California: Some Oakland ballots not counted, civil rights groups say | John Myers/Los Angeles Times

A coalition of civil rights and voting advocacy groups lashed out Friday at Alameda County election officials after poll workers wrongly told more than 150 voters that their paper ballot was only a receipt and that it could be taken home, leading to the votes not being counted. The mistake, the groups allege, affected voters who visited one or more locations in Oakland to cast ballots in person between Oct. 31 and election day. “We spoke to some of the poll workers there who were really alarmed,” said Angelica Salceda, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. The voting rights advocates said that some voters who showed up at a polling place on the campus of Mills College during the four-day period were told the ballot marking device they had used was keeping a digital record of their selections on federal, state and local races. In reality, the device only makes marks on a paper ballot, which the voter then must submit to an election official. Instead, poll workers “incorrectly told voters … that the printouts from the machines were ‘receipts’ that the voters should take with them, rather than official ballots that they should deposit in the ballot box,” representatives of 15 civil rights and voting rights groups wrote in a letter Thursday to Tim Dupuis, the Alameda County registrar of voters. “In general, voters who cast their ballots at Mills College were disproportionately Black, and many of the voters who had been actively encouraged by poll workers to use the [ballot marking devices] were disabled or elderly.”

Full Article: Some Oakland ballots not counted, civil rights groups say – Los Angeles Times

National: Giuliani adds fuel to discredited theories about voting machines. | Zach Montague/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, continued on Saturday his effort to delegitimize votes cast through electronic voting machines, citing several conspiracies connected to the companies that make the machines and the software they run in a post on Twitter. Looking to sow doubt about the vote count in multiple swing states that were recently called for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Giuliani hinted support for a discredited theory that one of the companies that manufactures the voting machines used in some states, Smartmatic, is controlled by the billionaire philanthropist George Soros. “Look up SMARTMATIC and tweet me what you think?” Mr. Giuliani wrote. “It will all come out.” Hours later, President Trump picked up a similar refrain, stating in a tweet that the election was “stolen” by “privately owned Radical Left company, Dominion,” without providing evidence or explaining why Dominion was distinct among the many other privately owned election system vendors that routinely administer elections in the United States. Speculation that Mr. Soros has any influence over Smartmatic or its operations has been thoroughly debunked, and he does not own the company. Mr. Soros’s distant connection to the company is through his association with Smartmatic’s chairman, Mark Malloch-Brown, who is on the board of Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundation.

Full Article: Giuliani adds fuel to discredited theories about voting machines. – The New York Times

National: No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems. | Jack Nicas/The New York Times

President Trump on Thursday spread new baseless claims about Dominion Voting Systems, which makes software that local governments around the nation use to help run their elections, fueling a conspiracy theory that Dominion “software glitches” changed vote tallies in Michigan and Georgia last week. The Dominion software was used in only two of the five counties that had problems in Michigan and Georgia, and in every instance there was a detailed explanation for what had happened. In all of the cases, software did not affect the vote counts. In the two Michigan counties that had mistakes, the inaccuracies were because of human errors, not software problems, according to the Michigan Department of State, county officials and election-security experts. Only one of the two Michigan counties used Dominion software. Issues in three Georgia counties had other explanations. In one county, an apparent problem with Dominion software delayed officials’ reporting of the vote tallies, but did not affect the actual vote count. In two other counties, a separate company’s software slowed poll workers’ ability to check-in voters. “Many of the claims being asserted about Dominion and questionable voting technology is misinformation at best and, in many cases, they’re outright disinformation,” said Edward Perez, an election-technology expert at the OSET Institute, a nonprofit that studies voting infrastructure. “I’m not aware of any evidence of specific things or defects in Dominion software that would lead one to believe that votes had been recorded or counted incorrectly.”

Full Article: No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems. – The New York Times

Georgia: Trump campaign seeks hand recount, could get it | Jeff Amy and Kate Brumback/Associated Press

Republicans are making more demands of Georgia’s chief elections officer as they seek to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s 12,000-vote lead in the state’s presidential race. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who’s leading President Donald Trump’s recount team in Georgia, and state Republican Party Chairman David Shafer sent a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday requesting that he order a hand recount of Georgia’s nearly 5 million ballots before certifying the results. The move comes a day after Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler called for Raffensperger’s resignation, claiming he ran the election poorly but citing no specific incidents of wrongdoing. Perdue will face Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock in Jan. 5 runoffs that are likely to determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Raffensperger has refused to step down and defended how his office conducted the election. His office has refuted a number of claims made by Trump supporters. “The process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law,” Raffensperger said in a Monday statement. “Where there have been specific allegations of illegal voting, my office has dispatched investigators.”

Full Article: Trump campaign seeks hand recount in Georgia, could get it

Michigan: Failure updating software caused Antrim County vote glitch | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

A failure to properly update software was the reason for a computer glitch that caused massive errors in unofficial election results reported from Antrim county, the Michigan Department of State said late Friday. And a U-M professor of computer science and engineering who specializes in voting systems and securities says it appears the snafu arose from an “unusual sequence of events very unlikely to affect any other jurisdictions.” … J. Alex Halderman, the U-M professor and voting systems expert, said he has looked into the incident and determined that the problem arose because Antrim officials made a mistake before the election when they loaded a new version of the “election definition” — the data that is similar to a spreadsheet describing the races and candidates on the ballot. According to the state, the new “election definition” was loaded in October after county officials learned of two local races in which ballot information had to be updated. County officials correctly loaded the new version onto the scanners for the affected precincts, but left the old version on scanners for precincts where the ballot was not affected by the late change, Halderman said. So although the scanners in the tabulators counted all the votes in each precinct correctly, the different versions of the ballot resulted in problems and erroneous vote totals when the precinct results were combined in the election management system, a separate software package used to manage and consolidate results before they are reported to the state, he said. “Since the scanners … used slightly different election definitions, some of the positions didn’t line up properly,” Halderman said. “As a result, when the results were read by the election management system, some of them were initially assigned to the wrong candidates.”

Full Article: Michigan: Failure updating software caused Antrim County vote glitch

Michigan: State election agency says failure to update software caused Antrim County election glitch | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

A failure to update software was the reason for a computer glitch that caused massive errors in unofficial election results reported from Antrim county, the Michigan Department of State said late Friday. “The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County clerk,” the state agency that oversees elections said in a news release. There was no problem with the voting machines or vote totals, which were preserved on tapes printed from the tabulators, the state said. The problem occurred when the totals by precinct were combined into candidate county-wide totals for transfer to the state, using election management system software, the state agency said in a news release. “All ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.” State officials did not immediately respond to questions about whether they track when and how local officials update their election-related software or whether local officials are required to report needed updates to the state, once they are completed.

Full Article: State: Failure to update software caused Antrim vote glitch

National: Forget Hanging Chads. Copyright Laws Could be the Next Electoral Quagmire. | Isabella Farr and Olivia Reingold/Politico

If you used a mail-in ballot in Fulton County, Georgia this year, you may have noticed peculiar language at the top of the ballot: “Copyright © 2020 Dominion Voting Inc.” Dominion Voting is a private company that sells election technology. And this ballot design — which was created by Dominion and counted using the company’s proprietary equipment is technically its intellectual property.Unusual as it may seem, this isn’t uncommon: Most voting technology used throughout the U.S. is covered by intellectual property law. That means the touch-screen you might have tapped on to vote could be patented. The software used to process your vote could be copyrighted. Before you even got to the voting booth, your ballot was likely designed on copyrighted software. And all of it could cause a nightmare after Nov. 3, according to election-security experts. “We’re going to wind up with a thousand court cases that cannot just be resolved by just going into the software and checking to see what happened, because it’s proprietary,” said Ben Ptashnik, the co-founder of the National Election Defense Coalition, a bipartisan advocacy group that pushes Congress to reform election security.

Full Article: Forget Hanging Chads. Copyright Laws Could be the Next Electoral Quagmire. – POLITICO

Arizona: No truth to GOP claims that Sharpies are invalidating ballots | Jerod MacDonald-Evoy/AZ Mirror

For the first time ever, Arizona voters were given Sharpie permanent markers to mark their ballots at Arizona polls this year, and they have spawned false claims from Republican officials in Arizona and members of the state’s conservative fringe that election officials are using the markers to invalidate votes for Donald Trump and other GOP candidates.  Similar claims have been made by prominent people in the national conservative sphere, including Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, and Sean Davis, the co-founder of the right-wing Federalist news site. Elected Republicans in Arizona have made similar claims. U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, no stranger to fringe conspiracy theories, called it “voter fraud” and urged Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate. Rep. Warren Petersen, the GOP leader in the state House of Representatives, alleged that some of his constituents had their votes “cancelled” without explanation and said he referred them to the AG; he later shared a news story alleging malfeasance with the Sharpies. And state Rep. Bret Roberts said anyone who used a Sharpie to mark their ballots should ensure it was counted. … “To me it smacks of grandstanding and politics,” former state Elections Director Amy Chan said, adding that she is concerned the AG’s request is also coming from a place of fundamental misunderstanding, as voters have for years been told that Sharpies and similar markers were not to be used on ballots because the old machines couldn’t read them. 

Full Article: No truth to GOP claims that Sharpies are invalidating Arizona ballots

Georgia election official: Machine glitch caused by last-minute vendor upload | Kim Zetter/Politico

A technology glitch that halted voting in two Georgia counties on Tuesday morning was caused by a vendor uploading an update to their election machines the night before, a county election supervisor said. Voters were unable to cast machine ballots for a couple of hours in Morgan and Spalding counties after the electronic devices crashed, state officials said. In response to the delays, Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams extended voting until 11 p.m. The counties use voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems and electronic poll books — used to sign in voters — made by KnowInk. The companies “uploaded something last night, which is not normal, and it caused a glitch,” said Marcia Ridley, elections supervisor at Spalding County Board of Election. That glitch prevented pollworkers from using the pollbooks to program smart cards that the voters insert into the voting machines. Ridley said that a representative from the two companies called her after poll workers began having problems with the equipment Tuesday morning and said the problem was due to an upload to the machines by one of their technicians overnight.

Full Article: Georgia election official: Machine glitch caused by last-minute vendor upload – POLITICO

National: Early Voting Shines Spotlight on Consolidated Voting-Equipment Market | Chris Cumming/Wall Street Journal

Leveraged-buyout firms are playing a key role in the 2020 elections: Companies they own are counting the flood of mail-in ballots, and that isn’t sitting well with some lawmakers. Two private-equity-owned companies dominate the market for high-speed ballot scanners and other voting equipment. Lawmakers have raised questions about the lack of transparency and competition in the industry, and more broadly over the role of private-equity firms in elections. Election Systems & Software LLC and Dominion Voting Systems Corp. together produce the technology used by over three-quarters of U.S. voters, according to a coming report by researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The third-largest player, Hart InterCivic, was owned by private-equity firm H.I.G. Capital from 2011 to this April, when it was quietly sold, according to H.I.G. Private-equity firms “have taken over nearly all of the nation’s election technology—and how they do business is clouded in secrecy,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said in an email. Lawmakers including Sens. Warren and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) in December wrote that the private-equity-backed voting companies’ lack of transparency threatens the integrity of elections. Under private-equity ownership, the voting-machine market has consolidated through mergers. In a little over a decade, at least eight major vendors have consolidated to three, which control about 92% of the market, Wharton researchers said in 2017.

Full Article: Early Voting Shines Spotlight on Consolidated Voting-Equipment Market – WSJ

Georgia: Appeals court halts order requiring paper pollbook backups | Kate Brumback/Associated Press

A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted a lower court’s order that said every polling place in Georgia must have at least one updated paper backup of the electronic pollbooks that are used to check in voters.U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg last month issued the order requiring the backup and other measures amid the context of a broader lawsuit filed by voting integrity activists that challenges Georgia’s voting system. She called the order “a limited common sense remedy” to impediments voters have faced.The state appealed the order to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel of the appeals court voted 2-1 to stay Totenberg’s order while the appeal is pending.The voting integrity activists had asked Totenberg to order the paper backup. They had argued that malfunctioning electronic pollbooks created bottlenecks that resulted in voters waiting in long lines during the state’s primary election in June and runoff election in August.The KnowInk PollPads are part of the new election system the state bought last year from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million.Totenberg’s ruling required Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top elections official, to generate and provide election superintendents in each county a list of electors updated at the close of the in-person early voting period to contain all the information in the electronic pollbook. The secretary of state was then to instruct the election superintendents to provide at least one paper backup at each polling place on Election Day.

Georgia: In high-stakes election, State’s voting system vulnerable to cyberattack | Alan Judd/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Headed into one of the most consequential elections in the state’s history, Georgia’s new electronic voting system is vulnerable to cyberattacks that could undermine public confidence, create chaos at the polls or even manipulate the results on Election Day. Computer scientists, voting-rights activists, U.S. intelligence agencies and a federal judge have repeatedly warned of security deficiencies in Georgia’s system and in electronic voting in general. But state officials have dismissed their concerns as merely “opining on potential risks.”Instead, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office weakened the system’s defenses, disabling password protections on a key component that controls who is allowed to vote. In addition, days before early voting began on Oct. 12, Raffensperger’s office pushed out new software to each of the state’s 30,000 voting machines through hundreds of thumb drives that experts say are prone to infection with malware. And what state officials describe as a feature of the new system actually masks a vulnerability. Officials tell voters to verify their selections on a paper ballot before feeding it into an optical scanner. But the scanner doesn’t record the text that voters see; rather, it reads an unencrypted quick response, or QR, barcode that is indecipherable to the human eye. Either by tampering with individual voting machines or by infiltrating the state’s central elections server, hackers could systematically alter the barcodes to change votes.

Georgia election chief says tech issues resolved as turnout soars | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that problems with a sluggish voter check-in system have been resolved and wait times have fallen as early voting turnout surges in Georgia. Voters should expect a smooth early voting process after technical changes were made last week to the state computer system that looks up voter registration and check-in information at polling places, he said. “When we saw an issue with speed of the voter registration, we jumped on it because we knew it would impact the voter experience, so we handled that very quickly,” Raffensperger said during a press conference at the state Capitol. “That solution has all been handled.”The technical difficulties of the system, called eNet, resulted in slow-moving lines, with some voters waiting 12 hours on the first day of early voting last week.

Georgia’s new touchscreen voting system survives court challenge | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge has once again denied an effort to throw out Georgia’s touchscreen voting computers because of election security concerns. Her decision came late Sunday, just hours before the start of early voting.U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ruled against switching the state to paper ballots filled out by hand. She wrote that it was too late to make such a sweeping change that would disrupt the election as tens of thousands of voters are expected to go to the polls. Georgia’s new $104 million voting system adds paper ballots to the voting process for the first time in 18 years. Voters will make their choices on touchscreens connected to printers that will produce paper ballots. Totenberg criticized state election officials for problems with voting equipment during this year’s primary elections but acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that courts must exercise restraint in changing procedures near an election.

Georgia: Technical breakdown hangs over Georgia early voting | Brad Schrade and Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The first week of early voting once again tested Georgia’s voting system, and technical breakdowns and long waits returned. An overloaded statewide voter registration system, combined with high turnout, created long lines of frustrated voters, raising questions with two weeks of early voting remaining: Have the problems been solved, or was last week a precursor to larger challenges as Georgia races toward a Nov. 3 Election Day that is expected to be like no other?By late Friday, the office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, couldn’t assure voters that the problem was fully fixed. His office could offer no details about the nature of a bandwidth problem that reportedly caused the delays. They said they had worked with their vendor, Civix, to expand the system’s capacity.

Georgia: Extreme voting lines expose where Georgia primary failed | Mark Niesse and Nick Thieme/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The last polling place in Georgia closed well after midnight. Voters had waited over five hours at Christian City, an assisted living community south of Atlanta. The line twisted far down the street, the most egregious example of extreme delays to participate in Georgia’s troubled primary. A new trove of elections data shows which voting locations stayed open late, highlighting where voters suffered the longest lines at Georgia’s 2,300 polling places. The secretary of state’s office reported the information to county election officials so they can make improvements before November’s high-turnout presidential election. About 11% of voting sites in Georgia closed over an hour late, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of the elections data. The epicenter of voting problems was Fulton County, where more than three-quarters of polling places closed after 8 p.m. Black voters bore the brunt of long lines and late closings in overcrowded, understaffed and poorly equipped polling places. Only 61% of majority Black precincts closed on time compared with 80% of mostly white precincts, the AJC’s analysis found. Georgia’s election day was a debacle created by the coronavirus pandemic, high turnout and difficulties operating new voting computers. Precincts closed, poll workers quit and social-distancing restrictions limited the number of people who could vote at a time.

Georgia: Questioning State Elections Officials, Lawmakers Express Concerns Over November Vote | Emil Moffatt/WABE

Five million Georgians are expected to vote in November, an election that will come less than five months after the state experienced a bumpy primary. Amid a global health pandemic, the state rolled out its new voting system statewide for the first time on June 9. The result: many voters had to wait in lines for hours as poll workers – some of them brand new – sorted out technical problems. “We think the most important thing, obviously is training, training and re-training,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as he spoke in front of the House Governmental Affairs Committee. “And having more techs [technical support personnel] in there so that any issues that do pop up can be really handled expeditiously so that we have an improved result in November.” Raffensperger pledged to have technical support at every precinct in November, something that wasn’t there in June. Tuesday’s meeting started an hour late because House members were still across the street voting on a hate crimes bill which had been passed by the Senate just a short time before. And when the meeting started, Raffensperger made only a brief statement and took a handful of questions, citing other obligations. That didn’t sit well with House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, who said he wanted to hear more from the state’s top election’s official. “I would point out that voters often waited in line for hours, and the secretary was here for 20 minutes,” said Trammell.

Georgia: How Electronic Voting in Georgia Resulted in a Disenfranchising Debacle | Sue Halprin/The New Yorker

No one familiar with Georgia’s record of election administration was surprised to see another train wreck unfold during Tuesday’s primary. Lines were so long that some voters waited seven hours to vote. It was a monumental failure that—not surprisingly—occurred in predominantly African-American and poor neighborhoods. Part of the problem was the use of expensive, new voting machines, which could signal problems for the Presidential election, in November. On Tuesday, Georgians voted using thirty thousand new machines, called Ballot Marking Devices (B.M.D.s), which the state purchased last year for a hundred and seven million dollars, despite public opposition. When voters finally made it to the front of the line, they signed into electronic poll books (many of which malfunctioned) and were given a smart card loaded with the ballot for their district. They then inserted the card into the voting machine, the ballot popped up on a touch screen, they made their selections, and the machine printed out a summary of those choices.

Georgia: Elections head seeks changes to avoid lines in November | Mark NiesseBen Brasch/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Calls for monumental changes to Georgia’s elections arrived Wednesday, with elected officials from both parties demanding more voting locations, shorter lines and a management overhaul in Fulton County, where voters experienced the longest waits. The proposals came after a debacle in Georgia’s June 9 primary that left some voters in line for hours because of precinct closures, voting machine problems and complications stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.These efforts are meant to avoid a repeat of those issues in November’s presidential election, when three times as many in-person voters are expected. Turnout could exceed 5 million voters. In separate events, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Democratic legislators from Fulton heaped blame Wednesday on the county’s elections office. Fulton voters crammed into precincts with few voting machines and a shortage of trained poll workers. Other parts of the state also had problems, especially in densely populated areas with high turnout, but 70% of the problems statewide occurred in Fulton, Raffensperger said.

Georgia: Havoc Raises New Doubts on Pricey ImageCast X Voting Machines | Nick Corasaniti and Stephanie Saul/The New York Times

As Georgia elections officials prepared to roll out an over $100 million high-tech voting system last year, good-government groups, a federal judge and election-security experts warned of its perils. The new system, they argued, was too convoluted, too expensive, too big — and was still insecure.  They said the state would regret purchasing the machines. On Tuesday, that admonition appeared prescient. A cascade of problems caused block-long lines across Georgia, as primary voters stood for hours while poll workers waited for equipment to be delivered or struggled to activate the system’s components. Locations ran out of provisional ballots. Many people, seeing no possible option to exercise their right to vote, simply left the lines. With partisans on both sides hurling blame for the meltdown, elections experts said there were too many moving parts to place the onus for Georgia’s election chaos on any single one. “The problem seems to have been a perfect storm (overused metaphor, but apt here) of new equipment, hasty training and a crush of tasks associated with both getting the mail ballots out the door and processed AND with running an in-person voting operation,” Charles Stewart III, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in an email.

Editorials: Georgia deserves much better on elections | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia blew it — big time. An election meltdown that had been simmering here for a long time finally boiled over Tuesday for all the world to see. The election process — what should be a near-sacred ritual of this Republic — quickly devolved into what national and local commentators called, with ample justification, a hot mess. Georgia must do much better when the next election comes. That’s a big lift, given looming deadlines and wild cards like a global pandemic. But it’s a task that this state must resolve. Democracy demands that much, especially during this divided, angry age that’s strained or shattered faith in bedrock civic institutions. There is adequate blame to go around, and leaders here chose to play the currently fashionable blame game of institutional finger-pointing. Given the magnitude of what happened and the risks for democracy now laid bare, it matters less who screwed up and how. What is of paramount importance is to assess what went wrong and fix it before the next election. The intramural sniping should stop, and the focus needs to shift toward repairing an embarrassing, intolerable mess.

National: Georgia’s primary debacle should sound alarm bells for November | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

Multiple problems plagued voters as they went to the polls yesterday in Georgia’s primary, from hours-long lines, technical disasters and absentee ballots that never arrived, They’re another ominous sign for states and the general election officials trying to run a safe and trustworthy elections this year, though Georgia’s issues were known for some time and are more unique. In fact, the problems in Georgia were especially galling because the seeds of the failure were evident for months to technologists — since long before the novel coronavirus pandemic arrived and multiplied the obstacles facing election officials.  They included an overly complex voting system designed to improve security but may have compromised it, a rushed time frame to implement that system and a training program for poll workers that wasn’t up to the task, especially after a slew of new workers replaced elderly people more vulnerable to covid-19.  The long lines were exacerbated because election officials failed to send mail-in ballots to many people who requested them during the pandemic and who then showed up to vote in person. There may also have been a surge in voters driven by anger over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the nationwide protests that have followed.

National: Georgia Was A Mess. Here’s What Else We Know About The June 9 Elections. | Nathaniel Rakich and Geoffrey Skelley/FiveThirtyEight

Tuesday’s primary elections were once again marred by serious problems at the polls, especially in Georgia. However, in this case, the issues probably had less to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and more to do with the state’s own ineptitude. Almost 90 percent of Georgia’s polling places were open on Tuesday, which is far more than in many other states that have held primaries recently. Only one problem: Georgia’s new voting machines, which were put in place after claims of voter suppression in 2018, didn’t work as well as hoped. There’s no evidence of foul play, but the state was clearly not prepared to hold an election with the new equipment. The state apparently passed on what it deemed the best voting machines available, opting for a cheaper vendor that had never installed so much equipment in such a short period of time. And some polling places in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties opened late because of problems booting up the machines; some didn’t even receive the necessary equipment until after polls were supposed to open. Poll workers in Columbus also had trouble setting up the ballot printers, which they blamed on lack of training due to the coronavirus. And at one precinct, workers spent an hour trying to figure out how to insert the cards that record votes into the new machines — before figuring out they were putting them in upside-down. There were also numerous reports of voting machines simply not working, which led to some of the longest lines. The problems seemed to be most acute in metro Atlanta, raising fears of problems assuring equal voting access in the general election.

Georgia: Vote counting continues after problems in Georgia’s primary | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Election workers resumed counting votes Wednesday morning as they scanned hundreds of thousands of last-minute absentee ballots in Georgia’s primary, leaving the final result of races unsettled. The time it takes to count so many paper ballots was expected in an election where a record number of Georgians — over 1.1 million — voted from home during the coronavirus pandemic. But the uncertainty left voters and candidates waiting. It’s unclear whether counting would be completed Wednesday, but officials have warned the process could take a few days. After voters waited in long lines Tuesday, most in-person votes cast on the state’s new voting computers were counted late Tuesday night. Those votes, cast on printed-out paper ballots, were stored on optical scanning machines, making them easy to tabulate after polls closed. But opening, scanning and counting absentee ballots takes longer. Absentee ballots will be counted if they were received by election officials by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Nevada: Long lines to vote delay Nevada election returns | John Sadler/Las Vegas Sun

Early returns from Nevada’s primary election Tuesday were delayed after polling places in the state’s two most populous counties were kept open to allow those waiting in long lines to vote. Voters at some Las Vegas-area polling places Tuesday were waiting in lines of three hours or more despite Nevada officials encouraging people to cast their primary election ballots by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Reno area, Washoe County officials reported delays of at least an hour. Hundreds were still in line when polls were supposed to close at 7 p.m. The top-ticket races that voters were settling included contests for Nevada’s four U.S. House seats, but the incumbents — three Democrats and a Republican — are expected to sail through primary challenges. The biggest question Tuesday was which candidates will try to unseat them in November. Nevada reduced in-person voting sites for the primary because of the coronavirus and instead sent absentee ballots to voters that could be mailed back or dropped off. For those who still showed up at the limited number of polling places, they were casting ballots Tuesday on paper rather than voting machines to limit contact with shared surfaces.

Georgia: Voting machines and coronavirus force long lines on Georgia voters | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s primary quickly turned into an ordeal for voters who waited for hours Tuesday when it became clear officials were unprepared for an election on new voting computers during the coronavirus pandemic. Poll workers couldn’t get voting machines to work. Precincts opened late. Social-distancing requirements created long lines. Some voters gave up and went home. The primary was a major test of Georgia’s ability to run a highly anticipated election in a potential battleground state ahead of November’s presidential election, when more than twice as many voters are expected. Elections officials fell short. “What is going on in Georgia? We have been waiting for hours. This is ridiculous. This is unfair,” said 80-year-old Anita Heard, who waited for hours to cast her ballot at Cross Keys High School, where poll workers couldn’t start voting computers and ran out of provisional ballots. Problems have been building for weeks as precincts closed, poll workers quit and the primary was postponed because of the health danger posed by the coronavirus crisis. Some voters south of Atlanta waited eight hours to vote on the last day of early voting Friday.

National: Major Problems With Voting in Atlanta as 5 States Hold Primaries | Astead W. Herndon and Stephanie Saul/The New York Times

Georgia election officials, poll workers and voters reported major trouble with voting in Atlanta and elsewhere on Tuesday as the state’s primaries got underway, most critically a series of problems with new voting machines that forced many people across the state to wait in long lines and cast provisional ballots. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Twitter that voting machines were not working in many parts of the city. Poll workers in several locations were having difficulty operating the machines, which were new models. “If you are in line, PLEASE do not allow your vote to be suppressed,” Ms. Bottoms wrote. “PLEASE stay in line.” Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said she had 84 text messages reporting voting problems within 10 minutes of the polls opening at 7 a.m. Ms. Williams, who is a state senator from Atlanta, said that in some locations the voting machines did not work and in at least one other no machines ever arrived. “It’s a hot mess,” Ms. Williams said. “How do you not have a voting machine?”

Georgia: From Long Lines To Frustrated Voters, Georgia Election Plagued By Problems | Steve Peoples, Ben Nadler and Sudhin Thanavala/Associated Press

Voters endured heat, pouring rain and waits as long as five hours Tuesday to cast ballots in Georgia, demonstrating a fierce desire to participate in the democratic process while raising questions about the emerging battleground state’s ability to manage elections in November when the White House is at stake. “It’s really disheartening to see a line like this in an area with predominantly black residents,” said Benaiah Shaw, a 25-year-old African American, as he cast a ballot in Atlanta. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, had said his office wouldn’t begin to release results in Georgia until the last precinct had closed. He predicted the winners may not be known for days.

Georgia: In a Warning for November, Voters Endure Long Lines in Georgia’s Primary Election | Alexa Corse/Wall Street Journal

Voters in Georgia’s primary election Tuesday endured long lines at some voting sites, after the state adopted new voting machines and suffered shortages of poll workers because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some voters said they waited for hours to cast a ballot, though the state had been encouraging absentee voting. State officials said many of the delays occurred because poll workers were unfamiliar with the new voting machines or were due to other administrative issues such as equipment being delivered late. The delays in Georgia underscore the challenges for election officials across the country as they respond to the pandemic, cybersecurity concerns, and other hurdles ahead of November’s general election. “For November, we need to do a much better job of planning for the tens of millions of Americans who are going to be voting in person,” said David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, who has been working with the Georgia secretary of state’s office. “We need to offer options for voters.”

Georgia: Primary elections quickly descended into chaos, with voting-machine problems, a lack of paper ballots, and hours-long lines at polling places | Grace Panetta/Business Insider

Voters throughout the metro Atlanta area faced immense difficulties voting in Georgia’s primary election on Tuesday because of widespread problems with new electronic machines malfunctioning and shortages of paper ballots. Local reporters and voters said that in many precincts in the counties in and around Atlanta, including Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb, undertrained poll workers ran into trouble getting the new voting machines to work, and polling stations didn’t have enough paper ballots for every voter to cast a provisional ballot, leading to hours-long lines. Many people didn’t get to vote at all. Georgia had sent absentee-ballot requests to every active registered voter because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to record levels of mail-in voting. But the pandemic also meant shortages of poll workers and far fewer in-person polling places. While Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Monday that long lines were expected, the system experienced a meltdown on Tuesday as machines were delivered to the wrong place and officials had trouble getting them to work.