Below is a rundown of some of the issues Election Protection volunteers dealt with on Election Day:
Election Protection volunteers and legal experts on the ground in Cleveland reported massive crowds, long lines and improper enforcement of voting policies in the final hours of voting in Ohio. Even after being contacted by the Board of Elections, poll workers in Cuyahoga County precincts continued to feed voters misinformation about how to fill out their ballot. Additionally, voters reported they were not given enough time in the voting booth to complete their ballots.
There were multiple reports of voter intimidation in Arizona. Election Protection volunteers reported that an assigned Republican poll watcher within the 75-foot polling place perimeter, who was also observed videotaping voters, became confrontational with both an Election Protection volunteer and a volunteer for the Raul Grijalva campaign waiting outside of the perimeter. Election Protection alerted the Tucson Police Department and the volunteer was removed by order of the Arizona Secretary of State. The first reports of the poll watcher came in at approximately 10:30am and he was removed at approximately 2:00pm PST.
Californians reported major problems at poll locations across the state including registered voters not appearing on voter rosters, polls running out of ballots, polls running out of provisional ballots, polls opening late, polls closing early and many polls not opening at all. Election Protection legal volunteers worked to resolve these issues quickly to ensure that no one left their polling location without effectively casting a ballot.
Voters in Chicago precincts reported receiving misinformation from poll workers about casting provisional ballots. It was reported that Election judges were not properly trained on the voting process for individuals placed on the suspended voting list and therefore instructed poll workers to give these voters provisional ballots. In fact, under Chicago Election law, suspended voters are entitled to cast a regular ballot if able to provide two valid forms of identification. After receiving calls from legal experts on the ground in Chicago, Election Protection notified the proper election officials who followed up with the appropriate polling places to rectify the problem.
Before polls closed, voters in Baltimore and Prince George’s County reported receiving robocalls stating, “Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met. The polls were correct…and we’re ok. Relax, everything is fine. The only thing left is to watch on TV tonight. Congratulations and thank you.” The calls were shared with Election Protection and were reported towards the end of the day.
In Ann Arbor, University of Michigan several students reported that they faced a problem with voting at their current residence. When they turned 21, the state automatically reverted their driver’s licenses to their original address as opposed to their current school addresses. They either had to vote at their parents’ residence or cast a provisional ballot.