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In Pennsylvania, another round of trouble at the polls. As thousands of new voters attempt to vote for the first time they are finding themselves turned away because they do no appear on the voter registration list. The newest report from the Washington post says that upwards of 20,000 new voters did not have their registration processed in time for them to be able to vote in today’s election.
Polls a Fiasco for Many New Voters in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh; Poll Watchers Told to Leave Certain Locations
Students refusal to be turned away from the polls, and quick action with attorneys reveals significant errors by election officials in student heavy precincts around the state. As a result of their swift action, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students will be able to vote instead of being told - incorrectly - that they are not eligible.
At least several hundred first time voters going to polls near or on college campuses in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are reporting apparently being left off the rolls at the locations on their voting cards and having to vote by provisional ballot. Additionally, the confusion is creating particularly long lines, further endangering turn out for voters in those precincts.
Reports began coming in this morning from students at Pitt and Temple that they were being turned away from the polls despite being at the polling locations they were directed to by their voter identification cards. When the students entered their addresses on Pennsylvania State website they were directed to the same polling location as the one of their cards. The students called attorneys who helped to ensure that they could vote by provisional ballot, however, these ballots will not necessarily be counted, and now many locations are reporting running low on provisional ballots.
In one case at Temple University in Philadelphia, students who reside in the 1300 and Temple Towers dorms were directed both by their voter registration cards and state website to the 20-11 polling location at 10th and Oxford. However, the students were not on the rolls and have been voting by provisional ballot. In this case, it appears that the city did not properly update its rolls after redistricting moved those dorms to a new precinct, risking the votes of thousands of students.
At the University of Pittsburgh similar problems have been reported, with students attempting to vote at the locations on their voter registration cards now being given provisional ballots only after legal intervention. However, poll watchers monitoring the situation, collecting the names of the potentially disenfranchised voters, and handing out the national voter protection hotline number (1-800-OUR-VOTE) have been told by poll workers they need to leave the premises.
Students also report poll watchers have been kicked out of the Temple polling location at 16th and Berks.
“It’s really disheartening for students who are voting for the first time to be turned away or given a provisional ballot, as if by participating in our democratic system they were doing something wrong,” commented PennPIRG student organizer Ryan Molson. “Much of this confusion seems like it could have been avoided by modernizing our registration systems.”
At least six polling locations at Pitt and five at Temple have reported similar problems. At least one polling place near Temple’s campus is reporting that it has nearly run out of provisional ballots.
We have made it half way through Election Day 2012 and we are learning some interesting things about this election. One of the issues that is quickly becoming a huge issue on Election Day is voter suppression.We start in Arizona where citizens are receiving wrong polling information from Republican US Senate Candidate Jeff Flake is being accused of sending RoboCalls to Democrats that provide them with the wrong information about where to vote.In Pennsylvania the problem is not that people don't know where to vote, but when they tried to vote for President Obama it only allowed them to choose other candidates but not select Obama. A voter in Pennsylvania shot this video, voting machines, this morning. There are concerns from South Carolina to Colorado that machines are not calibrated correctly.
Election Day is officially under way and the first results are in. Per tradition, two small downs in New Hampshire vote first, and the results are in! In one town, Dixville Notch, ten votes were cast, and for the first time in history there was a tie. Five votes were cast for President Obama and five votes were cast for Governor Romney. It took approximately 43 seconds to cast all ten votes, and each voter knows the importance of their vote.With tight races up and down the ballot, every vote will count this year, no matter if you live in Dixville Notch, NH or an urban city, the suburbs--just remember to get out today and vote! Your vote matters. (And in Hart's Location, President Obama bested Governor Romney 23-9, with Gary Johnson earning two votes.)Dixville Notch
Voting should be easy. You show up and cast your ballot. Done. But officials across the country are making it more difficult than necessary to vote, creating confusion among voters. In Florida, hundreds of voters got locked out of the election site by Mayor Carlos Gimenez who sought to stop early voting. In Pennsylvania, you do not need to have an ID to cast your ballot but election officials are still allowed to ask for one. In New Hampshire, those without photo IDs have to fill out a challenged voter affidavit before they are allowed to fill out a ballot. Adding on top of all this the mess that Hurricane Sandy created in New York and New Jersey and we have a recipe for a messy Election Day ahead of us. There is going to continue to be a lot of confusion out there and America Votes and our partners are working hard to make sure that everyone knows the information they need to be able to cast their ballot today. We are not going to let people be swayed from voting because of these roadblocks that have been put up.
It's finally Election Day 2012, and all across the country people are gearing up to express a right fundamental to being an American, the right to vote for whoever we want. And yet this year it seems to be harder than ever to vote. Remember the line for the coolest ride at an amusement park? As you wrapped in and out of polls, from this point 2 hours, from this point 45 minutes and so on, it was torture, and yet in 2012 those are the kinds of lines we are asking voters to stand in as the express their rights as Americans.There are countless stories of long lines, tired voters and voters who had to leave lines because of family or work obligations. Due to a dramatic decrease in the cumulative hours that early voting centers are open in a number of swing states, we're seeing record-breaking lines for the polls. In Florida, lines for the polls exceed 6 hours in some places. In Ohio, lines wrapped around city blocks as people waited out in the cold. In Virginia, the frustration of voters waiting was palatable. Six-Hour Wait to Vote
While the turnout for early voting has not been as high as in 2008, Democrats are still holding the lead in early voting in most key states. More than 29.9 million people cast their ballots early and out of that Obama holds the lead in four out of five of the major battleground states. Democrats are outpacing Republicans in Florida 42-39.5%, in Nevada 44-37%, in Iowa 42-32%, and in North Carolina 48-31%! While Ohio does have early voting, party affiliation cannot be tracked; however, Obama continues to remain the favorite in polling across the state. Colorado is the only swing state where Republicans have bested Democrats in early voting turnout by 37-34%, but 28.5% of voters were unaffiliated and Obama continues to do well among independents in the state. We want to thank all of you who have worked hard in the ground game with all of the GOTV initiatives. You all did a great job and we know your hard work will pay off come the end of tomorrow night.
The following is a blog post from Evan Kost, who works in America
Votes' D.C. office, but is in New Hampshire through the election as a
Greetings from New Hampshire! What a whirlwind thus far. Having not visited the state until this GOTV adventure, I have to say I’ve found it inviting, but not without its challenges. For example, it may be a beautiful site to canvass along the remote coast line, but I truly long for the days of row houses and suburban developments!
Levity aside, I have been continually inspired by the enthusiasm of the Granite State’s citizens, even those located outside of the political epicenter. This enthusiasm was seen no more clearly than at today’s presidential rally held in Concord, where the crowd’s passion was palpable over the course of the 5+ hour event. I certainly hope New Hampshirites carry this excitement into Tuesday’s elections.
With that said, what has struck me the most during my trip is the strength of the America Votes-New Hampshire coalition. Led by AV-NH State Director Josiette White, it is a highly collaborative, efficient, and dynamic operation. The way in which our state partners work together to reach common goals is both a testament to the America Votes model, as well as the sharp leadership provided by Josiette and the rest of the AV-NH team.
Over the past few days, I’ve been sent out on a variety of GOTV-related assignments, all of which have placed me in close contact with our state partners. Whether labeling literature for Planned Parenthood, cutting turf for CREDO, or canvassing for NH Citizens Alliance for Action, I’ve come to the realization that this truly is a team sport, so to speak. And after spending time with AV-NH, I can’t imagine it any other way.
The following is a blog post from Dawn Boudwin, who works in America Votes' D.C. office, but is in Philadelphia through the election as a field volunteer:
We canvassed in the Fishtown yesterday. Fishtown is a neighborhood located in the northeastern part of Philadelphia that is mostly blue collar. The area earned its name because it used to be the center of the river herring fishing industry on the Delaware River.
Although the area did not look very inviting, the voters were. The enthusiasm is still there. The voters were appreciative that we were stopping by and assured us that they would be voting for the President, Senator Casey and Kathleen Kane. The voters seemed to understand what is at stake in this election.
One supporter told us he was voting and was going to personally take the other three eligible voters in his household to the polls because he, “truly can’t even imagine what a country with Mitt Romney as President would be like” and that the thought of it is “scary.”
Volunteers have been streaming through the SEIU canvass office this weekend, and we expect that to continue through Tuesday.
The GOP is continuing its assault on women.
Last night Republican Senatorial candidate for Indiana, Richard Mourdock, stated that he believed that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen.” Bring in the damage control.
After Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape,” one would think the GOP candidates had learned to keep such opinions to themselves. And to add insult to injury, the NRSC is still standing by Mourdock and his comments. Why do these men keep saying such crazy things? How could they possibly believe the words coming out of their mouths?
The sad reality is that this really is what these men believe. They truly believe that abortion should be completely illegal even in the case of rape; sometimes, even when the mother’s life is at risk.
But these men will never have to be in a woman’s position. They will never have to make that horribly difficult choice to have an abortion. Women are the only ones that can truly know what other women have had to go through to make such a choice. It is their body, their choice.
It is time for women to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” They cannot take away your right of choice. They cannot take away your freedom of choice. It is time for the GOP to get their hands off of women’s bodies and concentrate more on the important issues our nation is currently facing.