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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Strong Turnout And Purposeful Confusion Create Long Waits For Voters In Swing States

Strong Turnout And Purposeful Confusion Create Long Waits For Voters In Swing States

With early voting hours cut by Republican officials in Florida and Ohio, extraordinarily long lines are greeting voters in the states that will likely decide the 2012 presidential election.

Democratic strategist Bob Shrum calls the several hours some voters are spending in line waiting for their right to vote a “poll tax,” harkening to a Jim Crow-era restriction used to keep African-Americans from voting. Poll taxes were specifically banned by the 24th Amendment.

It’s no coincidence that long lines are being reported in urban areas made up of predominantly Democratic-leaning voters. For more than a year the “GOP War On Voting” has aimed to intimidate and shrink the number of Obama supporters who end up at the polls today.

Voters determined to cast their votes do not seem to be leaving the lines. However, a study conducted after the 2004 election suggested that up to 3 percent of voters in urban and college areas left the line because of the long waits.

Voting machine malfunctions in heavily Democratic areas were reported across Ohio this morning, creating long lines in the morning. The machines appear operable now but reports say that while they were down, poll workers handed out provisional ballots “like candy” to keep the lines moving.

Ohio’s Secretary of State, Republican Jon Husted, recently put new restrictions on provisional ballots that could swing the election if the results are close enough.

True the Vote, a right-wing “voter integrity” group that targets minority areas, has been banned from polling places in Columbus and may be investigated for forging the signatures they needed to monitor voters.

In Pennsylvania, confusion over a voter ID law that has been temporarily stayed by a federal court has led to Republican poll “observers” demanding that voters show their ID before entering their polling places. Voters are not required to show ID, but poll workers are allowed to ask for it, creating undue confusion across the state.

A judge has issued an order for Republicans to stop harassing voters but the GOP also received a court order to have 75 of their credentialed “poll inspectors” allowed into polling places across Philadelphia.

In areas hit by Superstorm Sandy, displaced voters are scrambling to find a way to vote. New York and New Jersey are allowing residents to vote at any polling place they can make it to, creating unexpectedly long waits in some areas.

As some Americans are forced to donate half a workday to democracy, Fox News is fixated on a mural of President Obama in one polling place in Philadelphia that they claim hasn’t been properly covered up—and, of course, the one requisite one New Black Panther. Perhaps if it were mostly Romney voters waiting on those lines, they’d be telling a different story.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

  • bcarreiro

    dont hate, learn to appreciate………………….OBAMA-BIDEN 2012.

  • nobsartist

    That just means the poll workers will have to work longer and soon, “secretary of states” will lose the right to oversee elections and will have to do what secretary’s do.

    occasionally, the may be trust to select license plates but I hope soon, many will be pressing them, themselves.

    • In o8 the polls still closed at 7pm people were still in line, here in Houston.

  • 2hheels2

    Yes it is a poll tax this is America there is no way in this country we should have people stand in lines to get to vote. It has got to be redefined either federally or laws made that keeps these nut job Governors from defining laws targeting people rights to vote.

    • It Took Me 2 hours But Screw That I’m Voting For Our POTUS!! We Are The Change We’re Looking For VOTE Obama/Biden It’s Going To Take All Hands On Deck No Matter What They Throw In Front Of Us VOTE!!!

      • 2hheels2

        Everyone of you that have done this we thank you. For me everyone that took the time to vote through this kind of hardship is a hero. Thank-you and everyone it shows you care about this country. WE THANK-YOU

        • Thank You My Friends!!! United We Did This!!!

          • lindablue

            Thank goodness the country is finally going in a progressive direction. This is what happens when the people vote.

      • Johnny

        Hey fern, where I vote opened at 8:am. I sat in a warm pick up waiting for the long line to move into the building. Then got out and only had to wait in a temperarture of 23 degrees for less than five minutes. Oh yea, it felt really great to vote republican straight ticket.

        • Too bad you voted for a losing presdiential candidate. Don’t know what state you live in so I can’t say if you lost the Senate choice too. Glad you stayed warm but enjoy the next 4 years with 2nd term President Obama

          • Bill You Can Always GET THE HELL OUT OF AMERICA!!! You Can Go To CHINA WHERE ROMNEY IS HEAVY INVESTED IN!!! Happy 1.45 WAGES!!! FOOL!!!

        • LOL GOOD FOR YOU GOT YOUR PASSPORT IN ORDER!!! BYE BYE!!! LOL

    • Why complan,we stand in line for everything else. …welfare?

      • I’m A Middle Class Nurse We Don’t Do Welfare We Work!!!! Maybe If You Got Your Ass Off The Computer And Get You Some Skills You Don’t Have To Do Welfare Either!!! Get A Job And Get A Life!!!

      • Walmart?

      • Ed

        I always wonder when I see this kind of comments, about welfare, food stamps etc., just how much the writer knows about government or the process to recceive bemefits. Trust me the repubs have made it as hard as possible. I do know that most of those who wave “the constitution” have never read it ;if they have ever had it explained to them it was by someone whpo didn’t know what he was talking about. On the other han d Romney spent the last two months promising to abolish laws, passed by the congress(as required by the constitution), by fiat on “Day One of my presidency!” So I guess it is a republican thing. “The rich should rule”.

        • When You Heard Welfare And Food Stamps That Cause They Are Collecting Them!!! LOL The First One Call Some One A Thief Cause They Are The Thief!!! LOL

  • It’d be nice to think that they are merely incompetent. Long lines in urban Ohio in 2004, as I recall…

  • I think the Governors of Florida and Ohio need to be impeached for violating voters rights, on purpose.

    • They Will Do Every Vile And Dirty Trick In The Book To Keep Us From Real Change VOTE!!! Do Not Let That Demon ROMNEY AND RYAN GET NEAR THE WHITE HOUSE!!!! VOTE!!!!

      • I VOTED FOR OBAMA. I AM PROUD OF IT. YEA.

        • WHERE ARE THE TROLLS!!! LOL I TOLD THEM WHILE THEY ARE TROLLING ON ALL THE WEB SITE THIS WOMAN IS ON THE GROUND MAKING OUR POTUS A 2 TERM PRESIDENT!!! LOL WHERE ARE YOU NOW TEA BAGGING BITCHES!!! SOUR GRAPES!!!

    • Kansan

      Bring back the Old West. They hung horse thieves on the spot. Stealing elections is way worse!

    • And add PA to that list as well.

    • IT’S A DONE DEAL OBAMA WON!!!!

  • t the polling station in Concord,NH. ( ward # 10) I showed the lady clerk my valid US passport and she told me I needed another id. with my residing address on it. That really ticked me off, I raised my voice and told her my valid US passport was all I needed to be able to vote. She immediately gave me the ballots with my passport and I voted.

    • neece00

      good for you and I am glad it worked.

    • It’s All Bullshit !!! Obama WON And We WON!!!!

  • There is a Black Man in the WHITE HOUSE don’t be shocked and surprised that they are doing this that’s how the WHITE MAN does his business if he can’t win fare and square CHEAT ask the Native Americans

    • I’m Part Native American And NOW WE WILL PREVAIL!!! OBAMA WON!!!!!

  • GWB stole the election in 08 in Fla, sound like the problems of today right? Any vote for Mitt is a vote for, lieing, cheating, intimdation, corrumpion, and racism. The thing this country fight to STOP!!!!!!!!!! One polling place, whos’ your DADDY>>>?

  • Germansmith

    Long lines in Florida mostly due to a very long ballot with many amendments and reduced early voting days.

    I bypassed those by using the absentee ballot. Usually voting in my poll station is quick and brisk, but I also live in a mostly affluent Republican district. These people vote absentee ballot or vote early and come prepared knowing what their vote will be.

    I would not put to doubt that our Republican control state house and city would make voting for minorities harder and more inconvenient, but I really would like see concrete numbers before swinging an accusation.

  • Johnny

    fern, yo iz one sick individual. denouncing republicans is sinister

  • Lovefacts

    For the first time in my 15 years in Virginia, I had a line to vote. We had plenty of voting machines that worked–optical readers. It was the number of people voting. The polls open here at 7 a.m. A friend, who votes in a different ward, arrived at 6:35 a.m. and had to wait an hour to get her ballot. Not long by NC, Ohio, or Florida standards, but long for us. On the upside, most of them seemed to be for Obama. Go POTUS!

    • The Lines Was The American Taliban Money At Work Too Bad They Wasted All That Money For NOTHING!!!!!LOL

  • Play fare across the board and they might win one day. Bush cheated and sent the country sraight to HELL!

  • Why complane, what you have done in the past will surely turn up in the future…sooner or later!! So what so bad about *Peace, Love and Understanding* i.e., !!”sooner”!!

  • If they hand out provisional ballots, they should be required to check them for accuracy in the presence of the voter so they won’t disqualify their votes.

  • You are so right Mary Martinez. The governor is a felon himself, walking around free – took the 5th over and over again in court as his company he headed stole milions from us, the taxpayers, and he claimed he knew nothing about it. So, I ask you, what DOES the CEO of a company do? As far as the Ohio governor goes, he’s doing everything he can to deny people the right to vote. They should be impeached and removed from office instantly. It is hateful behavior and typical of the repugncans now. We had a republican governor Charlie Crist who actually DID work for us, and he extended the early voting hours. Not this jackass.

  • rockwoman

    If Those Republicans are So Sure of themselves that it is such a close Race, then WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS UP TO NO GOOD, DOING ILLEGAL UNLAWFUL THINGS LIKE THIS ANYWAY???? I Will Tell You Why, Because THIS RACE ISN”T A CLOSE RACE AT ALL!!!! NO MATTER HOW THE REPUBLICANS TRY TO DISCOURAGE VOTERS AND PULL SUCH SHINANAGANS ON DEMOCRATS, IT JUST IS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT OBAMA IS GOING TO WIN AGAINST THAT REPUBLICAN RAT….ROMNEY BY A LAND SLIDE!!!! I TELL YOU, BY A LAND SLIDE TODAY!!!! 11/06/2012 AND I AM SO HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ABOUT THAT!!!! THE PREPUBLICANS THINK THEY CAN BUY THEIR WAY OUT OF ANYTHING OR INTO ANYTHING BUT NOT THIS TIME AND NOT TODAY!!!!

  • demo6912

    There’s a solution to standing in long lines at a polling place. In my state, Washington, all voting is done by mail. It works smoothly and I’ve not seen or heard of any problems. Ballots are mailed to voters about 2 1/2 weeks before Election Day, they vote in the comfort of their own home, and mail the ballots back. Ballots must be postmarked by 8 p.m. on election day. The only downside is that with a close race, sometimes it’s a few days before the winner is known due to ballots that are received 2 or 3 days after Election Day — but this is usually not a problem. It really seems to me that more states should seriously consider this. It’s great!

    • Cairndance

      I voted 2 weeks ago (in Washington) before Romney decided to become Obama light!Does he really believe that we wouldn’t notice?How silly, of course some people didn’t notice!
      He was a tax cheater 2 weeks ago, a flip/flopper and a lier.
      I decided during the R’s debates, they were all a bit nuts!Romney just hid it longer than the rest!

      The economy may be important but if I, as a female, don’t have the right to make decisions about my own health and body, if old men think that only they have a right to make these decisions, then society as a whole looses, and it doesn’t matter how much money I make. Don’t let the R’s make us 2nd class citizens!

  • arbyone52

    Am I missing something? Is there a Long Line for Democrats and a Short Line for Republicans? No you dofuss’s EVERYBODY IS WAITING IN LINE! Why are the Dem’s ALWAYS the first to file complaints, and b—ch and moan “they’re picking on us”

  • RobertCHastings

    I think there SHOULD be a poll tax – pay if you DON’T vote. I like what Gov. Christy is doing, making all sorts of innovative ways available to those who are displaced by Sandy in order for them to be able to vote. Voting on ones computer would certainly simplify the process, using whatever means necessary to verify who the individual is. People could go to the library to vote, or vote in local schools, or anywhere with access to the Internet. There should be a National Voting Day, in which EVERYTHING closes. We should all be given the opportunity to exercise this extremely important right, and no one should ever be discouraged from voting. We have at least 200 million people in this country who are qualified to vote, and yet only about 60% actually participate – that means over 80 million who SHOULD vote, DON’T. And we have the chutzpah to brag about our democracy and try to impose our will on other nations around the world?

  • Honor2

    Let’s face it–there has always been problems in Ohio and Florida. Look at what happened in 2004.
    They are difficult areas to deal with–maybe it will be best to just not count any votes coming from those states.

    What about absentee ballots? I know here in Fulton County Georgia one was not received in time for the voter to get it back to count for the election. The ballot just arrived yesterday in Hawaii and there is no way possible to get it back to Georgia by today. Makes me wonder if the delay in sending it was intentional. Makes me wonder just how many did not arrive for the voters to count. In 2008, 4,000 absentee ballots had to be FEDEXED to the Fulton County voters at a cost to the taxpayers of nearly $300,000.00. Is this time different?

  • ALREADY MACHINES ARE RIGGED, RUNNING OUT OF BALLOTS, LONGLINES, NEW ID LAWS. WHAT COUNTRY ARE WE IN?

  • Jack Wormer

    If citizens arrive at their polling places and due to legislative restrictions or legislated organizational sabotage are unable to vote within the allotted time, WOULD THAT MAKE THEIR VOTING BEYOND THE ALLOTTED TIME ILLEGAL?

    Hell NO!

    I’d say, impeach the responsible legislators(and take away their civil rights for 10-years!) AND EXTEND VOTING UNTIL ALL CITIZENS IN LINE HAVE CAST THEIR VOTES!

  • ExPAVIC

    Typical

    As before, the American Taliban Republicans will pull every dirty trick imaginable to forward their “Win At Any Cost” attitude.

    Least you forget, in the 2000 election the Florida Secretary of State Kathryn Harris ignored 32,000 Palm Beach County, pro-Gore votes to hand G.W. Bush Florida and ultimately the election.

    A few months prior to that dirty trick Jeb Bush, the Florida Governor and brother to George, stated that he would deliver the state of Florida to George regardless of the steps needed to do it.

  • what do you expect from Fox News-Al Qaeda-Taliban like nest of right wingers who hate Obama and America…

  • ExPAVIC

    Pay Attention

    Remember, the Democrat National Committee advised voters to vote absentee, vote by mail, and vote early to avoid the crap that is going on now.

    In fact, Democrats have outvoted others by 10 to 3 in early voting.

    If you are a democrat, stay in line to vote no matter what since they have to let you vote. Let the RoMoney people give up and go home.

  • Sand_Cat

    You think it was “confusion” that led repugnant poll “watchers” to demand IDs in Pennsylvania? Surely you can’t possibly be that naive and trusting!

    Do “observers” have the right to demand anything, even under the original terms of this obviously voter-suppression law?

  • If the people waiting in long stupid complicated lineS would have showed up for the mid term elections they may have been able to avoid the mess made by republican COWARDS, by keeping these COWARDS out of office. LETS just hope they have learned and will show up this time no matter what the results are for PRESIDENT!!!

  • Let’s just get this straight, Jon Husted is *not* Ohio’s Sec. of State. He’s the Ohio region Republican secretary, sponsored by the RNC and their corporate backers!

  • aladythespian

    I voted for Obama/Biden this morning and so did both of my sons. I want to see legitimate investigations into the tampering with our votes and people need to go to jail. Especially that low life Nathan Sproul. Any politician proven to have done anything to block people from voting should not only be prosecuted but they should not be allowed to ever hold a public office again. If they knew that they could lose their political career, maybe they might think twice before doing any of this garbage again.

  • oh, stop whining

  • Show your intellegence and your support and vote for Obama, he is leading us on the pathway to freedom, free healthcare,less nuclear weapons, higher taxes on the rich folks that keep us down and justice for all! I myself am ready to stand up and do this all again in 2016, Do we have another Black Democrat that will run?

    • HILLARY CLINTON 2016!

  • For everyone who hasn’t voted yet, VOTE AMERICA! Remember that slogan: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer! They were talking about Republicans/Tea Party types. For all of the 47%e thinking about voting for Romney/Ryan, you’re making a grave mistake that will come back to haunt you. THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET POORER. Remember that.

  • ChristinaBernard

    I live in Va. and it took me 2 hours in line to vote. There were not many that left.

  • nobsartist

    PRESIDENT OBAMA WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FUCK THE REPUBLIcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • joceandre

    We won. WE HAD OUR EYES WIDE OPEN .

  • ridemybroom

    OBAMA WINNER….now will the repubturds stfu !

  • shopper11

    We voted in FL this morning, no lines. Just walked in, showed our ID, voted and finished in minutes. People just kept coming and going with no problems…………lots of booths and help. Think it’s a very Republican area.

  • Town I live in had long lines. It took us over an hour to get through. Part of it was due to the time we went (6:30 PM), and part of it was two polling sites had been closed, so folks had to go to different sites. One was closed because the building is in the process of being demolished. The other was closed because of shifts in population meant that this location would have only seen about 1/3 of the numbers who used to vote there.

    The only problem I saw was there appeared to be no acommodation for the elderly and disabled, providing chairs for them to sit in while waiting, or head of the line for folks on crutches, walkers and canes.

  • The American people have spoken, God bless america and God has blessed President Baraka Obama . It is what we made it!

  • Ed

    Americans don’t care enough about their liberties to hold the repubs accountable. Just as with the Patriot Act.

  • lindablue

    The people have shown the Republican Party that their dirty tricks only make voters more willful to vote and will be thinking of them when its up to us to vote them out.

  • The lines would be a lot shorter if Democrats put more Black Panthers at all the poling places. Lets get on that shall we?

    • lindablue

      Democrats don’t need to play the same game that Republicans play putting thugs at voting polls trying to intimidate voters. Voter just need to tell the thugs thanks but no thanks I will be voting.

  • You sound like a Nazi newspaper. Present Obama had a fantastic speech; you people just can’t believe that he won the popular vote. Doesn’t that tell you people anything about what the people want of this nation? The house of representations is going to wind up losing their seats in the house and we Democrats will make sore of that. You did not believe Present Obama could win, but you need to wake up to reality and prey we don’t take your jobs away from you. My Union which is in almost every state helped to elect present Obama. We will be working heard to help put America’s dreams in place and we won’t stop until it’s done you need to fear us because we are a force to be reckoned with.

    • lindablue

      Right on Florence they still have not figured out that we live in a liberal country. Even with their voter suppression tactics they have been resoundingly rejected by the American people. Too bad they will never except reality. My advice to them is to get on Prozac and put on a happy face.

  • You sound like a Nazi newspaper. Present Obama had a fantastic speech; you people just can’t believe that he won the popular vote. Doesn’t that tell you people anything about what the people want of this nation? The house of representations is going to wind up losing their seats in the house and we Democrats will make sore of that. You did not believe Present Obama could win, but you need to wake up to reality and prey we don’t take your jobs away from you. My Union which is in almost every state helped to elect present Obama. We will be working heard to help put America’s dreams in place and we won’t stop until it’s done you need to fear us because we are a force to be reckoned with.