Nov 6, 2018

Election nightmares: Power outages, old machines and ballot deficiencies

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

It's Election Day, and many Americans across the country who made their way to the polls early this morning were met with bad weather, long lines, power outages or no one to open the polling site.

Why it matters: There have been reports and fears of election interference and voter suppression in certain states including Georgia. Even without intentional manipulation, lack of preparation or technical difficulties can cause miscalculations or prevent people from casting their ballots. Much of the eastern U.S. was hit with rain and storms Tuesday, which could decrease voter turnout, particularly among Democrats.

New York: Throughout New York City, ballot readers failed, "thwarting thousands of would-be voters and forcing hundreds to abandon polling places rather than endure waits that sometimes exceeded an hour," Bloomberg reports.

  • This morning, poll workers had trouble unlocking a polling site in Brooklyn, causing it to open late, according to PIX11.

Rhode Island: Some polls had a late start because of technical issues or workers arriving late.

Pennsylvania: The judge of elections had a medical emergency and was unable to open one polling place in Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The equipment needed to start the ballot machines was also not on site, and at 9:15 a.m. — more than two hours after the polling was slotted to begin — the machines were still not in service.

Tennessee: At a polling place in Knoxville, voters who showed up to the middle school that housed a polling site had to cast paper ballots as the location had a power outage Tuesday morning and its generator failed as well, CNN reports.

South Carolina: The Richland County elections director told CNN that he was seeing more frequent issues with calibration for older voting machines — meaning the wrong candidate was being accidentally selected.

  • When voting machines are not working properly, voters can submit emergency paper ballots at the polling place. Those will be tabulated later in the day.

Arizona: One polling site was foreclosed on the day before Election Day in a town outside of Phoenix, Arizona, according to USA Today. The issue was eventually solved and the site was opened late.

North Carolina: The North Carolina State Board of Elections released a statement explaining that in some polling locations, high humidity was causing issues with ballots being read by voting machines.

Texas: One precinct in Arlington, Texas, ran out of enough paper ballots while dealing with machine issues, according to CNN.

Go deeper: Trump makes voting great again

Go deeper

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

2 hours ago - Sports

The sports world speaks up about death of George Floyd

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Screenshot: Jaylen Brown/Instagram

There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.

The technology of witnessing brutality

Charging Alabama state troopers pass by fallen demonstrators in Selma on March 7, 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

The ways Americans capture and share records of racist violence and police misconduct keep changing, but the pain of the underlying injustices they chronicle remains a stubborn constant.

Driving the news: After George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked wide protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Thank God a young person had a camera to video it."