US midterm voters face long lines, machine malfunctions


By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Voters at some polling locations across the country are contending Tuesday with extraordinarily long lines and malfunctioning machines that are critical to casting ballots.

Some of the worst problems have been reported in Georgia where Democrat Stacey Abrams is seeking to become the nation’s first black female governor in a contest in which she is pitted against Brian Kemp, Georgia's secretary of state who is overseeing the election in addition to running in it.

Though just one of 36 state gubernatorial races taking place in this year's midterms, Georgia's is one of the most closely watched.

The race had already been dogged by allegations of voter suppression prior to Tuesday when some voters reportedly said they had been waiting to cast their ballots for hours.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said four voting sites in Gwinnett County faced prolonged difficulties due to problems with the state's electronic ExpressPoll system. Volunteers at the polling stations were forced to hand out paper ballots, but did not do so immediately. Authorities said at least one station would remain open an additional 25 minutes until 7.25 p.m. (0025GMT).

And all was not well beyond Georgia's borders.

In Detroit, Michigan some voters in one precinct were turned away because a voting machine was missing. The machine was located in a locked closet poll workers initially did not have a key for, according to the local ABC-affiliate.

Some voters who stayed at the polling location were able to cast their ballots after an hour-and-a-half delay, according to the news network. Others, however, left before the station opened.

Other problems were reported in Arizona, New York, Michigan and Texas.