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March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

Super Tuesday Election Dispatches

Welcome to Super Tuesday 2020!

Today voters in 14 states — Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia — head to the polls or drop their ballots in ballot drop boxes.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. Eastern  in Virginia and the last polling places will close — if no one is in line — at 8 p.m. Pacific in California. That’s 17 hours of voting from coast to coast where just about anything could, and often does, happen.

There’s a lot of news to cover this year from cybersecurity to new voting equipment to turnout and beyond, so if we miss something that you think is relevant, please email us (mmoretti@electionline.org) or send us a Tweet @electionline and we’ll get it posted.

We’ll be providing updates all day, but look for them around 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8p.m. Depending on how things are going, we may do additional postings.

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 in the Daily News section of our site, so check there to get all your early morning news. And check out our most recent edition of electionline Weekly where we talk about the things we’ll be watching today…in addition to everything else!

And we’re off!

9:30 a.m. Update

Polls are now open in most of the Super Tuesday states and in six spots in Los Angeles County they haven’t closed since they opened for early voting yesterday.

The biggest news out of the morning so far is out of Tennessee where several polling places had to be moved due tornadoes that tore through the Nashville area last night. Polls in affected areas of  the state opened an hour later than planned. The secretary of state’s office is closed due to storm damage, but the elections division remains open. In Davidson and Wilson counties, the elections commission are opening alternate polling sites and consolidating some as well.

One thing to note as we move through the day, some media outlets continuously update the same link so if a headline on a piece doesn’t match what you see when you click on it, scroll down!

Also, some of the news posted on this first update popped after our early morning Daily News search so it may not reflect events currently happening at the polls.

Alabama: Health experts warn about germs at the polls | Voting in the Montgomery area |

Arkansas: Tuesday is election day in Arkansas |

California: Early voting modest at Pasadena polling places | California braces for long lines | Bay Area polling stations taking extra steps to protect voters as coronavirus concerns grow | Don’t panic if state election results take a while | Homeless and a voter: Inside LA’s new outreach program | And now, it’s time for LA County’s new voting system |

Maine: Polls are open in Maine, here’s what you need to know | It’s Election Day here in Maine |

Massachusetts: Warm weather could boost Super Tuesday voter turnout | Massachusetts voters casting ballots in presidential primary | Voters across Mass. making their voices hear |

Minnesota: Minnesotans heading to the polls |

North Carolina: Primary election day off to quiet, rainy start | Early and absentee voters don’t get a do-over |

Oklahoma: Technicians repairing ballot machine after malfunction |

Tennessee: Early-morning tornado forces late opening, polling relocation | Tennessee polling locations affected by severe tornado damage on Super Tuesday | Fatal tornadoes delay Super Tuesday voting in parts of Tennessee |

Texas: Austin voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday | County officials expect strong turnout on Super Tuesday | Sunrise voters set the pace for Super Tuesday in Houston | Delay reported at voting site | COVID-19 scare won’t stop Texas primary | North Texas voters head to the polls |

Utah: Super Tuesday has some voters wishing for a re-do |

Virginia: First Virginians cast their primary ballots |

Also voting today are residents in Colorado and Vermont.


Noon Update

Polls are now open all 14 early voting states.

Officials and voters in Tennessee continue to struggle with the outcome of the devastating early-morning tornado. Polls opened an hour late in some areas. They will close at the regular 7 p.m. closing time. In some locations voters are being moved to new and consolidated sites and some polling places are running on generators.  In Wilson County, two polling places were forced to closed due to the storm.

“We’ve actually deployed generators to polling places that are reporting that they don’t have power,” said Gov. Bill Lee said in a press conference. “So, of course we want people to exercise caution in areas like downtown Nashville where there’s damage in the streets and that sort of thing. But we also want folks to exercise their rights to get out there and vote. It’s a very important day for that. So, we’re going to make it possible for as many folks as we can to vote — and wherever we find a polling station that there’s a problem, we’re reaching out to correct that.”

At least one polling location in Alabama was also impacted by storms on Super Tuesday.

In Texas, problems have been reported in Bell, Brazos, Tarrant and Travis counties. The problems have ranged from long lines to malfunctioning voting machines. In Travis County, part of the problem seemed to stem from poll workers who failed to show up as assigned.

Officials in Sacramento County, California also reported issues with no-show election workers over the fear of the coronavirus.

Democracy North Carolina tells the Raleigh News & Observer that it has received dozens of calls from voters reporting problems with broken voting machines and a lack of curbside voting.

One thing to note as we move through the day, some media outlets continuously update the same link so if a headline on a piece doesn’t match what you see when you click on it, scroll down!

National: Super Tuesday voters in some states brave severe weather | Are states ready to defend Super Tuesday

Alabama: Bibb Co. polling location hit by storm

Arkansas: Pulaski Co. election commission reports early voting numbers over 23K

California: Polling places and vote centers now open in California | Here’s what’s happening at Ventura Co. polls | Angelenos go to the polls for the first time on Super Tuesday | Sonoma Co. voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday | Fresno Co. voting centers open| Some Sacramento clerks staying home, county says

Massachusetts: Slow to steady turnout reported at Attleboro area polls | Scenes from the Newton library polling station

Minnesota: Primary voting starts slow, smooth locally

North Carolina: Voting problems reported in several NC counties | Haywood Co. voter turnout off to a good start | Primary election day off to quiet, rainy start

Tennessee: Election commission investigating after Hickory Hill polling location hits snag | Soggy start locally to Super Tuesday | Deadly overnight tornadoes disrupt voting in Tennessee| Here’s how the tornado is affecting Super Tuesday across Tennessee| Storm closes two Wilson Co. polling places| Voters in Tennessee impacted by deadly tornadoes| Nashville tornado disrupts Super Tuesday

Texas: New voter system causing issues in Travis Co. | Brazos Co. polling place is currently down | Travis Co. clerk’s office: Super Tuesday off to ‘rocky start’| Travis Co. Clerk’s office: Some polling issues due to ‘multiple no-shows’ of workers | Fort Worth area Dems report long lines, down machines| Election official: Delays at some Bell Co. polling locations | Voting issues reported throughout the county | Don’t read this while you’re in line to vote | Coronavirus fears causing chaos at Travis Co. polls

Vermont: Vermont voters casting Super Tuesday ballots

Virginia: Slow turnout during Dem primary in Staunton and Waynesboro | Voters arrive early, steadily in Martinsville, Henry Co.

Voters are also voting in Colorado, Maine, Oklahoma and Utah.


3:30 p.m. Update

Voting continues from coast to coast for Super Tuesday. At a noon briefing an official with CISA said that things seemed to be going well so far.

“All systems look green right now across the country,” official said according to Roll Call. “We have been in touch with a number of states” to deal with various situations including “some technical glitches.” But he added that “everything has been resolved.”

Several states including California, Minnesota and Texas were investigating why their state-run polling place locators were redirecting voters an outside website.

The roll-out of Los Angeles County’s new voting system and vote centers seemed to be going well in the early hours. Orange County voters were also experiencing vote centers for the first time in a presidential cycle with few problems. There were some computer-related issues in Fresno and Sacramento counties. The issues for the vote-center counties stemmed from a connectivity issue with the secretary of state’s office.

In Texas, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the early morning problems that arose from no-show poll workers had mostly been cleared up as the morning wore on and said she was more concerned with the media attention around the situation than the situation itself.

“The news went to full bore red alert, which was wrong.” DeBeauvoir told The Austin Chronicle. “Some tried to spin this into a big story and that is not okay. The story has in fact disrupted our election. That worries me; that’s serious.”

Massachusetts officials were reassuring residents that IDs were not required to vote after security guards at one polling place were asking people for ID to enter the building.

One thing to note as we move through the day, some media outlets continuously update the same link so if a headline on a piece doesn’t match what you see when you click on it, scroll down!

National News: US officials in contact with TikTok over disinformation | Millions of voters head to the polls for Super Tuesday | DHS says ‘all systems look green’ for Super Tuesday election security | CISA expresses high confidence in securing Super Tuesday | Super Tuesday polling staff say home over concerns of coronavirus| Super Tuesday! Stars proudly display their ‘I Voted’ stickers

Alabama: Alabama making plans if storms interrupt voting | Primary voter turnout may not be as high as hoped

Arkansas: Little Rock voters cast ballots on Super Tuesday

California: Tablets in the voting booth? Santa Cruz Co. debuts new voting system | Fresno voters delayed by ‘computer problems’ early on Super Tuesday| Election server issues slow voting process in some Sacramento locations | All eyes are on LA Co., where millions are voting on new machines in new centers | OC voters make last-minute decisions in smooth day at polling places | Data issue causes voting problems in multiple California counties | Tuolumne Co. voting centers report smooth operations | Voting problems reported in Fresno Co.

Colorado: Larimer Co.: 41% of eligible voters had cast ballots by Tuesday morning

Maine: Maine turnout ‘heavier than expected’ | Thousands in Midcoast lose power, no impact on election day| Polling places are busy as voters show up for primaries and Question 1

Massachusetts: Coronavirus and Super Tuesday: What are Mss. election officials doing? | Super Tuesday in Franklin | Ipswich primary voting steady| Early voters confused about ability to re-vote | Mass. election officials respond to reports of voter ID issues at Dorchester polling location

Minnesota: Secretary of state website directs some voters to ‘bold’ progressive site | MN state election website gets hammered, redirects to outside sites | Early turnout light in some areas

North Carolina: New voting equipment off to good start in Onslow Co. | Turnout ‘steady’ on election day in Fayetteville| Craven voters hit the polls for Super Tuesday

Oklahoma: Oklahoma voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday

Tennessee: Super Tuesday voting goes on in TN | Longtime poll worker says one thing is missing–signs | Super Tuesday gets off to a not-so-super start in Tennessee | Hamilton Co. voters turning out despite rain | Voting off to good start in Maury Co. | Tornadoes delay Super Tuesday voting in Nashville area

Texas: Texas voters encounter long lines and a few equipment problems on Super Tuesday | Snags delay start of voting in Bexar Co. | Travis Co. clerk’s website back to normal after some polling locations showed wait times as long as 100 hours | Why voting isn’t easy for homeless people in Texas | North Texas voters happily line up at polls | Travis Co. poll workers’ COVID-19 fears prompt ‘rocky start’ to election day | Voting in Bexar Co. surpasses 22K by midmorning despite early stumbles | Elections Office: ‘All systems are running fine’ | Travis Co. clerk reassures voters after a rocky start | Elections administrator says 3200 voted as of lunchtime | Dallas Co. addressing long wait times

Utah: Utah voters cast their Super Tuesday ballots | Polls open

Virginia: No significant issues at polls so far, Virginia election official says | Registrar’s offices report steady turnout, no problems at the polls

Vermont is also voting today.


7 p.m. Update

Polling sites in the Eastern voting states are beginning to close now, although as long as a voter is in line when the closing time rolls around, voting will continue.

At least one precinct in North Carolina will remain open late. Issues at the Snakebite precinct (we’re not making that up) in Bertie County with a printer used to check-in voters have extended the polls by 30 minutes. A precinct in Winston-Salem ran out of ballots for about 45 minutes and may remain open late.

In Tennessee, Democrats filed suit to keep numerous polling places open until at least 8p.m., possibly later.

The earlier problem with Minnesota’s state polling locator pointing to a site for progressive candidates has been resolved and the issue was a staff-related.

Voting will continue for several more hours in California although it’s reportedly been slow going at some voting locations.

As we’ve mentioned throughout the day, some media outlets continuously update the same link so if a headline on a piece doesn’t match what you see when you click on it, scroll down!

This will most likely be our last post for the day, but we’ll be back at it at 6 a.m. Eastern with all the Daily News from Super Tuesday and the 36 other states and territories (and the District!) that didn’t’ have elections today.

National News: Coronavirus prompts poll workers to don gloves, offer curbside voting | Are states ready to defend Super Tuesday? | Super Tuesday voting so far free of meddling

Arkansas: Super Tuesday brings out thousands of voters in Boone Co.

California: Voters encounter problems with voting machines at City Hall | Some voters see slow wait times| Voting machine woes continue at City Hall | Polling location hits LAX and several nearby polling locations | Democracy is happening in downtown LA, but it is taking a while | So many people showed up to vote at this polling place, these nearby street vendors sold out by 10 a.m.

Maine: Maine Republicans win court order to petition at Portland polling places

Minnesota: Secretary of state: Staffer ‘diverged from our emergency plan’ after polling tool went down | Staffer’s ‘lapse’ led to partisan website | Voters trickle into Central Minnesota polling sites

North Carolina: Bear Creek voting machines down for about 15 minutes| Voters hit the polls for primary elections in NC | Voting hours extended at 1 Bertie Co. precinct | Precinct ran out of ballots | Miller Park voting hours could be extended

Tennessee: Tenn. urged to extend voting hours because of Super Tuesday | Tennessee extends voting in several locations | Davidson polls to stay open until at least 8pm | Judge keeps Nashville polls open late

Texas: Long lines, broken machines causing frustration for some in Dallas, Tarrant counties | Texas site to check voter reg was temporarily down due to heavy web traffic| Voters experience lines, but otherwise smooth Super Tuesday in Collin Co.Problems at the polls in some parts of Rio Grande Valley | Robocall has false info about Texas election

Utah: Utah primary voting underway in Cache Co.

Virginia: Nearly 3K turnout in Roanoke by 10am | Steady stream of voters come out on election day| Old school measures securing elections in Va.

There are also primary elections in: Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont.


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Super Tuesday Election Dispatches

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