Bomb threats, website crashes and an absentee ballot not turning up in rapper Lil Jon’s mailbox are just a few of the voting mishaps that have marked Election Day 2014 as voters cast their ballots in the midterm elections. There were also reports of voting irregularities and photo identification being asked for in states without such ID requirements.
In Georgia, the secretary of state’s My Voter Page website, where Peach State residents could look up their polling place, was down Tuesday morning. "Today is Election Day -- a day when elections officials should be working overtime to ensure that voting is fair, free and easy,” Rashad Robinson, executive director of the African-American organization ColorofChange.org, said in a statement. “With so many hotly contested races on the line, it's disappointing and dismaying to see that eligible Georgia voters are waking up to find one more roadblock on their path to full democratic participation today.”
The site crash wasn’t the only voting hiccup in Georgia. Atlanta resident Lil Jon, a rapper and spokesman for the Rock the Vote campaign that encourages young people to vote, said he had to fly back to his hometown because election officials never sent him an absentee ballot.
In Connecticut, where Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is in a tough reelection battle, Malloy's camp is trying to get voting hours extended in Hartford after poll workers weren't given voter registration rolls in time.
"Our laws require a fair election and every person has a right to vote, and we didn't get either in Hartford this morning," Malloy campaign lawyer William Bloss told the Hartford Courant. "We know people left the polls this morning without voting, and we know people were in line and told, 'We don't know when you will be able to vote.'"
â€” INSTAGRAM LILJON (@LilJon) November 4, 2014
Robinson called Lil Jon’s case “unacceptable.” “Most Georgia voters do not have Lil Jon’s resources or flexibility to chose to return home to vote on Election Day,” he said. “It is unacceptable -- particularly with so many close races -- that thousands of Georgians are being denied the freedom to vote because of Secretary Kemp’s inability to effectively administer this election.”
In Virginia, some voting machines were reportedly registering votes for Democrat Suzanne Patrick by voters who intended to cast their ballots for Rep. Scott Rigell, the Republican incumbent, Rigell’s office told the Virginian-Pilot. Democrats told the paper the reverse was occurring with their votes. Rigell said voters “need to slow down and look at the final page” because "something is really structurally and systemically wrong."
In California, voting was disrupted at a Los Angeles-area polling place after a bomb threat was called in to Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, KTTV, Los Angeles, reported. The threat was made on social media, prompting the school to be evacuated.
Mix-ups over voter ID requirements were also being reported. While a photo ID is accepted to vote in Missouri, it’s not required. Documents such as copies of utility bills are sufficient to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But poll workers in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where black teen Mike Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer, were asking for two forms of ID from voters without photo ID, ThinkProgress reported.