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Heavy Turnout, Few Glitches in the South

By David Farenthold
In states across the South, elections officials reported long lines in places that weren't used to them: three hours in Lexington, Ky., an hour-and-a-half in the Nashville suburbs and in small-town Madison, Miss. This followed some astonishingly busy early-voting periods: in Tennessee, about 1.55 million people voted early, which is nearly 40 percent of all registered voters.

"I'm expecting that we voted more early than we'll vote on election day," said Brook Thompson, the state's elections coordinator.

But these states reported few major problems with voting machines: the biggest in the region seemed to be in Kenton County, Ky., near the Ohio border, where some machines didn't seem to process straight-ticket votes. The machines were taken offline after voters complained, officials said.

In Alabama, state Democratic chairman Joe Turnham said his party had called law-enforcement agencies in at least one spot to request that they move police vehicles parked near polling stations. Turnham said he worried that these vehicles could be intimidating to some voters, or frighten elderly voters who might take them as a sign of trouble inside.

"We've had to call some sheriff's offices and ask 'em to, you know, move along if they didn't have a reason to be there," Turnham said. He said the departments complied.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 4, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  50 States , B_Blog  
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