Democracy Now: Widespread Voting Issues Reported at the Polls
Tuesday’s election saw reports of widespread voting issues ranging from voter machine malfunctions to epic lines to poll-watcher challenges and confusion over voter identification laws that have been weakened or blocked. Florida voters waited up to seven hours to cast their ballots. According to Voting Rights Watch 2012, in Ohio, a number of residents in the predominantly black Cincinnati suburb of Forest Park were forced to cast provisional ballots because records incorrectly showed they had already submitted an absentee ballot. Pennsylvania emerged as a hotbed of election chaos after a viral video showed a voting machine switching an Obama vote in favor of Romney. Pennsylvania also saw widespread confusion over voter identification, with reports poll workers were demanding ID even though a court blocked the state’s voter ID law from taking effect before the election. Voting rights advocates say they suspected an unreported purge of voters in major urban areas of Pennsylvania after reports dozens of voters were told they weren’t registered. According to the Election Protection Coalition, which hosted a hotline for voting issues, there were reports from Virginia of long lines and machines switching votes in favor of Romney. One week after Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey saw its share of problems, with reports of technical malfunctions and poll workers wrongly demanding identification from voters.