Last Updated:September 18 @ 07:59 am

Voting glitches from Black Panthers to removal of GOP election judges

By Curt Anderson

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sporadic problems were reported Tuesday at polling places around the country, including a confrontation in Pennsylvania involving Republican inspectors over access to some polls and a last-minute court fight in Ohio over election software. One Florida elections office mistakenly told voters in robocalls the election was on Wednesday.

Although the majority of complaints were simply long lines, the Election Protection coalition of civil rights and voting access groups said they had gotten some more serious calls among more than 35,000 received on a toll-free voter protection hotline.

""It's already started and it's busy," said Barbara Arnwine, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

In Philadelphia, the Republican Party said 75 legally credentialed voting inspectors were removed from polling places in the heavily Democratic city, prompting the GOP to seek a court order providing them access. Local prosecutors were also looking into the reports. Democratic Party officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The battleground state of Ohio was the scene of yet another court battle, this one involving a lawsuit claiming voting software installed by the state could allow manipulation of ballots by non-election board officials. The lawsuit wants a judge to order Ohio not to use the software - something state elections officials said would "unnecessarily thwart the smooth operation of the election."

The Florida robocall glitch occurred in Pinellas County, location of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. Officials said the calls intended for Monday were wrongly recycled Tuesday, telling possibly thousands of voters they had until "7 p.m. tomorrow" to vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Nancy Whitlock, spokeswoman for the county's supervisor of elections, said officials immediately stopped the calls Tuesday morning when the problem was discovered and a second message went out telling voters to disregard the previous call.

Elsewhere, the Election Protection coalition reported problems with ballot scanners in the Ohio cities of Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo; late-opening polling places in minority neighborhoods in Galveston, Texas; and some precincts in the Tampa, Fla., area where voters are being redirected to another polling place where they must cast a provisional ballot.

Meanwhile, voters in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey expressed relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Lines were long in Point Pleasant, N.J., where residents from the Jersey Shore communities of Point Pleasant Beach and Mantoloking had to cast their ballots due to damage in their hometowns. Many people still have no power eight days after Sandy pummeled the shore.

"Nothing is more important than voting. What is the connection between voting and this?" said Alex Shamis, a resident of hard-hit Staten Island, gesturing to his mud-filled home.

Any voting problems are being closely monitored after months of legal and political battles over more voter ID restrictions and other laws, mostly fruitless hunts for supposedly ineligible people on voting rolls in many states and sustained claims that black and Hispanic voters are being targeted for intimidation and suppression.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said even in states where the restrictive laws have been blocked or delayed, many people still think they are in effect.

"The laws were struck down but the confusion remains," Waldman said.

Many of these issues could resurface in the courts after Tuesday, particularly if the race between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is too close to call or heads for a recount in states such as Ohio or Florida.

The Justice Department will have at least 780 observers at key polling places in 23 states to ensure compliance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act and look into any allegations of voter fraud.

Provisional ballots were the latest legal skirmish in the critical battleground state of Ohio, where Secretary of State Jon Husted's decision on how they can be cast was challenged in federal court. Advocates and lawyers for labor unions contend Husted's order would lead to some provisional ballots being rejected improperly because the burden of recording the form of ID used on a provisional ballot is being placed on voters, not poll workers as in the past.

A provisional vote allows a person to have his or her say, but the ballot is subject to review and verification of eligibility.

A decision was not expected before Election Day, but the judge overseeing the case planned a ruling before Nov. 17, when provisional ballots can begin to be counted in Ohio. Provisional ballots are used more often in Ohio than in most states, with experts predicting between 200,000 and 300,000 will be cast there.

"That could be a huge problem after Election Day for counting ballots," said Wendy Weiser, director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program. "There's really tens of thousands of voters in Ohio whose votes could be at risk."

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers A.J. Connelly in New York, Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio, and Patrick Walters in Philadelphia.

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GOPUSA Editor's Note:  There are reports of Black Panthers at polling stations in Philly as well as Obama posters in another polling place. The photo at the top of this article is of an election judge in Chicago wearing an Obama hat.

 

More on the Black Panther appearance in Philly can be found here. 

 

Here's a link to the poster story at Fox News.

 

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11 Comments

  1. arwenusaComment by arwenusa
    November 6, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

    “The Justice Department will have at least 780 observers at key polling places in 23 states to ensure compliance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act and look into any allegations of voter fraud.”

    If anyone believes this, please let me know. I know of several really great bridges for sale!

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    Rating: 4.3/5 (47 votes cast)
  2. Pingback: Black Panthers Back at Philadelphia Polling Station - Page 3

  3. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    November 6, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    the black version of the KKK why are they allowed to flourish in todays society of political correctness and tolerance?
    nothing that a few caps busted off on them will halt that $***.

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (40 votes cast)
  4. thomasjeffersonComment by thomasjefferson
    November 6, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    They got away with it in 08, I want to see arrests made now!

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (48 votes cast)
    • oleteabagComment by oleteabag
      November 6, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

      You won’t see any arrests as long as Holder is AG. He had VIDEO of them chasing people away from the door with billy clubs and “declined to prosecute” before.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (11 votes cast)
    • lokiswifeComment by lokiswife
      November 6, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

      Just read a news note that one election fraud hotline had 69,000 calls today…is anyone surprised? Holder gave the blacks the go-ahead to do whatever they wanted without penalty, Obama gave them tons of freebies for their vote.

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    • recce1Comment by recce1
      November 8, 2012 @ 4:18 am

      oleteabag, actually the prosecution had begun but the plaintiffs refused to show up in court. The DOJ lawyer tried to have the case won by default but his superiors overrode him and dismissed the case which was all but won.

      By the way, US DOJ official J. Christian Adams resigned in protest of what he viewed as a mishandling of the case by the Holder DOJ.

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  5. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    November 6, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    The Demorats are up to their old and new tricks. Just found out the nursing home where my mother-in-law stays had her fill out an absentee ballot and vote recently. Never mind she has dementia and can’t remember she voted or what day it is. Never mind that my wife has sole legal custody and must make her decisions. Bet your boots baby this is not going down easy!

    If Obozo wins….he stole the election!

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    Rating: 4.3/5 (30 votes cast)
  6. Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
    November 6, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    “Local prosecutors were also looking into the reports. Democratic Party officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.”

    Well of course they didn’t! And they probably WON’T, either

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    Rating: 4.3/5 (23 votes cast)
  7. yeeheecomComment by yeeheecom
    November 6, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    The racist idiots in winston salem, North Carolina actually honered the Black Panthers with a marker recently. Can you believe that? http://www.wschronicle.com/2012/10/black-panthers-legacy-honored-with-marker/

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  8. sumitchComment by sumitch
    November 6, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

    Ya know if we just banned anyone in Ohio or Florida from voting, 90% of the problems would disappear. ;-)

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (16 votes cast)
  9. vevaComment by veva
    November 7, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    Did the 10′s of thousands military receive their ballots in time to vote and return them!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

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