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Voters in Battleground States Face Confusion at the Polls Voters in Battleground States Face Confusion at the Polls Voters in Battleground States Face Confusion at the Polls Voters in Battleground St...

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Politics / CAMPAIGN 2012

Voters in Battleground States Face Confusion at the Polls

Voters were facing confusion at multiple locations in battleground states on Tuesday.(DAVID GOLDMAN/AP)

photo of Lara Seligman
November 6, 2012

Full election coverage

A new Pennsylvania voter-identification law requiring all voters to provide photo IDs is causing confusion at the polls, even though it is not yet in effect.

Pennsylvania passed the tough new voter-ID law requiring all voters to provide photo IDs with an expiration date, but a Pennsylvania court blocked implementation of the law until after the 2012 election. Only first-time voters are currently required to show identification.

But Allegheny County officials received a complaint early Tuesday morning that Republicans outside a polling station on Maple Street in Homestead, Pa., were stopping voters outside the polls and demanding identification. A county judge ordered a halt to partisan electioneering outside polling stations, according to Pittsburgh's Tribune-Review.

 

Meanwhile, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported confusion at polling stations across the metro area. At a site in South Philadelphia, a poll worker began asking for IDs after she was asked by a visitor why she was not instructing voters to provide them.

Voters in Harrisburg reportedly received mailers instructing them incorrectly that they must provide state-approved identification to vote, according to The Philadelphia Daily News. The mailers were produced by the Pennsylvania State Department and sent out in September, before the Oct. 2 ruling. 

Other problems are cropping up, particularly -- no surprise -- in Pennsylvania and other battleground states:

  • A Pennsylvania judge issued an order to reinstate Republican election officials across Philadelphia who were allegedly ejected from the polls. 
  • A Pennsylvania voter posted a video on Youtube in which his vote for President Obama was repeatedly changed into one for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, NBC News confirmed. The machine was taken out of service.
  • An hour after polls opened in Florida, hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of voters received robocalls from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office mistakenly telling them that they had until 7 p.m. on Wednesday to vote. Polls actually close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The calls went out because of a glitch with the office’s phone system, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
  • Many New Jersey voters whose polling places were displaced because of Superstorm Sandy are reporting problems via Facebook and Twitter. Voters were instructed to send applications by fax or e-mail to their county clerk’s office, and were supposed to receive ballots back once their applications were approved. But according to NJ.com, many voters reported never receiving a ballot. In response to the chaos, the state has extended the email voting deadline for people displaced by Sandy to 8 p.m. Friday.
  • In Ohio, a judge will rule later on Tuesday on an election-eve lawsuit alleging that voting software used at election boards in 25 of Ohio’s most populous counties could leave equipment vulnerable to ballot manipulation. The software was made by Omaha-based Elections Systems and Software, according to the Associated Press.
  • In Ross County, Ohio, elections officials told The Columbus Dispatch that a small group of people was reported to be knocking on doors claiming to be from the Board of Elections.
  • Voters across North Carolina have reported frustrations with touch-screen voting machines, saying they tried to vote for one candidate, but the ballot was cast instead for someone else. In Greensboro, the Raleigh Telegram reports that one voter tried to vote for Romney three times, but the machine changed the ballot to a vote for Obama.
  • District of Columbia voters reported getting robocalls from the D.C. Democratic State Committee urging them to vote on the wrong day – Wednesday. The mistake stemmed from a Chicago-based vender, dcist.com reported, which recorded a message on Monday urging voters to vote “tomorrow.” The robocalls resumed on Tuesday morning, but the “tomorrow” had not been changed.
  • In Arizona, where Republican Rep. Jeff Flake is locked in a tight Senate race with former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, robocalls paid for by Flake's campaign are telling Democrats to go to the wrong polling places.

Ben Schreckinger contributed. contributed to this article.

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