Digital Communities

Foreign Meddling Absent, but Election Problems Abounded

In polling places across the country Tuesday, voters and elections officials addressed a host of problems that delayed voting. What they didn't see was the kind of foreign interference many feared after 2016.

by Rachel DeSantis , Jessica Schladebeck , Goldene Brown and Michael Gartland New York Daily News / November 7, 2018
(AP/John Minchillo)

(TNS) — Who needs the Russians?

Long lines and technical issues frustrated voters across the U.S., leaving some unable to cast their ballots on Tuesday.

Voters and election officials complained about problems in Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, California and New York, ranging from high humidity to a dearth of power cords to malfunctioning machines.

In Georgia's Gwinett County, officials were investigating delays and technical glitches at several polling places as of Tuesday afternoon.

One official blamed delays at the Anderson-Livsey Elementary School on a lack of power cords.

"The machine was not supplied power and was running on [a] battery, and the battery ran out," Joe Sorenson, a spokesman for the county's supervisor of elections, told NBC News.

He was uncertain of how many machines were impacted, but said the problem was resolved by 9:15 a.m.

The office of Secretary of State Brian Kemp — the Republican candidate for governor who's faced accusations of voter suppression — confirmed that additional problems were reported at the Suwanee Public Library and Annistown Elementary School in Snellville.

Derrick Oatis said none of the machines at the library were functioning when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — who's vying to become the state's first African American elected governor — encouraged voters to stay put despite delays and malfunctions.

"If you are in line to vote, STAY IN LINE. Do not leave your polling place until your ballot is cast," she tweeted Tuesday morning.

Georgia wasn't the only state faced with Election Day headaches.

In Arizona, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes says there have been some hiccups at a few of the some 500 voting sites.

Sticky conditions in the Tar Heel State made it impossible for ballots to be fed through tabulators, but the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement said the high humidity would not prevent ballots from being counted.

In New York, the city Board of Elections head Michael Ryan said new two-page ballots were the source of many problems, as reports of malfunctioning machinery and long lines circulated throughout the five boroughs during the day.

In Los Angeles, one voter reported that a Santa Monica polling place had to use provisional ballots because poll workers at the site did not receive rosters.

Meanwhile, as the threat of meddling from foreign powers like Russia loomed large, Facebook blocked at least 115 accounts for suspected "coordinated inauthentic behavior" linked to foreign groups.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has so far indicted 13 Russian nationals on charges of attempting to meddle in both this year's election and the 2016 presidential race, but Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied any Russian meddling Tuesday.

"All the accusations that we will be meddling in today's elections turned out to be empty statements," he said.

©2018 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.