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AL: Late Rain Could Affect Voting

By Darryl Fears

It was a typical start to voting in Alabama, "high . . . in some areas and low . . . in some of the more rural places," said Secretary of State Beth Chapman. A voting machine crashed in one county but was quickly resolved. Confusion over how to vote is more of a problem. Alabamans registered with one party can cross over and vote for another, but they have to sign a sheet declaring that they are doing so, a dead giveaway to neighbors and others who might be watching.

Late voters could be hampered by more than just confusion and the occassional machine malfunction. There is a 70 percent chance of rain this afternoon, and showers could last past the 7 p.m. CST close of voting.

In a tight Republican race, voters seemed passionate for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Betty Piel, 60 and voting in her first primary, cast her ballot for the former Arkansas governor, according to the Birmingham News. Polls had Huckabee and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in a virtual dead heat going into the election.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) led Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) by five to six percentage points. Bill Clinton drew thousands of people to a town hall meeting Saturday in an attempt to hold the line while campaigning for his wife.

By Washington Post Editor  |  February 5, 2008; 1:40 PM ET
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