Election fraud and voter fraud allegations have been a big concern this election season. Donald Trump frequently brought up worries that the election was going to be “rigged,” and some take his concerns seriously while others think the worries are not realistic. The concerns range from election fraud, to voter fraud, to voter suppression. The concerns aren’t new. Election Justice USA issued a report in July that voting issues might have cost Bernie Sanders up to 184 delegates.
Now, as election day is underway, reports are starting to surface of people encountering problems or issues while voting. These don’t necessarily mean that voter fraud or election fraud happened. (Voter suppression occurs when officials or rules make it harder for people to vote. Election fraud is the illegal interference in the election process itself. Voter fraud occurs when people who shouldn’t vote do, such as being bused in or when dead people “vote.”) Sometimes problems are the result of uneducated poll works or technical glitches with voting machines. But still, it’s important to keep track of what’s happening and know where things stand, in case a pattern develops.
And remember: As long as you’re in line when a polling location closes, you are still able to vote.
Below is a list of states where voting problems and irregularities are being reported on election day. If you hear of an incident that isn’t listed here, please let us know in the comments below.
Alabama Voting Issues
Fake flyers were being posted in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, claiming that Democrats were voting on November 9 and independents could choose to vote on either day. It’s unclear where this flyer originated from or how many people saw it.
Connecticut Voting Issues
Shaun King, reporter for New York Daily News, shared this message about problems in Connecticut. A poll worker didn’t want to let an elderly woman vote when she showed her a DMV-issued ID, saying it wasn’t “federal identification.” She was finally allowed to vote after the poll worker was shown that all driver licenses say they are state-issued and not federally issued. This incident is a good reminder that many poll workers aren’t educated properly. If you’re told you can’t vote but you do have a valid ID and are properly registered, ask to speak to a different poll worker.
Florida Voting Issues
In Florida, two poll workers were fired on election day and escorted from the Herb Skolnick polling location by deputies in Broward County. According to ABC 10, the poll workers did not adhere to procedure and policy. Election officials didn’t elaborate on what had happened.
Voters in Florida have been reporting aggressive and intimidating behavior. In Miami-Dade County, there were reports of yelling and people using megaphones. In Jacksonville, an unauthorized person was found in a polling location and refused at first to leave.
Georgia Voting Problems
In Georgia, there were last-minute changes to polling locations. Voters weren’t given any notice of the changes and weren’t sure where to go.
New York Voting Issues
In New York, there were issues reported with polling locations not opening on time. Issues were reported in Brooklyn and New York City.
North Carolina Voting Machine Issues
In Durham County, North Carolina, reports surfaced of electronic voting machines being down. This includes Raleigh, a city with more than a quarter-million residents. Voters were forced to switch to paper books in order to check in voters.
Pennsylvania Voting Machine Flipping & Fraud Allegations
Election officials in Pennsylvania have admitted that some of their voting machines had issues, after some Trump voters reported that their ballots kept flipping to Clinton. Issues were reported and confirmed in Clinton Township and Butler County, CBS reported. Lebanon, Pennsylvania also shared numerous Facebook posts about the problems:
Meanwhile, in Allegheny County, an election judge didn’t show up when the polls opened. The judge will be charged with failure to perform duties, CBS said.
And in Philadelphia, voting machine problems caused long lines in some locations. A task force in Philadelphia has been created, consisting of 70 prosecutors and detectives, to deal with voter fraud, intimidation, and electioneering complaints.
The Twitter account Philly GOP is keeping a running tally of voting issues here. These include reports of a poll worker telling a voter to vote Democrat straight ticket, a poll worker not knowing current poll location laws, and a Democrat voter being told she could hang out inside a polling location because she was a Democrat. A group of people were also told they had to vote provisional, when they didn’t. There were also reports of poll workers handing out Hillary Clinton literature inside the polling station, which is illegal.
Utah Voting Machine Issues
Utah has been reporting considerable voting machine issues. According to the Associated Press, the Utah Director of Elections said that a programming problem has affected all voting in Washington County. About 52,000 registered voters haven’t voted yet, and election workers are trying to fix the problem so the voting machines can be used. Backup paper ballots are currently being used instead, but if the problem isn’t fixed soon they’ll have to print more.
Virginia Voting Issues
Virginia has also been reporting problems. Problems with voting machines caused long lines in three Virginia precincts.
To see a list of voting problems reported during early voting, please see our story below: