Elsewhere, most of the problems seemed to fall under the category of hiccups and glitches.
More than 12,000 residents in Florida’s Pinellas County, which includes Tampa and St. Petersburg, mistakenly received robo calls Tuesday morning with a message that they had until 7 p.m. “tomorrow” to turn in absentee ballots. Officials recorded a corrected message, which was went out later in the morning.
In suburban Milmont Park, Pa., Jacqueline Jrolf said she was surprised to see signs hanging in Woodlyn Elementary School, where she voted, requiring that voters show a photo ID to cast ballots. The signs, which referred to a state law that had been put on hold for this election, read: “New state law requires any voter to provide proof of identification.”
Jrolf, a ceramic artist and art teacher, said some voters were told to show ID and some weren’t. She voted and then insisted that a poll station chief cross out the words on the signs. She said the worker acknowledged that the law was not in effect this year.
Jrolf found identical signs at a neighboring polling place and said a polling chief there wouldn’t remove them. “It’s voter suppression,” Jrolf said. “He knew it was inaccurate and he wasn’t going to do anything about it. This really upsets me.”
Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project, which filed the lawsuit to stop the Pennsylvania law, said the state is at fault for allowing poll workers to give incorrect information and display signs with false requirements.
“This is what we feared,” Hair said. “We are very troubled because we don’t know how many voters were turned away or got discouraged and gave up. . . . It seems like this is something the state wanted to have happen.”
Other problems plagued voting in some Philadelphia precincts. Hundreds of newly registered Democrats were turned away from polling places when their names did not appear in records. Election law calls for them to receive provisional ballots, and some officials worried that they would run out. According to the Committee of Seventy, a civic group that monitors city elections, a Common Pleas Court judge on Tuesday evening turned down a request from Organizing for America, a grass-roots organizing arm of the Democratic National Committee, to order the city to distribute additional provisional ballots.
Ann Gerhart in Philadelphia, Jerry Markon and Ann Marimow contributed to this report.