5 Major Problems People Had Voting Today

Photo: Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
As election night comes to a close, the votes are being tallied. But earlier today, many Americans struggled just to cast their votes. Problems such as long lines, registration issues, and voter intimidation were reported across the country.

On Tuesday night, the Election Protection agency — the nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition — said in a press release that it had received more than 30,000 calls as of 6:30 p.m. EST from people experiencing trouble voting. At press time, most voter complaints came from New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Florida, and Georgia. Some of these states are highly contentious swing states.

We've rounded up a list of problems voters faced on Election Day, and which states reported the largest concerns.
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Long Lines

From Arizona to Alabama; New York to North Carolina, voters who called Election Protection complained about extremely long lines. There were reports of three-hour waits in Jefferson County and Lee County in Alabama. In North Carolina, the NCCU School of Law polling location had two-and-a-half-hour lines, which explains why the North Carolina Board of Elections extended polling place hours at some North Carolina voting sites to 8:30 p.m. as a remedy.

Voter Suppression And Intimidation

Perhaps the biggest issue has been attempted voter suppression and intimidation. According to the Election Protection agency, a disproportionate number of calls came from African-Americans and Latino Americans — in Arizona especially — who faced intimidation and suppression tactics. In Ohio, there were reports of intimidation in African-American communities. It's important to note that this is the first presidential election without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.

In Georgia, there were reports of voter intimidation and a police presence outside polling places. And in the swing state of Pennsylvania, early reports that half the calls were about intimidation were "investigated and were determined to be electioneering" — which is illegal.

Registration Issues

In at least two states, voters reported registration issues. In Alabama, voter roll purges led to longer lines, since voters had to re-register. In Texas, voters across the state reported being turned away from their polling place if they could not produce their voter registration card.

Misinformation On College Campuses

Technically, misinformation is just another form of voter suppression. But it has been especially rampant on college campuses — for example at Arizona State University. Both Florida and Georgia also had several reports of misinformation, including students being told that they have to vote provisionally or that only certain parties can vote at specific sites.

Equipment Failures

New York state was home to several equipment failures, which led to very long wait times for voters. There were also equipment problems in the key state of North Carolina, as well as in Virginia. Failures ranged from broken voting machines to broken scanners.

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