States are struggling to handle an overwhelming voter turnout on Tuesday, as machines break down, waits are hours long and people are reporting an overall sense of confusion.
Americans across the country showed up to their polling places in droves, and it seems several counties were not prepared for the surge.
In Atlanta, people were seen leaving stations because wait times were stretching more than three hours, as long lines also marred the first hours of voting in New York, as one man described the scene as a ‘mosh pit’.
Several counties in South Carolina, Texas and Georgia have reported technical issues with machines, resorting to paper ballots until the issue was resolved.
In Detroit, citizens arrived to a high school to find no machines available, and in Florida a gun scare caused a polling place to be put on lock down for 40 minutes.
And in a town outside Phoenix, Arizona, early risers showed up to their polling station only to find the location had been foreclosed overnight on Tuesday.
Listed below is how each state is faring with voting issues.
Polls are open in Alabama despite overnight storms that forced some schools and offices to push back their start times
Polls are open in Alabama despite overnight storms that forced some schools and offices to push back their start times.
In Midfield, Alabama, photos show election workers rolling away voting machines after reports that ballots were too wide to fit into the machines, leading workers to use scissors to cut them into a size that fits, according to local news outlets.
With only scattered damage and power outages reported statewide, weather forecasters say conditions should improve for voters to be out during the day Tuesday.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. statewide, and some polling places had voters in line when they opened.
Maricopa County election officials say a polling site in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler is not operating
Maricopa County election officials say a polling site in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler is not operating.
County Recorder Adrian Fontes told KTVK-TV that poll workers were trying to set up in the parking lot of the Golf Academy of America, which had been foreclosed on overnight Tuesday.
Fontes says they will now open a new polling location for the Gila Precinct at Mesquite High School in nearby Gilbert around 10 a.m.
The owners of the property locked the doors, taking election officials by surprise.
Fontes had said reopening the site would have required a court order.
Any voter can cast a ballot at a voting center, while only voters registered in a specific precinct such as the Gila Precinct can cast ballots at a precinct’s polling location.
Other problems throughout the state included ballot printers that wouldn’t print, which seemed to be the most common issue.
Voters wait in line as they are serenaded by mariachis at the Lafayette Park Gymnasium polling station to cast their ballots in the 2018 midterm general election in Los Angeles
Some voters in some Kern County, which is north of Los Angeles, were given the wrong ballots for 45 minutes, according to local reports.
The ballots did not include a key county supervisorial race, leaving out the race of Mike Maggard and his challenger Jeff Heinle.
County Elections Chief Karne Rhea said the mistake was a poll worker error and only a few amount of voters were affected.
She told local newspaper The Bakersfield Californian: ‘(The poll workers) rode together in the car and managed to swap bags or something.’
In Merced, which is about two hours east of San Francisco, the campaign office of Democrat Anna Caballero was broken into overnight.
In the theft, computers that contained contact details and voting data was stolen.
Her campaign manager said in a press release the break in was ‘the same kind of tricks, distortions and lies we are seeing at the national level.’
People wait in line at polling station before in the East Village in San Diego, California
Connecticut officials say voter turnout appears to be brisk as residents decide the state’s close battle for governor and other races.
The Secretary of the State’s Office says there were reports of long lines at many polling places Tuesday morning, but no reports of any major problems. The 2.16 million registered voters in the state is the highest number in recent memory.
At a polling place in Hartford, some Democrats said the election was about repudiating the policies and behavior of President Donald Trump. A Republican voter said Tuesday was more about state issues such as high taxes.
A Florida polling place on Palm Bay was put on lockdown for about 40 minutes after a man with a gun was reported in a nearby parking lot. Pictured: Voters lined up in Ponte Vedra Beach
A Florida polling place was put on lock down for about 40 minutes after a man with a gun was reported in a nearby parking lot.
Palm Bay Police Lt. Steve Bland said passers-by getting into their cars on Tuesday saw the man sitting in his vehicle with a gun on his lap. They called 911 and police arrived as the man was driving out of the parking lot.
Bland said the man was in mid-eighties and did not make any threats. He says the gun wasn’t loaded.
Bland said the lockdown was a precaution, and the man was taken for a mental health evaluation but he was not arrested.
Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said voters were not diverted to another site because the incident was resolved quickly.
For about an hour after polls opened Tuesday morning, a Sarasota County, Florida, precinct had to tell voters to come back later because their ballots were not available.
More than 5.2 million voters cast ballots ahead of Election Day in the battleground state, and records show that Democrats have a slight edge.
Some of the biggest problems Tuesday were in Georgia, a state with a hotly contested gubernatorial election. Voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote
Tyra Moreland, with the Georgia Department of Elections, directs voters away from their usual polling place at an Atlanta library to a new one about two miles away
Some of the biggest problems Tuesday were in Georgia, a state with a hotly contested gubernatorial election. Voters reported waiting up to three hours to vote.
At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours.
Voting machines at the Gwinnett County precinct did not work, so poll workers offered provisional paper ballots while trying to get a replacement machine.
One voter, Ontaria Woods, said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines.
‘We’ve been trying to tell them to wait, but people have children. People are getting hungry. People are tired,’ Woods said. Woods said she and others turned down the paper ballots because they ‘don’t trust it.’
In a voting precinct at a senior living complex in Atlanta, voters waited in the rain in long lines that stretched around the building. Confused workers turned voters away from the parking lot.
Hannah Ackermann said officials at the polling site offered various explanations for the delay, including blaming workers who didn’t show up and overloaded machines.
Election Day polling places have been closed or consolidated, leading to worries that voters will be disenfranchised if they can’t find a way to get there and cast a ballot.
However, Republican Kansas Secretary of Kris Kobach says voter turnout appears to be heavy.
Lines have been reported in locations that include Salina.
Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath stands in line with her family while waiting to vote on Election Day in Georgetown, Kentucky
A Kentucky official said voter turnout appeared strong in the hours after polling places opened.
Secretary of State spokesman Bradford Queen made the comment Tuesday morning as news outlets reported lines at several precincts.
Jefferson County election officials called early voting ‘heavy’ and Fayette County deputy clerk Meredith Watson said turnout was great and officials there haven’t seen an increase in problems.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office said it had received 77 complaints as of mid-morning.
A portion of central Kentucky, including Fayette County, has one of the nation’s most hotly contested congressional races in the nation with incumbent Republican Rep. Andy Barr facing off with Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot.
No significant problems have been reported as voters cast their ballots in Louisiana.
The secretary of state’s office reported only one polling location was affected because of the severe weather that moved across the state.
The report says power was only out for about 15 minutes and the voting machines were not affected because of battery backups.
Polls did not open as scheduled at 6 am at a middle school in the town of Iowa in Calcasieu Parish. Clerk of Court Lynn Jones says there was a miscommunication about getting the doors unlocked at J.I. Watson Middle School.
In Detroit, voters were stunned to arrive to Martin Luther King Jr. High School and find no voting machines. Elsewhere in Michigan, utility crews worked to keep polling places running as high winds bring scattered power outages to the state
In Detroit, voters were stunned to arrive to Martin Luther King Jr. High School and find no voting machines.
One man said when he arrived to vote, election workers were struggling to find a machine, leading many to leave or wait up to an hour and a half.
There was confusion as to where the machine was located. It was later determined it was in a locked closet, which caused further confusion when the key couldn’t be found, according to local reports.
Finally by 8.30am, the machine was up and running.
Furious, Sheree Walton told ABC7: ‘I take it very seriously. Someone died so I would have the right to vote.
Elsewhere in Michigan, utility crews worked to keep polling places running as high winds bring scattered power outages to the state.
DTE Energy spokeswoman RoNeisha Mullen says six polling places in southeastern Michigan lost electrical service on Tuesday morning, but power was restored on average within 45 minutes.
She says affected polling places were mostly in suburban Detroit, including three in Highland Township, one in Canton Township and one in Grosse Pointe Park. She says a precinct in Ypsilanti also was affected.
Turnout appears strong as voters cast ballots in a tight race that will determine whether incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill can withstand a challenge from Republican Josh Hawley.
In south St. Louis, 37-year-old Amanda Cline waited almost an hour for a ballot. She told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it ‘almost feels like a presidential election.’ She says its ‘good to see a lot of people.’
Outside Rock Bridge Christian Church in Columbia, the line began forming before the doors opened. Poll volunteer Lisa Glass told the Columbia Missourian that it is the most voters she has ever seen.
Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller described the lines as steady. The Springfield News-Leader reports that by 10 a.m. Tuesday, 12 percent of all active voters in the county had cast their ballots.
New Jersey’s senior U.S. senator is calling on voters to ignore rainy conditions and cast their ballots.
Democrat Bob Menendez made the remarks Tuesday morning shortly after he voted in Harrison. He told reporters that he hopes it ‘pours with votes,’ noting the only way a ‘blue wave’ can occur in New Jersey is if people get out and vote.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 8 p.m. Forecasters say there is a chance for showers and thunderstorms throughout the day.
Turnout was so heavy at one packed precinct on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that the line to scan ballots stretched around a junior high school gym on Tuesday morning
Anna Dottin, center, gets help from poll worker Karen James, left, while casting her ballot at in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn
Rainy, windy weather in New York City and around the state hasn’t seemed to deter voters, with higher-than-usual turnout reported at some polling places
Rainy, windy weather in New York City and around the state hasn’t seemed to deter voters, with higher-than-usual turnout reported at some polling places.
Reports of broken ballot scanners surfaced at polling places across New York City.
Turnout was so heavy at one packed precinct on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that the line to scan ballots stretched around a junior high school gym on Tuesday morning.
Poll workers there told voters that two of the roughly half-dozen scanners were malfunctioning and repairs were underway.
In Brooklyn, voters arriving at two separate polling stations discovered that most scanners had broken down.
Veronica Vela said half of the scanners were broken at one of the polling sites in Crown Heights and waited two hours to vote. By that time, none of the machines were working.
Turnout was so heavy at one packed precinct on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that the line to scan ballots stretched around a junior high school gym on Tuesday morning
Vela said she was forced to drop her ballot in an ’emergency ballot box.’
‘People are grumpy and frustrated but positive in a weird way, making jokes and talking to one another. I think it’s because we all are in the ”no one will stop our vote today’ mood,” said Nikki Euell, an advertising producer who waited more than two hours to vote in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood.
City Councilman Brad Lander said he opted to wait at his polling place in a line about 100 people long —so long that workers had rigged up a sign on a broomstick to mark the end of the line — only to learn as he neared the front that the fourth scanner had also broken.
He went to the polling site around noon thinking it wouldn’t be crowded, but ‘it was a mosh pit,’ the Democrat said.
North Carolina officials say high humidity is to blame after receiving reports that ballots in some precincts can’t be fed through tabulators, but they stress that all ballots will be counted
North Carolina officials say high humidity is to blame after receiving reports that ballots in some precincts can’t be fed through tabulators, but they stress that all ballots will be counted.
The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement said in a news release Tuesday that it received reports that ballots can’t be fed through tabulators in some precincts in Wake County and elsewhere. Officials say such ballots are stored securely in ’emergency bins’ and will be tabulated as soon as possible.
Officials also announced the state board will meet Tuesday afternoon to consider the Columbus County Board of Elections’ request to extend voting hours at a precinct where workers didn’t have the correct ballot when polls opened.
A record number of voters cast early in-person ballots for a midterm, despite there being no major statewide race.
A few problems were reported at polling places in at least two Ohio counties, where elections officials say the issues have been resolved.
Lucas County’s Board of Elections in Toledo says at least three sites had technical problems Tuesday morning involving setup of electronic poll books.
Board Director LaVera Scott says some callers reported being asked to wait instead of receiving backup paper ballots. She says the issues were resolved.
Some Hamilton County voters encountered problems in downtown Cincinnati and other sites when voting machines appeared to reject some ballots not completely filled out.
Board of Elections Director Sherry Poland says a new change alerts voters if some races are left blank. They must press the ‘cast ballot’ button to finish voting. Workers were assigned at all locations to help with that.
A ‘higher frequency’ of calibration issues in older voting machines have been reported in Richland County.
A device with this issue could result with a voter choosing a candidate, but end up selecting the wrong name.
Rokey Suleman, the elections director for the county told CNN that roughly 50 out of 1,000 machines have this sort of issue.
He said: ‘The calibration screens can be sensitive. The machines are not delivered with the greatest of care. They’re delivered — not thrown around, but they’re not delivered on a pillow either.
‘But the older the machines are, the more likely you are to see screen calibration issues.’
Suleman said there were 30 technicians attending to machines that were having calibration issues.’
State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said some voters in Pickens County cast paper ballots because of a mistake in preparing a device that poll managers use to open electronic voting machines.
He said Pickens County elections officials were sending new devices where they were needed. He said each polling location had plenty of paper ballots to use until the machines were activated. Whitmire said no one was turned away from voting.
An election official in Tennessee’s largest county says one precinct did not open on time but all polling places are now up and running.
Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Robert Meyers said the single precinct that did not open on time at 7 a.m. was operational shortly afterward.
Meyers’ information contradicted a tweet from the county elections commission that says ‘all sites opened on time.’
Shelby County is being closely watched by voting rights advocates and some campaigns over concerns about voter registrations, the security of outdated electronic voting machines and other election-related issues.
Tennessee election officials are expecting high turnout as voters cast ballots for governor, the U.S. Senate and House.
Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins said polling places are open despite power outages Tuesday morning in some areas of Middle and East Tennessee. He said paper ballots are available at those locations.
Polls open at different hours across the state, but all will close at 8 p.m. ET.
Apparent technical problems have caused Election Day delays for some voters looking to cast ballots in Harris County in Houston
Apparent technical problems have caused Election Day delays for some voters looking to cast ballots in Harris County in Houston.
Houston resident Xenia Kulick says voting was delayed by about 20 minutes after her polling site opened Tuesday, and then problems with registration check-in machines resulted in a long line forming.
The Houston Chronicle reports an election judge at the polling location said iPads, which are used to certify voter registration, were not working for less than 10 minutes.
A message left with Harris County elections officials seeking further explanation was not immediately returned.
A ‘crowd control exercise’ the U.S. Border Patrol planned in Texas on Election Day has been cancelled after being criticized by civil liberty groups.
A strong turnout is anticipated following an early-voting period in which nearly 4.9 million people cast ballots in Texas’ 30 largest counties alone.
At Howard Middle School in Tarrant County in Arlington, a voting location didn’t have enough paper ballots for an entire precinct and the voting machine wasn’t working, leading many to leave.
Poll workers in Vermont say they’re seeing a strong turnout for the 2018 midterm elections.
Vermont Public Radio reports an extra line was set up to check in Middlebury voters on Tuesday morning. The town clerk in Monkton says it’s the busiest she’s ever seen. A record turnout was expected in Pittsford.
The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office said more than 69,000 residents voted early this year.
Voters are choosing a governor, members of the U.S. Senate and House, and state legislators.
Voters wait to get a ballot at a polling station during the mid-term elections at the Old Stone School in Hillsboro, Virginia
Virginia voters will make their picks Tuesday in several competitive congressional races that could help determine control of the U.S. House as well as a special state House election that will decide the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Voters will also cast ballots in a U.S. Senate contest between Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican challenger Corey Stewart.
Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Each voter will need to bring a photo ID. Valid forms of identification include a driver’s license, passport or student ID. A voter who forgets ID can cast a provisional ballot but will have to complete follow-up steps to ensure that it’s counted.
Anyone not already registered won’t be able to vote. Virginia doesn’t allow same-day registration.
Officials say more than half of all registered voters in Washington state still need to mail in or drop off their ballots by the 8 p.m. Election Day voting deadline on Tuesday.
The Washington Secretary of State’s office reports that 47.6 percent of the nearly 4.3 million voters have been returned as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Columbia County in southeastern Washington state leads in early-bird voters, with 66.3 percent of ballots already received, while Seattle’s King County barely beat the statewide average with its tally at 48.8 percent.
Washington is a vote-by-mail state, and voters still have time today to have their ballot postmarked or placed in a secure drop box.
Storms that swept through West Virginia early Tuesday caused two voting precincts to open a little late but didn’t cause any lasting problems.
West Virginia Secretary of State’s spokesman Michael Queen said 14 precincts were without power at 5 a.m., but the office worked with several state and local agencies to put generators into place or to move precinct locations. He said polling places without power used generators until electricity was restored so no paper ballots were necessary.
Queen said all 14 precincts are up and running and described voting Tuesday morning as ‘brisk.’
Long lines were reported throughout Wisconsin.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide. In addition to rain gear, with the weather having overcast skies, light rain, drizzle and snow showers, voters will need to bring identification to the polls Tuesday.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission says more than 547,000 absentee ballots have already been returned for this election, breaking a record set in 2014 for a midterm election.
The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office reports no issues with the security of Tuesday’s election.
Office spokesman Will Dinneen says the agency is ready to respond to any problems that might occur but so far county clerks around the state are prepared to handle most anything that comes up.
Wyoming’s voting system is not connected to the internet and thus cannot be hacked or subject to cyber threats.
In addition, the state has various measures to ensure a secure election, including each election judge is empowered under Wyoming law to challenge any voter suspected of misrepresenting themselves at the polls and each polling place reconciles the number of votes cast to guarantee that the number of people who checked into the polling place matches the number of ballots cast.
The National Weather Service predicts scattered snow showers across much of the state Tuesday, with snow accumulating at higher elevations.