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Phoenix rising after early glitches

It’s now mid-afternoon in the Phoenix area, where reports of long lines and equipment malfunctions led to a slightly shaky start to the voting day. But since then, lines seem to have largely dissipated and glitches reported earlier haven’t been reported since.

According to the Arizona Advocacy Network, an activist group that has been taking phone calls from voters since early in the morning, the primary problem concerned getting the computers used by elections officials in Maricopa county to connect properly to the election office’s system. Stacey Morley, who volunteered for Arizona Advocacy Network today at the location, said she believes the problem was related to a bad WiFi connection.

Sarah Noe, a 21-year-old Phoenix resident, said she had to wait about an hour to vote in downtown Phoenix, after poll workers told her and others that they were having problems with their connection to the county. She was trying to vote at one of the locations that had a four-to-five-hour wait during the presidential primary.

Arizona Advocacy Network also said they heard a lot about provisional ballot use this morning.

Megan Bevil was one of the voters affected. Bevil said she had recently moved and had re-registered to vote under the current address. But she did not update her driver’s license. “‘No match’ is what [poll officials] said,” Bevil explained, when they looked her up in the computer and told her her only option was to use a provisional ballot. “I said ‘I don’t want to vote provisionally. This is ridiculous. I have the right to vote normally because I changed my registration.’ ”

Bill Searle, the poll inspector at the location where Bevil tried to vote, said there was definitely some kind of error, because Bevil used the online voter registration lookup from the location and saw the correct new address, which corresponded to the polling location where she was trying to vote. Searle and Bevil even spoke with an official at the county elections office headquarters, who also confirmed to them the current address associated with her voter ID.

“She waited over two hours. She was a very patient lady, I have to give her credit,” Searle said, “At the end of the day, she had to vote provisional.”

Bevil said she only voted provisionally once she was assured by county officials that her information was correct in their main system, and that her ballot would be counted.

County officials did not respond immediately to questions about the computer problems or provisional balloting.

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