National: Election Day voting sees some lines, scattered glitches and ample anxiety across the nation | Amy Gardner, Elise Viebeck and Michelle Ye Hee Lee/The Washington Post

Americans jittery about the integrity of U.S. elections and the risk of coronavirus infection contended with scattered equipment outages and sporadic crowds as they lined up for the election season’s final day of voting Tuesday. But as the polls began closing across the country, a portrait emerged of a far smoother Election Day than the nation had braced for amid a pandemic that upended how Americans cast ballots and a bitter presidential race that played out against a backdrop of social unrest and racial divisions. Nearly 102 million people had cast ballots in person or by mail before voting began on Election Day, a stunning figure that put the country on a path to the highest voter turnout in more than a century. On Tuesday, voting was largely brisk and steady, with election administrators and voters alike marveling at the relative ease with which the day unfolded after a spring and summer of chaotic primaries, Postal Service delays and multiple legal battles between Republicans and Democrats over how the election should be run.

Full Article: Election Day voting sees some lines, scattered glitches and ample anxiety across the nation – The Washington Post

National: Eight-Hour Waits. Machine Glitches. Why Early Voting in Some States Has Had a Rough Start. | Reid J. Epstein, Stephanie Saul and Manny Fernandez/The New York Times

Virginia’s online voter registration portal crashed on the final day it was available when roadside utility workers cut the wrong cable. Texans waited in long lines on the first day of early voting in their state’s biggest cities, and in one county in the Houston suburbs, a programming error took down all of the voting machines for much of the morning. On Georgia’s second day of early voting, long lines again built up at polling places in the Atlanta suburbs. The hurdles to early voting on Tuesday resulted from a combination of intense voter interest that stressed the capacity of overwhelmed local elections officials and the sort of messiness that has long been common in American elections and which is now under a microscope as concerns over voter suppression and the unprecedented dynamics of voting during a pandemic collide.The long lines in Georgia and Texas illustrate how eager voters are to cast ballots in the 2020 election — particularly, but not only, in Democratic-trending urban and suburban areas. By 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, had smashed its first-day early-voting turnout record. In Gwinnett County, Ga., north of Atlanta, even with the long lines there was a 450 percent increase in first-day early voting compared with 2016, according to Ryan Anderson, who tracks Georgia voting data on the Georgia Votes website.

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.

New York: Primary Plagued By Voting Issues, Including Long Lines, Broken Machines And Absentee Ballot Mix-Ups | CBS New York

Many New Yorkers say voting in the primary Tuesday was a nightmare. Some people never got their absentee ballots, and others were waiting in line for hours. The line to vote at Bronx Regional High School snaked around the block for most of the day Tuesday. “How long do you think you waited in line to vote?” CBS2’s Ali Bauman asked Shameeka France. “Oh, two hours, easy. I came here four times,” France said. “I waited inside because it was so hot out here and it’s been a long time. It’s been a long time to wait,” Renee Alford, of Morrisania, said. “I went walking in to find out and they told me there was only five people they were letting in at the time,” Kolaco Acquindo, of Morrisania, said. Acquindo called the Board of Elections to complain about the hold-up, and they eventually sent over an employee two hours before the polls closed. In the meantime, Acquindo says people who were waiting in line to vote got so frustrated they began to leave.

District of Columbia: Voters in D.C. primary face long lines, crowds at polls | Julie Zauzmer and Fenit Nirappil/The Washington Post

D.C. voters braved waits longer than four hours to cast ballots in a city primary election upended by coronavirus and demonstrations against police violence. The District attempted to shift to a mostly by-mail election to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. But many voters never received the absentee ballots they requested and the city shuttered most of its usual polling places, resulting in lines stretching for blocks. Results of the election were not available hours after polls closed at 8 p.m., to allow for the voters still waiting in line to cast their ballots. Initial results were not expected until early Wednesday. A 7 p.m. curfew the mayor imposed as protests continued to sweep the city halted public transportation and forced some voters to come up with alternative travel plans, and caused confusion when an officer improperly told voters lined up at a Georgetown-area polling place to go home. But residents said they were determined to exercise their voting rights in pivotal local council races and the presidential primary, with some citing the demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd as inspiration.

Georgia: Voting rights groups oppose Georgia bill to fight long lines | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At first, a bill to fight long lines and open more voting locations seemed like it could win broad-based support. After all, who wants to be stuck in lines? Then came the backlash.A voting rights group called the proposal “the anti-voting rights bill of 2020.” Democrats in the state Senate said voters would still go to their old precincts, where they’d be unable to cast a ballot. They say the bill would discourage turnout instead of increasing it.The legislation, Senate Bill 463, would require election officials to add precincts, poll workers or voting equipment if voters had to wait in line for more than an hour before checking in to vote in the previous election. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Republicans say the measure would give voters more access to the polls. At least 214 precincts closed in Georgia from 2012 to 2018, according to research by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Voting rights groups should welcome expanded access to polling locations and shorter lines, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said. “Now it’s clear that some are all talk, no action,” Fuchs said. “They just want a talking point.”

Texas: Dallas County’s Super Tuesday re-do stems from philosophical differences in elections | Nic Garcia/Dallas Morning News

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Dallas County election employees will unseal dozens of boxes containing thousands of paper ballots from last week’s primary and feed them to a high-speed scanner. It’s an attempt to close a gap between the number of voters who showed up to the polls last week and the number of ballots originally counted. The re-do, approved by a judge Tuesday, is the latest development in a primary election that for months teetered on the brink of disaster behind the scenes as both parties scrambled to get enough election judges, while public officials hurled accusations, and ultimately left thousands of voters waiting in long lines late into the evening wondering if their vote was counted. Estimates put the number of ballots that will be counted Wednesday between 6,000 and 8,000 from 44 different polling locations spread across the county. Those were the ones the elections department identified as the root of the undercount. But that likely won’t change the outcome of any election given that they are a fraction of the total number of votes cast.

Editorials: Dumb decisions led to long Texas voting lines. Here’s what to do next time | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

For a brief moment Tuesday night, Texas was in the national political spotlight, with huge voter turnout and a pivotal role in the changing direction of the Democratic presidential primary. But before long, we were the story of the day for the wrong reason — intolerably long lines to vote in several of the state’s big cities. The most attention went to Houston, where voters waited up to six hours at a polling center at a historically black college. But Tarrant County had its problems, too, with Democratic voters often facing long lines while machines dedicated to the Republican primary sat largely unused. Blame has flown in all the expected directions for these failures, with finger-pointing at county and state officials, the political parties, and the Supreme Court for weakening federal supervision under the Voting Rights Act. There’s elements of truth to each, and it’s a mistake to judge an entire system on the worst possible anecdotes. But polls are only going to get busier in November. Elected officials and political players at all levels need a plan of action that’s based in reality before our democracy breaks down right in front of our eyes.

Texas: Harris County Democrats waited for hours to vote. Two-thirds of polling sites were in GOP areas. | Zach Despart and Mike Morris/Houston Chronicle

Many of the 322,000 Harris County Democratic primary voters who surged to the polls Tuesday faced long lines that forced several balloting sites to stay open late into the evening. Though Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2 to 1 on Election Day, almost two-thirds of the county’s voting centers were in county commissioner precincts in west Harris County held by Republicans. And, in a decision that worsened delays, the Harris County Clerk’s Office placed an equal number of voting machines for each party at every voting center. That meant that in Democratic strongholds like Kashmere Gardens, where Republicans were outnumbered 30 to 1 during early balloting, Democratic voters languished in line while GOP machines sat unused. Adding to the frustration was a County Clerk website that is supposed to show wait times at poll locations. Numerous voters on Tuesday complained the website led them to a polling place showing a minimal wait only to stand for hours because poll workers failed to update the site. Housing advocate Chrishelle Palay said she saw two or three Republican voters while she waited two hours to cast her ballot in Kashmere. “People were confused and infuriated,” Palay said. “They were definitely upset at the approach and how the machines were set up.”

Texas: ‘The worst voting experience’: Long lines drag Super Tuesday deep into the night for some voters | Mike Morris, Samantha Ketterer, and Nicole Hensley/Houston Chronicle

Dozens of Democratic voters were still waiting to cast ballots at midnight in Houston, turning Super Tuesday into a painful slog for some citizens amid questions about how the County Clerk’s office had allocated its voting machines across the county. Janet Gonzalez left work early and at 5:30 p.m. checked a website the clerk’s office runs to show wait times at polling places. It seemed Texas Southern University had a short wait, but when she arrived she found a massive line. She waited an hour outside and three more inside before she finally cast her ballot. Officials with the clerk’s office acknowledged the accuracy of the wait-times website is reliant on election workers manually updating the status of their polling places. Some people in line gave up and walked away, Gonzalez said. Others briefly sought refuge on a scattering of chairs before giving them up to others as the line inched forward. Polls closed at 7 p.m., but voters still can cast ballots as long as they stay in line. “It was a challenge,” Gonzalez said. “You have to look around at the elderly people and overcome your own pain.”

Georgia: Fearing long lines, Georgia election officials reject voting proposal | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s election board rejected a proposal Wednesday that could have resulted in long lines of voters, instead introducing a plan to require more voting machines during this year’s high-turnout presidential election. Still, the State Election Board’s proposed rules won’t provide as many voting machines as mandated by a state law passed last year, which called for one voting booth for every 250 voters in each precinct. Election officials said they will likely try to change that law during this year’s legislative session. With a new voting system being rolled out during the March 24 presidential primary, the State Election Board approved rules for the state’s voting machines and proposed several other changes dealing with absentee ballot rejections, provisional ballots, paper ballot backups and accessibility options for people with disabilities. The board’s most consequential decision determined how many voting machines are available in each precinct on Election Day.

National: A Long Wait to Vote? Odds Are, You Were in the A-to-M Line | Wall Street Journal

When Mostafa Zamanian voted last week in Shorewood Hills, Wis., he got lucky: He was in the short line. “Of 19 in hallway, only two of us were N-Z and didn’t have to wait to vote,” he tweeted. Like other places, Mr. Zamanian’s precinct split up voters based on their last names. Those beginning with A to M were steered one way, while those beginning with N to Z were directed elsewhere. Intuitively, that makes sense: It’s the midpoint of the alphabet—so you end up with two equal queues, right? Wrong. In the U.S., surnames are not evenly distributed, and in most places, it’s not even close.

National: Aging Machines Will Mean More Long Lines To Vote, Experts Say | Fast Company

While the midterm elections appear to have avoided any major problems with foreign interference, voters and poll monitoring groups across the country reported hours-long lines, unexpected delays in opening polling places, and technical issues with voting machines. “We received reports quite quickly on election day of a number of polling sites in Harris County, which is the home of Houston, of polling sites not only not being open at 7 a.m. but of significant delays,” says James Slattery, senior staff attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project, which won a court order keeping polls open late at locations with delayed openings. … Experts say it’s not surprising that technical problems popped up at polling places—after all, many states and local jurisdictions are still running systems purchased under the federal Help America Vote Act, a law passed by Congress in 2002 in wake of the disputed 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

National: Midterm Voting Exposes Growing Problem of Aging Machines | Associated Press

Election experts have long warned about the nation’s aging fleet of voting equipment. This week’s elections underscored just how badly upgrades are needed. Across the country, reports poured in Tuesday amid heavy voter turnout of equipment failing or malfunctioning, triggering frustration among voters and long lines at polling places. Scanners used to record ballots broke down in New York City. Voting machines stalled or stopped working in Detroit. Electronic poll books used to check in voters failed in Georgia. Machines failed to read ballots in Wake County, North Carolina, as officials blamed humidity and lengthy ballots. Those problems followed a busy early voting period that revealed other concerns, including machines that altered voters’ choices in Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.

National: Broken machines, rejected ballots and long lines: voting problems emerge as Americans go to the polls. | The Washington Post

Civil rights groups and election officials fielded thousands of reports of voting irregularities across the country Tuesday, with voters complaining of broken machines, long lines and untrained poll workers improperly challenging Americans’ right to vote. The loudest of those complaints came from Georgia, where issues of race, ballot access and election fairness have fueled an acrimonious governor’s contest between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams, a former state lawmaker, would be the nation’s first black female governor, while Kemp, the secretary of state, who oversees elections, has faced accusations of trying to suppress the minority vote. In one downtown Atlanta precinct, voters waited three hours to cast ballots after local election officials initially sent only three voting machines to serve more than 3,000 registered voters. In suburban Gwinnett County, the wait surpassed four hours as election officials opened the polls only to discover that their voting machines were not working at all, voters said.

National: Voting Machine Meltdowns Are Normal—That’s the Problem | WIRED

David Weiner counts himself lucky. Sure, he waited an hour to vote at the Brooklyn Public Library along with, he estimates, several hundred other New Yorkers Tuesday afternoon. But, hey, at least he arrived when the last ballot scanner officially broke. That meant he could just fill out his ballot and shove it in a box. The people in line in front of him, the ones who’d been waiting to use that last ballot scanner, said they’d been in line for twice as long. “The line snaked all the way around the lobby of the public library, which is extremely unusual,” says Weiner, a Brooklyn resident who runs a cannabis media company and has been voting at the same location for three years. “I took that as enthusiasm for voting, but I was sorely mistaken.” Instead, Weiner was just one of a still-unknown number of Americans who watched their country’s voting technology break down right in front of their eyes on Tuesday. Machine malfunctions caused hours-long lines and reports of voters giving up and going home at polling stations across the country. On an already tense Election Day, these technical issues exacerbated voters’ anxieties and concerns about voter suppression. And it’s true that in past election cycles, long lines have disproportionately impacted communities of color.

National: Voting Problems Surface as Americans Go to the Polls | The New York Times

From closed polling sites to malfunctioning machines, Election Day brought frustration for some voters in contests shadowed by questions about the security and fairness of the electoral system. In Gwinnett County, Ga., four precincts — out of 156 — suffered prolonged technical delays, while some voting machines in South Carolina lacked power or the devices needed to activate them. There was also some confusion in Allegheny County, Pa., which includes Pittsburgh, where at least four polling places were changed in the last two days. Voters who went to a polling place in Chandler, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb, found the doors locked and a legal notice announcing that the building had been closed overnight for failure to pay rent. (Officials later reopened the location.) In Houston, a worker was removed from a polling site and faced an assault charge amid a racially charged dispute with a voter, The Houston Chronicle reported.

National: A dozen U.S. states see problems with voting machines: rights groups | Reuters

Voting rights activists successfully sued Georgia and Texas asking them to extend voting hours in some counties after problems with voting machines led to delays and long lines thanks to a big turnout in U.S. elections on Tuesday. A suit by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Arizona failed, the group said. But it won an extension in Fulton County, Georgia, one county in about a dozen U.S. states that experienced delays, largely in sites still using aging voting machines overwhelmed by the volume of voters, according to officials and rights groups. Other Georgia polling places extended hours without facing lawsuits. Two Texas civil rights groups won a lawsuit to secure longer voting hours in Harris County, Texas, after polling locations in the Houston area opened late due to equipment glitches and other issues. In Ohio, a court ordered the state to provide ballots to voters who were being held in pretrial detention in county jails, following a lawsuit filed the same day by two public interest groups.

Michigan: Problems at polls persist as voter turnout ramps up | Detroit Free Press

On a potentially record-setting Election Day in Michigan, problems at the polls in metro Detroit popped up sporadically, leaving some voters waiting in line for more than an hour while others left altogether. Several would-be voters in Redford Township did not stay Tuesday morning while the lone voting machine at Pierce Middle School was being fixed, voter Rex Nagy said. “It stinks, it really does. So many people were upset,” Nagy said. In Detroit, voting equipment was not ready when the polls opened at Martin Luther King Jr. High School because a custodian did not know where the equipment was located, city elections director Daniel Baxter confirmed in a text message.

Maldives: Long lines, fainting and shoving: Maldives voting proves slow-going | Maldives Independent

People reported waiting up to six hours to cast their vote in the Maldives presidential election Sunday, as long lines persisted at polling stations more than halfway through the day. There are about 262,000 eligible voters. Elections Commission member Ahmed Akram told the Maldives Independent that turnout had reached 38 percent by noon. Polls close in less than an hour, but queues stretched outside most schools where polling stations were set up in the capital. In Kuala Lumpur people fainted while waiting, leaving others in the queue to manage the line and arrange for drinking water. Queues were said to extend from the 10th floor to the ground floor. There are almost 1,900 people registered to vote in Kuala Lumpur, but only one ballot box.

Alabama: Machine glitch, ballot confusion cause snags on election day | Montgomery Advertiser

Voters waited in a long line with filled U.S. Senate ballots in hand Tuesday morning after a new voting machine broke down. That left the Frazer United Methodist Church polling place in Montgomery with one working tabulation machine for part of the morning. A poll worker at the site said the crowd was also bigger than expected, which made the problem worse. Workers had fixed the problem before 10 a.m., according to Christopher Turner, the assistant director of elections for Montgomery County. “It’s all brand new equipment (being used) in Montgomery County for the first time,” Turner said. “It’s kind of a shakedown cruise.” But it was far from the only problem on election day in Alabama.

Georgia: Confusion And Questions Over Voting System Ahead Of Competitive Atlanta Election | WABE

In 2009, now Mayor Kasim Reed defeated Mary Norwood by 714 votes in a runoff. Eight years later, with seven candidates polling above 5 percent, the race to become Atlanta’s next mayor may be very close again. But today, there are more public questions about the integrity of the country and Georgia’s voting system, as well as doubts about voter education and whether residents in at least one part of the city will even know how long polling places are open. “This is a race with low voter turnout and a high number of candidates so accuracy is very important,” said mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard. “This race will probably be decided by handfuls of voters.” Last week, Woolard said she was concerned about confusion over how long polls would be open Tuesday in the sections of the city of Atlanta that are in DeKalb County.

Virginia: As Voters Prepare for Virginia Election, Data Helping Reduce Lines | Bipartisan Policy Center

When Virginia voters go to the polls on Tuesday they have a lot to consider when making their selections. But one thing they should not worry about is their experience at the polling place, especially concerns about long lines to cast ballots. More than any other state in the country, Virginia is at the forefront of monitoring polling place lines and finding new ways to improve the voting process in the future. Virginia joined the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Data Collection Project in 2014 and again in 2016 to investigate lines at polling places to resolve any problems in the future. The new data below show that just a small amount of effort is needed to gather information that can be valuable to addressing the problem of long lines at polling places.

Voting Blogs: Helping to build a voting time estimator | Kurt Sampsel/electionlineWeekly

Everyone in the election field knows how important it is to minimize waits at the polls, and in recent years, we’ve seen big advances in using data to help predict and avoid polling place stress. But while there’s a lot of research on overall wait times, there’s little data out there that addresses one critical piece of the puzzle: the amount of time it takes to vote a ballot. For that reason, the Center for Technology and Civic Life is working with software developer Mark Pelczarski to build a tool that will estimate how long it will take voters to mark a ballot based on its contents. Once it’s ready, the tool will be available for free in the Election Toolkit.

Kenya: Overeager voters, faulty biometrics and arrests as Kenya Votes | The Daily Vox

Long queues were the order of the day as Kenyans took to the polls Tuesday to vote in a hotly contested national election, pitting current president Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party against former prime minister Raila Odinga’s Nasa party. Voters started queueing as early as 2am, according to Caroline Kantai, presiding officer at Moi Avenue Primary School. Polling centres officially opened at 6am. Some centres opened late due to poor weather conditions, the delayed arrival of voting materials and problems with the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS), which verify voters’ biometric information. Kantai said some polling stations had problems verifying biometrics because voters’ fingers were sweaty or oily, or because “the machine just failed for one reason or the other”. In cases like these, polling clerks verified voters’ identities manually, using their identification documents.

Kenya: Kenyans choose next president in fiercely contested vote | Associated Press

Kenyans on Tuesday voted in large numbers an election that pits President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga in this East African economic hub known for its relative, long-term stability as well as the ethnic allegiances that shadow its democracy. Voters formed long lines at many polling stations before dawn, waiting for the chance to cast ballots in the tightly contested race for the presidency as well as for more than 1,800 elected positions, including governors, legislative representatives and county officials. A key concern was whether Kenya would echo its 2013 election, a mostly peaceful affair despite opposition allegations of vote-tampering, or the 2007 election, which led to violence fueled by ethnic divisions that killed more than 1,000 people.

Texas: Texans had problems voting in presidential election | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Nearly 9 million Texans headed to the polls in November to weigh in on the fierce battle for the White House — and many stumbled upon roadblocks while trying to cast their votes. Texas voters faced long lines, equipment glitches, intimidation — and confusion over the state’s Voter ID law and whether photo IDs were still required — according to a new report, Texas Election Protection 2016. “Unfortunately, through the state, voters faced numerous obstacles that complicated the process,” said Beth Stevens, voting rights director at the Texas Civil Rights Project that compiled the report. “We heard directly from thousands of voters about the barriers they faced in our electoral system. “Texans deserved better.”

Utah: After unusual election, lawmakers draft pile of bills seeking to make changes | The Salt Lake Tribune

After one of the most unusual elections in history, Utah legislators are busy drafting numerous bills seeking to make changes in election law. Proposals include a variety of schemes to help shorten voting lines — which were up to four-hours long this year. Some lawmakers want to force winners to achieve a majority of the vote, not just a plurality. And some want to ensure that, unlike this year, the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote wins the election. … Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, stood in line for more than two hours to vote at Hunter Library on Election Day. Others lined up there for up to four hours. “What really drives me crazy is how many people I saw that simply turned around and went home when they saw those lines,” Thatcher says.

Rhode Island: Pawtucket officials demand answers after ‘historic failure’ on Election Day | The Valley Breeze

City officials say they won’t soon forget the “historic failure” of the 2016 election in Pawtucket, saying they don’t want to see the interminable lines and disenfranchisement of voters ever again. The City Council is asking the Rhode Island Secretary of State and Board of Elections for an explanation of what happened in Pawtucket, which saw the worst of the problems across the state on voting day. Councilor Mark Wildenhain said the problems were consistent all day, with people waiting five minutes to vote and then two hours or more to get that vote registered by putting it through the machine. In some polling locations, residents ripped up their ballots and left, he said. Police nearly needed to break up a fistfight at the St. Cecilia Church polling place. … Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said in a statement Monday that “the delays experienced in Pawtucket on election day were unacceptable.”

Arizona: Phoenix election official dumped for long voter lines | Associated Press

The county official who took the blame for hours-long lines that plagued this year’s presidential primary in Arizona was dumped from office amid widespread frustration among voters over the bungled election. Republican Helen Purcell conceded on Tuesday to Democrat Adrian Fontes in the Maricopa County recorder’s race. The county was still tallying ballots but she was nearly 13,000 votes behind when she acknowledged the loss. Purcell, 81, was first elected in 1988 and never before challenged for re-election while serving seven four-year terms as county recorder. Her decision to cut the number of polling places for the March election caused voters to wait more than five hours to cast their ballots. Purcell and Secretary of State Michele Reagan were blamed for the foul-up, but Purcell became the most public face for the decision.