Early problems greet some U.S. voters
WASHINGTON — Despite Donald Trump’s continued skepticism that the election was on the upand-up, few voters who went to the polls Tuesday encountered problems — and even then, most of the trouble involved the usual machine breakdowns and long lines.
The runup to the vote was fraught with unsupported claims by the Republican presidential candidate of a rigged election and fears that hackers might attack voting systems. He reiterated his claims on Election Day, after his campaign announced it was seeking an investigation in the battleground state of Nevada over reports that some early voting locations had allowed people to join lines to vote after polls were scheduled to close.
Asked on Fox News if he would accept Tuesday’s results, Trump continued to demur.
“We’re going to see how things play out today and hopefully they will play out well and hopefully we won’t have to worry about it,” he said. Later in the interview, he said, “It’s largely a rigged system.”
Concerns of voter intimidation and fraud led to a flurry of lawsuits in the runup to Election Day, and new voter regulations in more than a dozen states also held the potential to sow confusion at polling places.
But at least in the early going, most of the problems were routine — the kinds of snags that come every four years, like lines, machines not working properly, and trouble with ballots or voter rolls. One New Jersey voter reported waiting three hours because there were too few voting machines at her polling place in Jersey City.
In Texas, a computer malfunctioned at a polling place inside a high school in suburban Houston, forcing officials to briefly send voters to another polling place more than two miles away. Fort Bend County Elections Administrator John Oldham said the malfunctioning console was later replaced with a backup and voting resumed.
Andrea Patience, 50, a pharmacy technician, was among those standing in line when the computer malfunctioned. She said she waited an hour for it to be fixed. Patience said as many as 100 people were in line at the time, and about half of them left.
“There were a lot of upset people,” Patience said. “I don’t know if they will come back later or decide not to vote.”
Election officials in Utah said voting machine problems in the southern part of the state forced poll workers early in the day to use paper ballots. A computer problem i n Durham County, N.C. — a Democratic stronghold in a state that has been a key battleground in the presidential race — triggered long lines when election officials had to rely on a paper check-in process.
There were also sporadic reports of people in North Carolina who said they were not put on the voter rolls despite registering through the Division of Motor Vehicles.
The line snakes past the parking lot Tuesday at Berean Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo.