California Voters Face Long Lines, Glitches, and Dysfunctional Voting Machines

This evening, hours before the polls closed in California, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the state’s voters to “stay in line” amid reports of long lines and dysfunctional voting machines.

A spokesperson for California’s secretary of state told the Associated Press that election workers in 15 counties reported problems connecting with the state’s voter registration database.  

In Los Angeles, where more than 5 million people are registered to vote, voters have reported long lines outside polling places. Inside, poll workers have been trying to keep up with LA County’s first redesign of its voting technology in more than a half-century. In some places, the wait to vote was three hours.

The New York Times detailed the snafus: 

At the root of the delays seemed to be slow technology. For the first time, voter rolls were electronic so people could cast their ballots at any vote center. But that meant when the tablets poll workers used to check in voters were overwhelmed, it caused major backups in the lines.

There was also confusion about whether those who had filled out interactive online ballots ahead of time could join a separate, shorter line. There were also reports of voting machines malfunctioning.

For weeks, state and county officials have been warning of long lines on Election Day, in part because of the new system and also because voters could register in person on Tuesday.

There were reports of two hour waits at several polling places throughout Los Angeles County, with poll workers directing voters to other sites that had equally long waits. Several machines reportedly failed, leaving many voting booths sitting empty and leading to even longer waits. At one polling place, a poll worker handed out candy to weary voters, and campaigns sent pizza to several voting sites at the University of California campuses

SIX TRUTHS

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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