As polls opened up on Tuesday morning, voting advocates were likely both excited and fearful for what the 2018 Midterm elections could bring. But from Customs and Border Protection agents being scheduled to conduct a crowd control exercise in Texas to reports of some polling places not having nearly enough voting machines, one near certainty was that some form of voter suppression would rear its ugly head as voting got underway for the long-awaited political contests.
Georgia, Florida and North Carolina seemed to be Ground Zero for voter suppression efforts, but every state was being exposed to these tactics that can many times dissuade a legal, registered voter from even attempting to cast a ballot. Pennsylvania also seemed to have an alarmingly high number of issues reported Tuesday morning.
One key to countering the voter suppression efforts that have been mostly attributed to agents of the Republican Party is voter turnout, like this example from the president himself.
Most of the early reports from polling places across the country were centered on the long lines there. According to reports on social media, that was precisely the case in Indiana, South Carolina and Virginia.
Yet and still, the resounding overall message on Tuesday was that no matter what, folks must make an effort to go vote. The election was carrying heavy implications for the House and Senate, both of which Democrats were hoping they could flip in a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency.
Luckily, there has been no shortage of voting rights advocates this election season, with a number of resources being made available for voters encountering problems with trying to cast ballots. To seek help, one need not look any further than the social media feeds of Kristen Clarke, the President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She and her organization have gone through painstaking measures to make sure that voters know what their rights are.
The Lawyers’ Committee along with other civil rights group such as the NAACP have been leading the charge against voter suppression and gerrymandering, but they can only do so much against the powers that be that have seemed hellbent on stopping the Black vote in particular. The rest is up to voters.
NewsOne will be keeping a running list of reports of voter suppression and intimidation, and this list will be updated throughout the day as anticipated reports come in.
Some ballots are damp and not feeding through the electronic counter, says probate judge in Huntsville https://t.co/s09PeHyLtv— Challen Stephens (@ChallenStephens) November 6, 2018
#ElectionDay problems in #SantaMonica Hundreds of people are having to cast provisional ballots at 1 polling place bc the voter roster was reportedly never delivered. #LACounty Registrar is now looking into the matter. @CBSLA #CBSLA #Vote #Midterm2018 pic.twitter.com/XplZqGciBY— Cristy Fajardo (@fajardonews) November 6, 2018
6. North Carolina
7. New York City
Polling location at Florence Smith Community Center in Corona, Queens, where only 1 out of 3 scanner machines is working. Wet fingers from rain causing problems? #electionday #VotingProblems #vote #queens #abc7ny #pollingplace pic.twitter.com/WnhCP9dTOs— Stacey Sager (@staceysager7) November 6, 2018
11. South Carolina
Richland County Elections Director Rokey Suleman said some precincts are having problems with machines “mismarking the vote” because of calibration issues with the touch-screen machines. #ElectionDay #sctweets https://t.co/3FAzoHyXMc— Maayan Schechter (@MaayanSchechter) November 6, 2018
Two hours into #ElectionDay and already a major issue in Georgia: Technical problems were causing long lines and forcing voters to resort to paper ballots at one Gwinnett County precinct. #gapol https://t.co/WTXPn7PSst— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 6, 2018
14. New York City
15. South Crolina
17. South Carolina
I need an election lawyer to message me. I have people who are being denied who are registered. Clerk's office is claiming they didn't register in time. However I mailed the forms myself. I know they're wrong.— 🐝 Mark Joseph Kremer 🐝 #FBR (@MarkJKremer) November 6, 2018
Voted but not without a challenge as my last name “Del Río” but my GA ID says “DELRIO” (no space as GA DMV does not allow a space). So first told I was not registered and, when I showed my registration, told my name did not match. Was able to rebuff and vote but had to #resist— Carlos del Rio (@CarlosdelRio7) November 6, 2018
20. New Jersey
Lots of problems reported in NJ’s 11 congressional district. No ballots this morning, buttons not working properly, and fake votes cast. If you encounter a problem call 1-833-658-6837. You can also ask for a provisional ballot. #NJpolitics #electionday— 🇵🇷👸🏻 (@APH005) November 6, 2018
21. New York City
8am and in what is becoming a reoccurring theme on #ElectionDay, there are problems in Maricopa County. Printers are down at my polling place in Ahwatukee and lines are forming. @azcentral #Election2018 #ElectionDayAZ pic.twitter.com/zg174S2d8n— Char (@curryalley) November 6, 2018
#voting should not be this difficult! This is how the government is trying to stop #POC from voting. Broken machines & disorganized line! #ElectionDay2018 #MidtermElections2018 #GoVote #brooklyn @NYCMayor #WTF pic.twitter.com/0EyNW3ZLfo— Marie Farrell (she/her) Wear a Mask! (@littleredhead33) November 6, 2018
Just confirmed w/ Harris County Clerk’s Office that there’s a voting technician on site at the Lowery Elementary polling location. They didn’t know the exact problem, but wanted to let people in that area know that they are working to fix the issue. #ElectionDay 🇺🇸@CW39Houston— Courtney Carpenter (@courtcarpenter_) November 6, 2018
This is the line at my polling station AFTER everyone left because— Khadija M. Farah (@kmfarah) November 6, 2018
1. The (one) electronic voting machine isn’t working and
2. There are not enough paper ballots.
It is #ElectionDay and entire precincts including mine cannot vote. #Election2018 pic.twitter.com/lT6BhTVfJV
Voting machines aren’t consistently working here in Lucas Co. 😡 please fill out your paper ballot. Let’s get those machine fixed, and voted counted!!! #voterprobs #MidtermElections2018 #Vote419 #GoVote— Sara Eiden (@SaraMichelle404) November 6, 2018
It’s almost 7a. The polling center I am at opened at 6a. Machines are down. Not a single vote has been counted. People are already walking away. #MidtermElections2018 #VoteToday #VoterSuppression #BlueWave2018 #vote #Midterms2018 #MidtermElections— Unvaccinated Human #6969420 (@ShaneAgainst) November 6, 2018
30. South Carolina
@JudiGatson Long line at Catawba Trail Elem in NE Cola with 6 machines and 2 not working. Many ppl waited over an hour and had to leave bc they had to go to work. It was moving VERY slow. #MidtermElections2018— HHH (@hhhinson) November 6, 2018
31. New York City
Lines at the polls are INSANE this morning - snaking around the gymnasium for privacy booths and for ballot scanners. Two ballot scanning machines broken since 6am. Technician MIA. This is absurd. 🤦♀️ @NYCVotes @commoncauseny #MidtermElections2018— amanda k (@amandamemoire) November 6, 2018
33. New York
The line at my polling place is crazy long so they are offering that we drop our ballots into a machine instead of the scan. Is that bad? I’ve only voted in person a handful of times #MidtermElections2018 @NewYorkStateAG— Maggie Moore (@MaggieM012) November 6, 2018
I am so infuriated that one of Detroit’s main east side polling locations had NO VOTING MACHINES when the polls opened today. This is clear discrimination & voter interference. Don’t mess with my city. #GoVote #MidtermElections2018 @EdKrassen #vote #voterinterference— Lucky Sparkman (@LuckySparkman) November 6, 2018
MD State Board of Elections reporting number: "There are....64... callers ahead of you". I'm guessing non ADA compliant polling places are a significant problem this morning #ElectionDay— Dr Erin Ryan (@erinleeryan) November 6, 2018
37. New York City
#Happening at my #polling place at 12th / Carpenter = disgraceful. The poll workers are still trying to set up voting machines, on tech support “pushing buttons”, people are dropping out of line, no one has voted here. @PhiladelphiaGov #vote #MidtermElections2018— Leslie (@Chapterless) November 6, 2018
39. North Carolina
In Wendell, NC not all ballots are being counted by the machine. It’s humid and damp in the room and the machine can’t read them all. They’re going in an “emergency bin” with assurances they’ll be counted. @WRAL @HeadCountOrg #MidtermElections2018— Kevin Flinn (@kflinn1) November 6, 2018
My polling place has a v long line and they just came out to say 1 of their 2 machines is broken. #MidtermElections2018— Regan Fletcher Stephens (@ReganStephens) November 6, 2018
This isn’t just voter suppression. It’s a blatant attempt at voter intimidation in El Paso.— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) November 6, 2018
Let’s figure out how get this community safely to the polls tomorrow. They deserve to be heard.#WaveCast #WaveCastTX https://t.co/n7WBZKA0GK
Election Day Eve got off to a bumpy start this morning in #WalnutCreek. A power outage for 20 minutes forced some voters to have to go to Antioch because voting machines were down at City Hall. Good news: power is back up! #EarlyVoting #GetOutAndVote #MidtermElections2018 pic.twitter.com/X17t0olWqI— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) November 5, 2018