National: After a Fraught Election, Questions Over the Impact of a Balky Voting Process | The New York Times

So few Americans cast ballots that a new president was elected by barely a quarter of Americans eligible to vote. Some of those who did vote waited in line for hours. Others were told they needed an ID to vote under a law the courts had nullified months ago — and sometimes, under laws that never existed to begin with. Amid the ruins of the ugliest presidential campaign in modern history, Democrats are bemoaning an election apparatus so balky and politically malleable that throngs of would-be voters either gave up trying to cast ballots or cast ones that were never counted. This was the first presidential election in a half century that was held without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Voting rights advocates spent the year in court battling, with incomplete success, to roll back restrictions on the franchise enacted by Republican legislatures in state after state. Some scholars and election analysts questioned this week whether a better run and less politically influenced voting process might have changed the outcome in some close races and made the presidential contest even closer. The headline example is Wisconsin, where a Republican-backed law requiring voters to produce one of a limited number of acceptable photo IDs was in effect for the first time. Studies show — and some Republicans admit — that such laws disproportionately reduce Democratic turnout because many of the laws require IDs that low-income and immigrant voters, who are often Democrats, frequently lack. In Milwaukee, where turnout dropped 41,000 votes from the 2012 total, the chief elections official said on Friday that declines in voting were greatest in areas where lack of IDs was most common. Donald J. Trump won Wisconsin by about 27,000 votes.

National: About 100 million people couldn’t be bothered to vote this year | The Washington Post

Roughly 43 percent of eligible voters didn’t bother filling out a ballot this year, according to turnout estimates from the U.S. Elections Project. To look at it another way, the people who could have voted but chose not to vastly outnumbered those who cast a vote for Clinton, Trump or a third-party candidate. The U.S. Elections Project, run by a political scientist at the University of Florida, estimates that there are about 251 million voting-age people in the U.S. But not all of them are eligible to vote: some are non-citizens living in the U.S., while several million more can’t legally vote because they’re in prison, on parole, or have a past felony conviction in states where that’s a barrier to voting. Subtract all those people and you’ve got about 232 million people potentially eligible to cast a vote this fall. But only about 132 million of them did, give or take the one or two million votes that have yet to be officially certified. That means that 100 million people who have the legal right to vote simply decided it wasn’t worth the hassle this year.

National: Civil rights leaders say voter suppression laws influenced 2016 presidential election | McClatchy DC

Civil rights groups say a tangle of Republican-backed “voter suppression” laws enacted since 2010 probably helped tip the scale for Republican nominee Donald Trump in some closely contested states on election night. “When we look back, we will find that voter suppression figured prominently in the story surrounding the 2016 presidential election,” said Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Fourteen states had restrictive new voting laws on the books for the first time in a presidential election this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. The laws included a mix of photo ID requirements for voters, cuts to early voting opportunities and curbs on voter registration activity. The laws, which were presumably enacted as a safeguard against voter fraud, began to spread nationally after the 2010 midterm elections, when large numbers of Republicans were swept into state offices.

National: Audit the Vote Petition: Did Russia Hack Presidential Election? | Heavy

Thousands of people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding an audit of the 2016 presidential election to rule out any possibility that Russian hackers helped give Donald Trump his Electoral College victory. There’s no evidence of this, although some cyber security and intelligence experts have blamed Russia for hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Those acts benefited Trump, who has said he has never even met Vladimir Putin. The hashtag #AudittheVote was also trending on Twitter on November 17 as Clinton supporters passed around supposed election anomalies. Driving some of the suspicion: The fact that so many polls (pre-election polling but also exit polls) had the election completely wrong.

National: The electoral college badly distorts the vote. And it’s going to get worse. | The Washington Post

Donald Trump won the United States presidency with 290 votes in the electoral college. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with 62,568,373 votes, as of Nov. 16, to President-elect Trump’s 61,336,159. The electoral college has overruled the popular vote for the second time in the last five presidential elections. If all votes were weighed evenly, Clinton would have received 259 votes in the electoral college. Trump would have 256. Candidates from other parties would also have received electoral college votes. The United States has faced this conflict between the electoral college and the popular vote only four times in the nation’s history (five, if you include John Quincy Adams’s election). But it’s happening more and more often. The electoral college is designed to favor sparsely populated areas. It was created to strengthen the agrarian elite, offer more federal power to slaveholding states, and counterbalance factionalism and polarization. But it’s not doing any of this today. Rather, the electoral college values some votes above others, while entirely disenfranchising the 4 million Americans who live in overseas territories.

National: Russian hacking of election infrastructure ‘curtailed’ after US statement | The Hill

Russian scanning of state election infrastructure was “curtailed” after the U.S. publicly blamed Moscow for hacking several U.S. political organizations, the nation’s top intelligence official says. “The issuance of the statement and communication between our government and the Russian government seemed to have curtailed the cyber activity the Russians were previously engaged in,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday. “I was referring to cyber reconnaissance many states had observed prior to the statement,” Clapper clarified. Russia is believed to have been behind pre-election attempts to penetrate voter information databases in Arizona and Illinois. Clapper, together with the Department of Homeland Security, in October publicly blamed Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other political organizations this year, calling the thefts an intentional effort to interfere with the U.S. election process. But intelligence leaders at the time said they were not ready to confirm that the probing of state election systems was the work on Russian hackers.

National: Voting Problems Present in 2016, But Further Study Needed to Determine Impact | Brennan Center for Justice

The 2016 election is over, and while much has been written about who voted and for whom, and what the media missed, there has been frustratingly little post-election coverage on the problem of Americans being disenfranchised by predictable and avoidable shortcomings in the ways we administer elections. Election administrators had to fend off a lot in 2016 before the election even started — claims that elections were rigged, hacks into voter registration databases, out-of-date technology, calls for private citizens to appoint themselves watchers of polling places, and politicians passing laws restricting access to the ballot. Each of those issues contributed to problems at the polls. They were compounded by a persistent problem of insufficient resources. Aging voting machines are a known risk to the functioning of the voting system and public confidence. In 2015, the Brennan Center warned that 42 states use machines that are at least a decade old and approaching the end of their projected lifespans.

National: White House Confirms Pre-Election Warning to Russia Over Hacking | The New York Times

Over the past month, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has received two starkly different messages about hacking into American computer networks from the current and future presidents of the United States: Don’t you dare, and don’t worry, we’re not even sure it was you. The White House confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that eight days before the presidential election, the United States “contacted the Russian government directly regarding malicious cyberactivity” that was “targeting U.S. state election-related systems.” It sent the message over a rarely used system: a hotline connecting the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers in both countries, which they had agreed three years ago could also be employed to deal with major cyber incidents. The pre-election warning — only the latest after verbal cautions by President Obama, his defense secretary and the director of national intelligence — was reported by The Washington Post. The warnings to Russia against further hacking into polling or registration systems, or any further effort to affect the outcome of the election, are being hailed by the Obama administration as a success in deterrence. After all, they argue, a year and a half of Russian hacking activity seemed to slow, or halt, and there is no evidence that voting or counting of ballots was disrupted on Election Day.

National: NSA: WikiLeaks election leaks were ‘conscious effort by a nation-state’ | International Business Times

The leaks and disclosures published by WikiLeaks in the run-up to the US presidential election this year were a “conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect”, according to the director of the National Security Agency (NSA). US intelligence chief Michael Rogers, who has managed the secretive agency since 2014, said during a Wall Street Journal conference on 15 November that Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid was hampered by state-sponsored hackers who worked to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. “There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind – this was not something that was done casually,” he said when asked about WikiLeaks’ publications. “This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.”

National: Don’t expect Electoral College drama on December 19 | Constitution Daily

Despite a popular petition on the Change.org website about how the nation’s 538 electors should vote on December 19, there seems to be little chance of the tactic changing the recent presidential election’s outcome. As of Monday afternoon, more than 4.3 million people signed an online petition “to make Hillary Clinton President on December 19” by calling on electors in the Electoral College to ignore their commitments to vote for Donald Trump. For now, Trump has 290 votes in the Electoral College, compared with 228 for Clinton. The vote counting continues in two states: Michigan and New Hampshire. But Trump only needed 270 votes to clinch the election, which he received early on November 9. Regardless of what happens on December 19, Republican candidate Trump will become the elected President on January 6, 2017, unless some vastly unforeseen event prevents Congress from counting the Electoral College votes during a joint meeting of Congress, or the President-elect is unable to take his oath on Friday, January 20, 2017.

National: Are Absentee Ballots Counted Last? Votes Still Being Tallied In Some States | International Business Times

More than 42 million Americans voted before Election Day, but their ballots may still be getting counted a week later. Republican Donald Trump was declared the president-elect early Wednesday morning, beating out Democrat Hillary Clinton in Electoral College votes. However, as states have continued to tally their results, she’s pulled ahead in popular votes. According to data compiled by David Wasserman, the United States House editor of the Cook Political Report, Clinton was up by nearly 963,000 votes as of Tuesday morning. That total included 129.4 million votes — and there were “still millions left to go,” Wasserman added on Twitter. The numbers keep changing because states like California and Washington are still working on their provisional and absentee ballots, which were considered valid if they were postmarked by Election Day, the Atlantic reported. Don’t freak out: These votes, mostly cast in areas that already supported Clinton, won’t reverse Trump’s victory.

National: GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Congress to investigate Russian cyberattack on DNC, election | Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump may seek improved relations with Russia, but top Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Vladimir Putin held responsible if the Russian government was involved in cyber-hacks to disrupt the U.S. elections. Graham, who has sparred openly with Trump, his former rival in the presidential primary, is proposing that Congress hold a series of hearings on “Russia’s misadventures throughout the world” – including whether they were involved in “hacking into the DNC.” “Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?” Graham said. If so, Graham said, “Putin should be punished.”

National: DHS Secretary: No election day cyberattacks | CyberScoop

Despite warnings during the that there might be attempts by Russian hackers to disrupt or even influence the outcome of U.S. elections, authorities on high alert across the country last week detected no major cyber attacks or untoward online activity directed at election infrastructure, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday. “In connection with the election, we did not see anything that I would characterize as significant,” he told the Bloomberg Next forum in D.C., “There were minor incidents of the type that people might expect, but nothing of significance.”

National: The first step to fixing long lines at the polls? Knowing where they happen. | The Washington Post

Horror stories about people standing in long lines to vote started even before Election Day this year, with reports of massive waits at early-voting locations. But new technology and research could help give officials the information they need to figure out how to make elections run better next time and one day help them respond to problems at polling places as they happen. There’s remarkably little detailed data about how long Americans wait to vote, according to electoral experts. They say that’s a big problem because fixing long lines at the polls is practically impossible without knowing where they actually happen. Previous research has generally shown longer waits in urban areas and for minority voters. But much of that data comes from media reports or surveys, according to John Fortier, the director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project. “Even administrators that run large counties often don’t have a handle on what’s going on at all at their polling places,” he said. In fact, many precincts do not have systems to track long lines, let alone prevent them, Fortier and other election watchers said. But that’s starting to change.

National: This year, laws with roots to the Civil War prevented 6.1 million from voting | PBS

Donald Trump won the presidential election on Tuesday as millions of people were prevented from voting this year by rules that root back to the Civil War and were made to maintain white male political dominance. About 6.1 million people who were convicted of breaking laws could not cast ballots because of policies that keep felons off voter rolls, according to justice reform organization The Sentencing Project. And according to the most recent numbers from Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, which is still counting, Hillary Clinton lost by a margin smaller than those banned from voting — many of whom are poor or black or both, which are groups that tend to vote Democrat. At the same time, Clinton garnered at least half a million more votes than Trump, but lost the Electoral College. This system gives each state a number of votes roughly proportioned to population — 538 in total — and the candidate who wins the majority of them, which will be officially counted in January, wins the election. The last time such an anomaly happened was during the hotly-contested 2000 presidential election, when Republican George W. Bush won the Electoral College, defeating Democrat Al Gore, who won the popular vote.

National: Voters encounter some malfunctioning machines, other headaches on Election Day | The Washington Post

As voters flooded polling places across the country on Election Day, some reported problems such as broken machines, long lines and voter intimidation in states ranging from Texas to Pennsylvania. While voting appeared to proceed without headaches in many locations, election observers said they expect a significant increase in the number of issues reported nationwide compared to earlier presidential elections. In particular, voters in a handful of jurisdictions across the country encountered problems with malfunctioning voting machines, highlighting issues with the aging infrastructure expected to support tens of millions of voters turning out on Election Day. One major with some technological problems was Durham County, N.C., which has more than a quarter-million residents outside Raleigh. Officials there had technical issues with electronic poll books used to check in voters. As a result, state authorities told Durham officials to use paper poll books, rather than electronic ones, eventually leading to some delays. (Durham was already using paper ballots.) Local officials asked the North Carolina State Board of Elections to extend voting hours in some precincts, a request that was echoed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. On Tuesday evening, state officials agreed to extend voting in eight precincts, pushing back the closing of polls by as much as an hour in some Durham locations and by 30 minutes in Columbus County. A group had also filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon seeking to keep the Durham polls open until 9 p.m.

National: US election: all quiet on the cyber front | Sydney Morning Herald

Despite concerns about possible attempts to hack or otherwise tamper with the US election, voting appears to have gone smoothly, with no attacks or intrusions. The Department of Homeland Security said it had no reports of election-related cyber breaches. … “All the discussions this year about security gave states another measure of protection,” said Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organisation that advocates for elections accuracy. That work also helped minimise the effects caused by breakdowns of voting machines or crashes of registration databases. In Smith’s experience, the resiliency of the voting system after something goes wrong is what keeps small problems small. For example in Colorado, the state’s electronic voter registration system went down for 29 minutes, from 2.47pm to 3.16pm local time, according to Secretary of State’s spokeswoman Lynn Bartels.

National: European poll watchers report myriad flaws in U.S. elections | The Washington Post

A report from international election observers on their preliminary findings on U.S. elections starts off promisingly. “The 8 November general elections were highly competitive,” they said, “and demonstrated commitment to fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association.” The observers also commended local election officials for their competence and professionalism. But that’s about where the positivity ends. Hundreds of election monitors from around the world fanned out across the United States on Tuesday to ensure free and fair elections, as well as to document the process for the benefit of their home nations. About 300 of them were brought to the United States by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE’s report damns the U.S. elections with faint praise, and then gets to the meat of the issue: Too many voting machines are faulty, and huge portions of the population can’t vote anyhow.

National: Why We Can’t Use the Internet to Vote | Mel Magazine

Every four years, America elects a president. And every four years around election time, Kim Alexander gets annoyed by the same question: Why can’t we vote over the internet yet? “I hate the question,” says Alexander, founder of the California Voter Foundation. Voting over the internet isn’t a priority for CVF, and won’t be for the foreseeable future. You would think an organization dedicated to “the responsible use of technology to improve the democratic process” would be for using the internet to make voting easier. Alexander did, too, once, back in the mid-’90s, shortly after she established CVF and the internet first entered the public consciousness. “But then I started to learn what about it takes to run secure elections, and how vulnerable the internet is,” Alexander says. “This internet is not a safe place to cast ballots.”

National: Russian hackers accused of post-election attacks on U.S. think tanks | Reuters

A Russian hacking group began attacking U.S.-based policy think tanks within hours of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, according to cyber experts who suspect Moscow is seeking information on the incoming administration. Three cyber security firms told Reuters that are tracking a spear-phishing campaign by a Russian-government linked group known as Cozy Bear, which is widely suspected of hacking the Democratic Party ahead of the election. “Probably now they are trying to rush to gain access to certain targets where they can get a better understanding on what is going on in Washington after the election and during the transition period,” said Jaime Blasco, chief scientist with cyber security firm AlienVault. Targets included the Council for Foreign Relations, said Adam Segal, a security expert with the think tank. His colleagues include former U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and former Reagan administration State Department official Elliott Abrams.

National: States with new voting restrictions flipped to Trump | New York Daily News

While a surge of unexpected Donald Trump supporters flipped some Rust Belt states red, voter suppression measures may have also contributed to a depressed Democratic turnout. Ohio and Wisconsin, which saw drops in overall voter numbers since 2012 despite working class white support for Republicans, also enacted laws restricting voters’ ability to cast ballots. A lack of enthusiasm among Democrats may be partly to blame for fewer voters in places such as Milwaukee County, though some suggest that Republican-led restrictions on voters functioned as intended. “It’s undeniable that there is an effect [from new voting laws]. The people that enact these laws know what they’re doing,” said Gerry Hebert, the director of voting rights and redistricting at the Campaign Legal Center.

National: The Electoral College Is Hated by Many. So Why Does It Endure? | The New York Times

In November 2000, as the Florida recount gripped the nation, a newly elected Democratic senator from New York took a break from an upstate victory tour to address the possibility that Al Gore could wind up winning the popular vote but losing the presidential election. She was unequivocal. “I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people,” Hillary Clinton said, “and to me that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.” Sixteen years later, the Electoral College is still standing, and Mrs. Clinton has followed Mr. Gore as the second Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to be defeated by a Republican who earned fewer votes, in his case George W. Bush. In her concession speech on Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton did not mention the popular vote, an omission that seemed to signal her desire to encourage a smooth and civil transition of power after a divisive election. But her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, highlighted her higher vote total than Donald J. Trump’s in introducing her.

National: Voters in key states endured long lines, equipment failures | USA Today

Tens of millions of Americans who descended on the polls Tuesday faced hours-long lines, sporadic equipment failures and confusion about polling places — but little of the violence or vigilantism that had been feared. Problems cropped up in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other key battleground states that would decide whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the presidency. Most involved election administration issues that have plagued the polls for decades, however, rather than incidents of voter fraud or intimidation fueled by Trump’s warning of a “rigged” election. A coalition of more than 100 civil rights and voting rights groups running a national election protection hotline reported that 40% of its calls came from African American and Hispanic communities, a possible indication that minority voters were being targeted. The majority of complaints came from California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, with Florida seeing particularly high levels of voter misinformation. “There is tremendous disruption at the polls today,” said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “This election may be the most chaotic election … in the last 50 years.”

National: Voters encounter problems, but not the ones most feared | Pro Publica

For all of the ways the 2016 presidential election was extraordinary – particularly Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that the vote was being “rigged” – the actual balloting on Tuesday was largely without serious incident. “Despite expectations this would be an unusual election, this election largely played out as previous presidential elections,” said David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research. “Sporadic problems here and there, but election officials were remarkably well-prepared, and this resulted in a largely smooth Election Day.” There were problems with voting equipment in counties from New York to California, and scattered reports of voter intimidation. But for the most part, the fears that a bitterly contested race would translate into a chaotic Election Day were unrealized.

National: Long lines, machine snags but major voting problems scant | Associated Press

Voters around the country faced long lines, occasional broken machines and some hot tempers Tuesday, but as the polls closed from one coast to the other, there were no signs of the large-scale fraud, intimidation or hacking some had feared. The scattered problems mostly involved the sort of glitches that arise in every election, including discrepancies in the voter rolls, with no indications of any snags big enough to meaningfully alter the vote count. “The biggest surprise is how uneventful things have been with this large a turnout,” said Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Jim Tenuto. “Everyone was expecting more problems than this — and nothing.”

National: America’s aging voting machines managed to survive another election | The Conversation

During this year’s voting, the vast majority of states used outdated voting machines perilously close to the end of their projected lifespan. Back in April, we warned that 42 states use machines that are at least a decade old. Given that a high percentage of these machines have projected lifespans of between 10 and 15 years, we argued something needs to be done soon to prevent a real crisis. We also pointed out, though, that the fact that the machines are aging does not mean they will all break down at once. Fortunately, on Election Day, most Americans were able to vote on machines that functioned properly, though in a few areas like Detroit, problems were widespread. In addition, election officials were well-prepared. Keenly aware of the potential problems associated with using antiquated equipment during a high-turnout election, they were generally able to keep voting going smoothly when problems did arise. Still, the failures that we did see serve as a warning of how bad things could get if we don’t replace our aging voting equipment soon. In a 2010 report, one state’s Department of Legislative Services found that the “nature and frequency of equipment failure beyond the manufacturer’s life expectancy cannot be predicted.” As machines approach the 15-year mark, we are likely to see progressively worse and more frequent problems.

National: Hack the vote: Did a 4chan attack help rig the election for Trump? | Salon

Although Donald Trump liked to claim the election was rigged against him, an anonymous hacker on 4chan may have literally helped rig the election against Hillary Clinton. On Sunday night, a post 4chan’s /pol/ board declared that it would perform a denial-of-service attack on any tools used by the Clinton campaign using a Mirai botnet code. This was not the first time 4chan had intervened in the campaign to help Trump and hurt Clinton, most notably in October when a 4channer used the password to John Podesta’s iPhone (as published by WikiLeaks) to locate and remotely wipe the device. “List targets here that if taken out could harm Clinton’s chances of winning and I will pounce on them like a wild animal,” the post, written by someone dubbed Sparky, proclaimed. “Not sleeping until after this election is over.”

National: How Much Election Day Costs the Country—and Voters | TIME

Of all the costs associated with the 2016 presidential election, perhaps none are bigger than the prices we’ve all paid in terms of the loss of dignity and common decency, as well as respect for our political process. Of course, there are other, more quantifiable costs, such as the $300+ million spent by candidates who ultimately lost in the primaries, and billions spent by the campaigns for the two major party winners, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But what about the expenses rung up while actually holding the elections? Here’s a look at some of the numbers that give an indication of the costs incurred by American businesses, local governments, and voters themselves every Election Day.

1-3 Number of hours that employers are required by law to give workers off in order to vote in the majority of states, according to info gathered by HRLegalist.com. The rules vary widely, though, and often only require time off if the local polls are not open before or after the worker’s shift. Sometimes the employee must give advance notice too: In New York, for example, workers who give the boss a heads up are entitled to up to two hours off work, paid, if the polls aren’t open for at least four hours before or after your shift. The requirement is hardly universal, mind you. There are no voter leave laws in Washington, D.C., and 19 states.

National: Fears of hacked election ebb in quiet, watchful night | USA Today

Despite concerns about possible attempts to hack or otherwise tamper with the U.S. election, voting appears to have gone smoothly, with no attacks or intrusions. The Department of Homeland Security said it had no reports of election-related cyber breaches. … “All the discussions this year about security gave states another measure of protection,” said Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for elections accuracy. That work also helped minimize the effects caused by breakdowns of voting machines or crashes of registration databases. In Smith’s experience, the resiliency of the voting system after something goes wrong is what keeps small problems small. For example in Colorado, the state’s electronic voter registration system went down for 29 minutes, from 2:47 p.m. to 3:16 p.m. local time, according to Secretary of State’s spokeswoman Lynn Bartels. Voting continued during the outage, though while the registration system was out, clerks were not be able to process mail-in ballots and in-person voters had to use provisional ballots. Once the system was back up and running normal voting resumed. “It’s very possible that things like what happened in Colorado could have been worse had there not been this emphasis on checking these systems. Instead of it being 29 minutes it could have been much longer,” Verified Voting’s Smith said.

National: Voter hotline expects to rack up record number of calls | TMN

The largest nonpartisan voter hotline is expecting to receive a record number of calls regarding problems at polling stations across the nation. “In Texas we have seen confusion across the board in regards to the ID requirements that are in place for voters. In Florida we have received an uptick in the number of voter intimidation complaints,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said at news conference in Washington, D.C. The Election Protection Hotline, staffed by more than 8,000 volunteers, fielded about 5,500 calls by 9:30 am EST before all the polls were even open. As of 2:30 p.m., Clarke said the center received at least 20,000 calls. The states with the highest call volume were Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York. (Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are swing states.) Calls included voters reporting intimidation, late polling-location openings, and confusion by poll workers as to the identification required for different states.