Tracking Possible Voting Problems and Irregularities Across the Country

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With about 80 million Americans heading to the polls Tuesday, the ABC News Ballot Watch Team is tracking potential voting problems and irregularities across the country. Donald Trump has repeatedly called the election “rigged” and warned of widespread voter fraud, while Democrats have brought lawsuits alleging potential illegal voter intimidation and suppression in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina.

But election authorities in all 50 states told ABC News they have confidence in their voting systems.

In every national election there are scattered reports of long lines, voting machine malfunctions, ballot shortages, misinformation campaigns and Election Day lawsuits. ABC News is tracking such reports to determine whether they affect voters’ rights or election results.

Here are some reports so far:

Election Protection, a group which describes itself as a non-partisan voter protection coalition, held a media briefing in Washington, D.C. this morning to announce an uptick in the number of calls to its national hotline alleging voter intimidation and harassment. The group said it has heard from 80,000 voters so far, on a wide range of election-related issues, and expects to receive some 175,000 reports by end of day.


Several reported incidents of voter intimidation were flagged in Florida this morning, according to Election Protection. In Broward County, Florida, a group was accused of intimidating at least one voter outside of the Hollywood Public Library. But this report appears to have been erroneous.

“What we understand is there were a group of individuals aggressively assembled outside [the polling place],” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, part of the coalition, told reporters this morning. “They were approaching vehicles. In one instance, they touched a woman’s car. She did not feel free to park her car and cast her ballot and left without doing so.”

But later, in an interview with ABC News, Clarke said she was unsure of the timing of the alleged incident at the library and said it might have occurred during early voting, which ended on Sunday.

ABC News has learned this library was an early voting location, not a polling place. People showed up thinking they could vote there, but got confused when told they couldn’t. It was a misunderstanding, but reportedly not intimidation.

In Jacksonville, Florida, according to the Election Protection coalition, a female Republican poll watcher was intimidating voters by getting too close to them as they filled out their ballots at a polling place in the St. Paul AME Church. A Democratic poll watcher complained to the clerk at the precinct, but the woman refused to leave. She finally left after a Republican poll worker spoke with her. This is a majority black section of Jacksonville.

When ABC News called the church they could not confirm the incident occurred.


There were also reports of police officers appearing at polls in Missouri, which the Advancement Project, part of the Election Protection coalition, thought might cause a chilling effect for minority voters.

Greene County, Missouri, reported they would have a Sheriff’s presence at polls. While there have been no reports yet of officers in that area, there have been reports of a police presence at a polling place in St. Louis that Election Protection was able to disperse.


Election Protection reported receiving calls about voting machine malfunctions in North Carolina, with the most widespread reports in Durham County.

But a spokesperson for the North Carolina State Board of Elections clarified to ABC News that, while there have been no issues with voting machines, Durham County had experienced technical problems with the electronic poll books used to sign in voters at polling places. Issues occurred in five precincts. But, as a precautionary measure, the Board of Elections directed the entire county to revert to paper poll books, the spokesperson said.


A Nevada state judge denied a request by the Trump campaign Tuesday to issue a court order requiring state officials to preserve and segregate ballots in areas where the campaign alleges violations of Nevada voter laws occurred, according to court filings.

The ruling comes in response to a Trump campaign lawsuit alleging that Joe P. Gloria, the Clark County Nevada Registrar of Voters, violated election laws during early voting.

Specifically, the Trump campaign claimed that Gloria kept the Cardenas Market polling place open after the published closing time and improperly allowed approximately 300 voters to cast non-provisional ballots after hours. Also, it claimed Gloria held three other polling places open late in disproportionately Democratic areas.

Finally, the Trump campaign claimed that “Democratic operatives brazenly handed out, to voters standing in line within the 100 foot radius of the Cardenas Market polling place, electioneering literature listing and recommending the Clark County Democratic Party’s favored candidates,” according to the court filings.

“Today the judge denied the petition from the Trump campaign, and pointed out that what they were seeking was already required by law,” reads a statement on the official Facebook page of Clark County, Nevada.

The Trump Campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News.

The Clinton campaign praised the judge’s dismissal of what they characterized as a “frivolous” and “desperate” attempt.

“We’re pleased the judge swiftly denied what was a frivolous attempt to disenfranchise voters in Clark County and a desperate response to the record turnout we’re seeing in Nevada and across the country,” said Glen Caplin, a Clinton campaign spokesperson. “Every voice needs to be heard in this election and both campaigns should be working to ensure that every American will have easy access to the ballot box.”

The lawsuit came days after the Trump campaign filed an Election Integrity Violation Report with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office over the same matter.


The Republican mayor of Mansfield, Georgia, sparked swift backlash on social media when he reportedly tweeted that “Democrats vote on Wednesday, 11/9.”

Riley’s office confirmed that the tweet has been taken down, but did not provide further information. Riley did not respond to ABC’s email request for comment and his office said he was “out of town” and unavailable to speak.

He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it was a “joke.”

“People take things so seriously,” he told the Journal-Constitution.

Check back here for updates throughout the day.

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