Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Scattered Allegations of Dirty Tricks and Electronic Voting Problems

Election Day Brings Lines, Scattered Machine Errors (Update6)

By Jeff Bliss and James Rowley

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Reports of long lines, voting machine malfunctions and court disputes over ballot procedures surfaced as U.S. voters chose all 435 members of the House of Representatives, senators in 33 states and 36 governors.

Problems with electronic voting systems and scanners that record paper ballots cropped up in Ohio, Denver, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Utah, election observers said. Voting-rights groups considered whether to file suits to extend voting hours in the precincts experiencing the most trouble

Election Protection, a coalition of voting-rights groups, said it had received 12,300 calls from voters as of 3 p.m. today. Many of the callers expressed confusion about where their polling places were and what identification was required.

``I did not anticipate we would have so many polling places being down,'' Barbara Arnwine, executive director of Washington- based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told reporters on a conference call this afternoon.

Doug Lewis, director of the Election Center, a Houston-based group of the nation's election officials, said few precincts had experienced major problems.

``What I'm hearing out of states at this point is that we have a handful of pockets of problems,'' he said. ``It doesn't appear to be widespread.''


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