It wouldn’t be a post-2000 Election Day without voting machine problems, missing ballot scandals, and other assorted controversies. We already witnessed (or experienced in some people’s cases) Rock-the-Vote-gate. Here are some of the highlights from Slate’s rundown of Election Day voting problems:
Finally some support for Ralph Nader: Third-party supporters, I’ve got just the polling station for you! At Pleasant Township Hall in Knox County, Ohio, a touch-screen machine would only register votes for Ralph Nader. Somewhere out there, a computer programmer thinks Nader never got enough credit for the Ford Pinto recall.
Broken voting machines: In Philadelphia, machines in multiple polling places are out of order or never arrived…In Virginia, Widespread machine malfunctions are leading to inordinately long lines—including a seven-hour wait in the 32nd precinct…In Michigan Wired reported yesterday that optical scanners manufactured by Election Systems & Software failed pre-election tests—producing different results for the same ballots. Today, there are major machine malfunctions all across the state. According to the Detroit Free Press, complaints from voters in 13 different cities—including Detroit, Grosse Pointe Woods, and Battle Creek—had already come in by 11 a.m.
Election Postponed: In Indiana, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, robo-calls and fliers are instructing people to vote on Wednesday (via ourvote.live.org). Likewise, in North Carolina, fliers left on cars at a shopping mall instruct Democrats to vote on Wednesday and Republicans to vote on Tuesday (via the Brennan centre for Justice). Also, a reader reports that someone hacked into the provost of George Mason University’s e-mail account and sent this message to the whole student body: “To the Mason Community: Please note that election day has been moved to November 5th. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.”…In Virginia, phony calls telling people their polling places have changed. Hang up!
Seriously? Like in the SNL Robo-call skit?
No Ballots: In Florida, via Ourvotelive.org, voters showed up to the polls in Tallahassee only to find … no ballots! A rehab centre for elderly residents never received absentee ballots. And reports of broken optical-scanning machines are pouring in from Tallahassee, Tampa, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.
And we thought the lack of “I voted” stickers in New York was a scandal. Ok, we just wanted one.
But this takes the cake—and, according to Slate, it’s true.
Fox News reported earlier that two Black Panthers stood at the door of a Philadelphia polling place, one of them holding a nightstick, and made voters feel intimidated. One called the police, and the guy with the nightstick was escorted away. Here’s the transcript; here’s a clear picture of the two men. The story checks out. It’s also an isolated incident.
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