearby hospital.
Problems were reported with voting machines in several precincts in Sedgwick County, Kansas. “We have technicians on the way, and we are resolving issues, but people can still vote paper ballots,” Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman told KFDI.
Voters faced problems in multiple Greene County, Ohio polling places including connectivity problems with check-in iPads. The iPads need to be re-booted which is causing lines. “We’re sending out board workers to the longest lines to help make them move quicker,” Llyn McCoy, deputy director of the county board of elections told Cox Media.
A voting location in Sapulpa, Oklahoma lost power early this morning. Voting was not interrupted though with the board of elections providing lighting and ballots being placed in a secure box for later counting.
In other power-related news, a downed pole with live wires limited access to a polling place in the Louisville-area of Kentucky. One voter reported to a local television station that access to the polling place was limited to those on foot.
And as we noted in our preview last week, there are always the unknown unknowns and we would classify topless women at a polling place in New York City as rather unexpected.
National News: As millions vote, thousands monitor polls for problems | Cyber issues loom for security experts as voting begins | Inside the secret command center tracking Election Day cyber threats | Competing claims of voter fraud, intimidation raise tensions
California: Offbeat polling places
Florida: Orange and Seminole counties gear up for big Election Day | Scanner problem in Duval County | Poll workers prepare for busy Election Day | Polls are open in South Florida | 4,300 Duval County voters get wrong polling location info
Indiana: Historic election: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’ | Poll workers prepare for Election Day | Polls open for Election Day | Polling place temporarily closed? It’s normal | Polling places open in Madison County
Michigan: Polls open for Election Day
Pennsylvania: The quiet before the storm
Polls are now open in the Continental U.S. Alaska (11 a.m. Eastern) and Hawaii (12 p.m. Eastern) will join the party shortly. And for those wondering, although they don’t vote for president there were other items on the ballot and, it’s already Wednesday in Guam so their 2016 election cycle is over!
It’s been a busy morning so far with lots of long lines at polling locations throughout the country and some malfunctioning voting machines and e-poll books reported. Although these issues have slowed the process down, there have been no reports of voters being denied their right to vote.
While there have been issues with machines and lines, so far we have not seen any reports of issues with voter ID. And we’ve only seen a smattering of reports about poll watchers.
Things did not get off to a good start in Baltimore, which is trying to recover from numerous problems in the April 2016 primary. Long lines greeted voters at many polling sites and at least three sites opened late.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, polling places were experiencing a shortage in pens because voters kept taking them from the polling place. The elections board is delivering more pens.
California: Does your provisional ballot really count
New York: Polls open to sunshine will close to raindrops | Polling place in Hartsdale momentarily loses power | Voters line the block in heavy turnout | Long lines machine errors reported at some sites | Broken machines, extensive lines, missing records plague tri-state voters on election day
North Dakota: Secretary of state says voting going smoothly
Pennsylvania: Voting machine problems reported at Collier precinct | People turn out in big numbers | Former Erie Co. councilman reported for disturbance at Erie polling place | Pittsburgh Public Works to make sure voters have access to Beechview polling place | Minor glitches, long lines as voting gets underway
South Carolina: Long lines, machine breakdowns at Horry County polling places |
South Dakota: Long lines reported at polling places
Virginia: Machine problems, long lines greet Virginia voters | 99-year-old beats Tim Kaine to cast first ballot at Virginia polling place | In Richmond area, early morning voting heavy, with some glitches
Washington: Write-in votes are written off during counting
Polls are now open everywhere in the United States and the morning rush has started to die down a bit.
While there continue to be scattered reports of voting machine troubles, those reports are not widespread.
As the say wears on though, we are starting to see a few voter ID-related issues and a few issues with testy voters at polling places. Still, no work on major issues with poll watchers.
In Palm Beach County a two voters had an altercation over candidates which ended with a woman spaying a man with pepper spray. The man then grabbed the woman and threw her down. Needless to say, police were called.
A man also shoved a woman in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan after the voters got into a verbal argument over their preferred candidates. The fight actually began between two women and then the man stepped in. No one was arrested or injured, but the police did take a report.
There were reports from throughout Pennsylvania that voters were being asked to show ID in order to vote, although state law does not require that.
In Los Angeles County, the county has relaxed parking restrictions around polling places so voters waiting in line to vote won’t get tickets. Also in LA County, in what is one of our favorite stories every election cycle, voters waiting in line to vote at Luxe Hotel in Brentwood were treated to breakfast.
National News: Voting machine problems recorded in Tennessee, NC, and other states | Broken voting machines across U.S. (in other words, everything is normal) | Voting problems 2016 map | Cyber issues loom for security experts as voting begins
California: Voters at polling place in Brentwood get the luxe treatment | LA relaxes parking restrictions within block of polling places on Election Day | What it’s like to have a polling place in your garage
Missouri: Ashland adds polling place
Oklahoma: Power restored to Sapulpa polling place
Pennsylvania: How Philly is dealing with voting machine problems | Perry Co. officials dealing with voting machine issues | Voters wrongly asked for ID at the polls in Penn.| Election judge charged with misdemeanor after failing to show up
Voting continues at a brisk pace throughout the country although some voting sites have reported a mid-day lull in voting.
Isolated voting machines problems persist nationwide and even though there has been a bit of a mid-day lull, there are still voters in line in many locations.
In a bit of non-Election Day news, the Clark County, Nevada registrar of voters has been sued for allowing a polling place to remain open late during early voting. Although law allows those in line as of 8pm to cast a ballot, the lawsuit alleges that the county allowed voters to join the line after 8pm.
Voters in Shasta County, California have been experiencing difficulties with the state’s website. The secretary of state’s website is providing incorrect polling place information so voters are being encouraged to use the county site.
In Broward County, Florida two clerks—one Republican and one Democrat—from a precinct in Pompano Beach were fired after they got into fight at a polling place. Voting was not interrupted.
We’re very sad to report that long-time Grand Prairie, Texas election judge Gary Wilcox was found dead in his home this morning. An alternate election judge was able to get the polls open by around 8 a.m. A judge was set to determine if polls would remain open late to accommodate the lost time.
And, while we’ve had no reports of cars crashing into polling places yet, we have had a report from Knox County, Tennessee that one voter had their car stolen while they were voting.
Arkansas: Pulaski Co. polls packed
Connecticut: Minor hiccups in Hartford
Indiana: Voter turnout higher than usual
New Hampshire: Records possible as voters turnout in droves
New Jersey: Long lines at polling sites
North Dakota: Some NDSU students say they were discouraged from voting
Rhode Island: Long lines at some Rhode Island polling places
Tennessee: Car stolen while man votes
According to Utah Director of Elections Mark Thomas, programming problems are affecting all the voting machines in Washington County and voters are being forced to use paper ballots. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox told The Associated Press that the problem may have cropped up with county’s switch from local precinct to centralized polling centers.
The Durham County, North Carolina board of elections is seeking permission from the state board of elections to keep the polls open an additional two hours — until 9p.m. Board spokeswoman Briana Khan said the state board demanded evidence that the polls need to remain open so the Durham board is working on that.
Things move pretty fast on Election Day and since our last posting at 2:30pm, Nevada Judge Gloria Sturman has tossed a lawsuit against Clark County. Sturman refused to issue an order in the case, saying that act could make the names of poll workers discoverable and open election workers up to harassment.
How could something so good go so wrong? Well that’s what happened in Anchorage when someone spilled coffee on an optical scan voting machine causing it to temporarily stop working. While the polling site was waiting for a back scanner to arrive, voters placed their ballots into an “emergency slot” for later counting.
In what may be another first for electionline, we’ve come upon a report from Santa Clara County, California that a polling place in San Jose had to be evacuated due to a fire alarm from someone burning toast. The evacuation lasted about 10 to 15 minutes. Well at least it wasn’t burnt microwave popcorn!
National News: No, ICE is not mass deporting people from polling sites
California: Long lines, few major glitches at LA County polling places | Fresno Co. voting going smoothly–except for one woman’s vote-by-mail surprise | Voters confused, frustrated in long lines | Spanish-language ballots in short supply at some sites
Massachusetts: Election proceeding smoothly in Marlborough after voting machine malfunction | Lawrence reports broken voting machines | At local polling places, issues reported and relief as election nears its end | Construction poses challenge for Hadley voters
Missouri: Some voters face long lines
Nebraska: Third try’s the charm for voting vet
New Hampshire: Heavy voter turnout across the Granite State
New Jersey: New Jersey elections officials say no issues
New Mexico: Voting going smoothly at polls across NM
New York: Voting delays reported in Broome Co.| Phones ringing off the hook for free rides to the polls | Jammed ballot machines cause ‘epic’ two-hour wait | ‘You’re just here to help people:’ A day in the life of poll workers | Where’s my ‘I Voted’ sticker? Dismayed CNY voters want stickers | Candidate’s son Tweets, then deletes photo of ballot
Rhode Island: Unclaimed mailbag leads to polling place evacuation
Virginia: Voting rights restored, homeless man thwarted by election bureaucracy | Richmond precinct captain got ‘goosebumps’ over felon’s first vote | Radford registrar reports student-related ballot issue| Free hugs at Staunton voting ward | Heavy turnout reported in Arlington
Poll workers on the Eastern side of the country are bracing for after work voters as polls are set to close in 30 minutes in some locations and 90 minutes in others.
In Rhode Island, which is using new voting technology for the first time, additional ballot scanners had to be brought into some polling places to help ease the flow of voters.
Orange County, California Registrar Neal Kelley said there were at least two reports of fights breaking out at county polling places.
Problems have cropped up in several areas — New Jersey, Pennsylvania — where voters have been asked to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot even though state laws do not require it. And in Cass County, North Dakota elections officials removed signs that provided incorrect information about voter ID.
Democrats in Idaho have sued Ada County and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney to extending voting by two hours in five Boise precincts. The suit claims that polling place changes were confusing to voters and they deserved more time to vote.
Oh no! Some New York City polling places have run out of I Voted stickers. Some sites in the city ran out of them before lunchtime! Voters took to Twitter to express their displeasure. Those voters were not alone. Voters in Massachusetts and Michigan also expressed their displeasure about not getting the precious stickers.
National News: Adorable dogs show off ‘I Voted’ stickers on Election Day
Arizona: Pima Co. says results will come late
Michigan: East Lansing police respond to report of voter intimidation | Detroit voters complaint of broken ballot boxes | Racial slurs fly in Michigan polling place fight | Woman seen spitting, using racial slurs outside polling place | Anger over lack of ‘I Voted’ stickers
New Hampshire: Ballot machine temporarily stops working
Ohio: Beachwood man uses social media to complain of voting experience with out-of-state license | Person threatens to bring gun to polling place after they were told they were in the wrong place | Few problems reported as Election Day goes into last hours before polls close
Pennsylvania: DA recruiting FBI to investigate vote ‘flipping’ complaints | Voters asked for ID in suburban Philly | Poll workers in Mercer Co. seeing high foot traffic at voting sites | Voter turnout heavy at polling places in city, suburbs
South Dakota: Pulled fire alarm will delay results
Tennessee: Ballots will be counted through midnight
Texas: Minor problems, vandalism reported at El Paso polling station | Election irregularity at Wichita Co. voting location | Voting hours extended | Austin poll worker confusion leads to extra delays
Virginia: ‘It’s been beautiful’: With rights restored, 79-year-old felon votes again after 40 years | Virginia poll worker describes feelings of relief among voters | Registrar: Supporters block entrance to Albemarle Co. polling place | Elderly voter collapses, but insists on voting
Wisconsin: Clerk says voters angry about being turned away had wrong ID| Election Day keeps poll workers busier than usual | Waukesha Co. sees long lines before polling locations open | Ballot shortage impacts voters at 3 polling locations
Voting is now done in 25 states and the District of Columbia and now the counting begins. This will most likely be our last post of the night, but we’ll be back with you at 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Two polling places in the Los Angeles area of California after a nearby shooting killed one and injured multiple others.
A federal judge extended voting by one hour in some Ada County, Idaho polling places after the Democratic Party sued because changes to the polling places last week may have caused confusion.
Voting was also extended in eight precincts in Durham County, North Carolina after precincts had problem electronic voter rolls earlier in the day.
Voting was also extended until 8pm in Dover, New Hampshire after an email went out with the incorrect information about poll closing times.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s voter registration system went down in parts of the state for a brief time this afternoon. Democrats are seeking to keep the polls open in those areas for about 25 minutes.
National News: Long lines, machine snags, but no major voting problems
California: Confrontation at Tustin polling place | 1 dead, multiple people shot near polling station | Shooting puts polling places on lock down | LA Co. registrar tries to ease voters fears during Election Day
Florida: Voters accused of block entrance to polling place for others | Sheriff called after man brings Nerf gun to polling place | Disturbance reported at Lake Worth polling location | Polling location in Winter Park evacuated | Most of the polling places closed in Florida, but not all
Mississippi: Secretary of state gives election update
Montana: Turning exceeds expectations
New Hampshire: Voting extended to 8pm in Dover
Ohio: Problem at the polls: gun threat, police called in, IDs questioned | Deputies remove Montgomery County elections official from polling site | Lake Co. felon says poll worker denied him a vote in Grand River | Some central Ohio polling places suffer power problems | A battleground voter’s journey through bureaucratic hell to cast his ballot | Some glitches with Trumbull voting machines
Pennsylvania: GOP sees nothing nefarious in machine problems | At Wynnefield polling place, a battle over voter-fraud allegations| Private home serves as unique polling place | Latino voters allege intimidation at the polls in Tacony
Texas: Voting machines lose power at Eastland County polling site | Poll problems: Long lines, fire alarms, malfunctioning machines |Armed supporter questioned near polling place| Welcome to Houston’s most unique polling places | 100K voter mark broken