DemDaily: Bullies at the Ballot Box!

November 8, 2016

Americans are voting in every state and the first projected network election results should start rolling in around 7:00pm. The last polls close at 9:00pm on the east coast, and at 8:00pm (11pm EST) in the west.

On the final day of one of the most contentious presidential elections in history, early accusations of voter "rigging" have fueled the divisions among an anxious electorate.

To ensure each vote is guaranteed and fairly cast, there are virtually thousands of legal volunteers in every state fielding calls from voters for assistance. Despite their best work, some bullies still prevail.

Change in Polling Locations
The Supreme Court's 2014 removal of federal oversight provisions of the Voting Rights Act left the door open for multiple states to close polling places. Despite expectations of a higher 2016 turnout, there has been a decrease of almost 900 polling places since 2012 - mostly in southern minority communities where the lines are now reportedly twice as long as in predominantly white ones.

Maricopa County, Arizona cut 70% of its pre-primary polling locations - down to one for every 21,000 voters - causing lines of up to five hours.

In North Carolina, Nevada and Ohio, where early voting extended through the weekend, voters waited in line from two hours in Charlotte, to two hours past-closing in Las Vegas. In Cincinnati, a line of more than 4,000 early voters spanned a half mile.
Broken Machines
Reported technical issues or computer malfunction include a breakdown of voting machines in Durham, North Carolina; machine-delayed poll openings in New York, Georgia and Texas, and voting machines breakdowns in Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia.

A programming issue affected voting in Washington County, Utah this morning, where 52,000 voters had yet to cast their ballots.

Purging from the Registration Rolls
A North Carolina federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Friday ordering the state to restore 6,612 previously purged registered voters - a plurality of whom, 25.7%, were black Democrats.

Polling hours have been extended in the following states: Florida, Texas, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina. Check 866-OUR-VOTE

Voting ID Issues
The Election Protection Coalition reported that more than half of the intimidation or suppression complaints so far have come from Pennsylvania; many of which related to false ID requirements, eligibility challenges and the absence of mandated Spanish-speaking interpreters.

34 states require some form of Voter ID, and 16 require Photo ID, including: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia & Wisconsin

Voter Intimidation
In Virginia a Magnum .357-toting fan in a Trump t-shirt stood outside the 40 feet no-canvassing-zone at a Loudoun County early voting location Friday, asking people if they were voting for "Crooked Hillary."

Voter Misinformation
Leaflets targeting college students at Bates college in Maine incorrectly stated students can only vote if registered in Lewiston, which would then trigger hundreds of dollars in other city registration costs.

While the final outcome may not be known until midnight tonight, there is still time to have an impact. Vote, pass it on.

Good luck to all. May the best woman win!

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Kimberly Scott
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