UPDATE : 3 p.m. EST – Reports have come in throughout the early part of Election Day suggesting that one of the anticipated problems has come to pass. Voters across Connecticut have reported being told that they are required to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote, according to Connecticut television station WTNH. While in the state voters can be asked for an ID, they are not required to show one and can instead simply sign an affidavit. There have been reports of similar occurrences in Texas, where stricter voter ID laws were struck down by courts ahead of the election.
UPDATE : 2.30 p.m. EST – There are reports in Cleveland that a voter threatened to bring back a gun to a polling station after being denied the chance to vote. Shelby Miller, a reporter for CBS Cleveland19 News also reports the director of the Board of Elections saying that poll watchers for both parties have been engaging in what could amount to voter intimidation.
BOE Director says partisan voters appointed by Democratic & Republican parties have been engaging/talking to voters. @cleveland19news
— Shelby Miller (@ShelbyMillerCBS) November 8, 2016
UPDATE: 2.25 p.m. EST – Clark County has responded to the lawsuit from Trump over the Nevada county allegedly allowing people to cast their vote two hours after polls closed for early voting on Monday. “The petition from the Trump campaign is a request to have us preserve the records from early voting,” read a statement from Clark County, according to Jon Ralston, a political analyst at KTNV in Nevada. “This is required by state law, and so it is something we are already doing.”
UPDATE: 2.05 p.m. EST – According to CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto, Donald Trump is filing a lawsuit against the Clark County Registrar in Nevada for allegedly keeping polls open two hours beyond the stated closing time on Monday night. It should be noted that polling stations allow people to vote beyond the stated closing time as long as they are in line before the end of voting hours. Clark County officials made just that point in response to a similar claim by the Trump campaign last Friday.
Breaking: #Trump files Nevada voting lawsuit vs. Clark County Registrar, they allege, for keeping polls open “2 hours beyond..closing time"
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 8, 2016
UPDATE : 1:18 p.m. EST – What was supposed to be a joyous moment for Eric Trump as he cast a vote for his father ended up with him breaking New York State law. “It is an incredible honor to vote for my father!” Donald Trump’s son tweeted along with a photo of his ballot, something which is illegal in New York. While he hastily deleted the tweet, he wasn’t quick enough to prevent it from being retweeted across the social media site on Tuesday afternoon. Taking a photo of your ballot is illegal in 18 states, the Associated Press has reported.
UPDATE : 11:40 p.m. EST – Police at an elementary school in Elsmere, Delaware, are talking to man who reportedly showed up to a polling place with a pistol.
— Jaci Smith (@DelawareJaci) November 8, 2016
UPDATE: 11:29 p.m. EST – There are unconfirmed reports on Twitter of Donald Trump supporters blocking the doors to a polling station in Chesapeake, Virginia, and directing racial slurs at people attempting to vote.
So in other news. Friends of mine who are black & live in Chesapeake are having to be escorted by the police into the voting place bc 1/x
— Frank Cundiff (@FrankCundiff) November 8, 2016
With Donald Trump’s repeated claims about a “rigged” election, the 2016 presidential election is set to be the most scrutinized in recent memory. While the Republican candidate’s camp is expected to jump on any hint of voter fraud, those wishing to vote also face being hampered by possible intimidation along with restrictive, and in some case misleading, voter ID laws.
On the eve of the election, the Supreme Court refused to reinstate a restraining order in Ohio barring the Trump campaign from harassing voters. Trump has called for his supporters to watch the polls in “certain areas” and the Ohio Democratic Party claimed that constituted intent to intimidate minority voters. However, the Supreme Court decreed that a fresh order was not necessary because of an existing law in the state already preventing voter intimidation. Democrats have failed with similar complaints in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Voter intimidation is defined as anyone attempting to prevent a person from voting or encouraging them to vote in a certain way. To attempt to combat it, the Justice Department announced that it would deploy more than 500 staffers to monitor the polls, yet that represents a 35 percent decrease from 2012.
One political leader has been accused of falling foul of that law, even before the polls opened on Election Day.
Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican supporter of Donald Trump, said students voting in the state will be subject to an intense investigation to ensure that they were complying with state law. The American Civil Liberties Union said the governor’s comments appeared “designed to make college students afraid to vote.”
In Indiana, meanwhile, state Democrats are being investigated after sending around 2,000 voters to the wrong polling station via text messages. Indiana’s Democratic Party has accepted responsibility but claimed it was due to a software error. Indiana State Police has already been looking into allegations of voter fraud over discrepancies in voter registrations.
At polling places themselves, there has already been one documented instance of a Trump supporter intimidating voters. In Virginia on Friday, a man wearing a Trump shirt and carrying a gun asked at least one person depositing their absentee ballot who she was voting for and handed her a Republican sample ballot, the Huffington Post reported.
Check back here throughout Election Day for live updates on reports of both voter fraud and intimidation across the country.