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TN: Long Lines, But No Big Hang-ups

By Darryl Fears
Tennessee expects to break a record with nearly 3 million people voting in a presidential election. Thank goodness more than half of them voted early, said Brook Thompson, state coordinator of elections. "If we had 1.5 million more voters showing up today, it would have been awfully difficult to manage," he said.

For the first time, nearly the entire state -- 93 of 95 counties -- used electronic voting machines -- the same machines that have been criticized in past elections for not creating a paper trail to verify votes.

In 2004, when a record 2.4 million people voted, voters cast ballots past midnight at a polling station in East Nashville, the Nashville Tennessean reported.

About 250 miles south in the Atlanta area, where turnout was heavy and steady throughout the day, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, elections officials braced for a huge wave of after work hours voters. "It's going to be all feet and hands on deck and hold on for the ride," said John Austin, a Clayton County precinct manager.

At some polling stations, voters stood in line for three hours, and many across the state have called to report problems. Two hours before polls closed, a group called the Election Protection Coalition reported that it received 570 complaints, mostly concerning voter registration discrepancies, the newspaper reported.

State officials questioned the report, saying one organization was mistaken in reporting a power outage at a Fulton County precinct. "These groups haven't contacted our office to let us know about these complaints, said Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for the Secretary of State.

By Washington Post editors  |  November 4, 2008; 7:46 PM ET
Categories:  50 States , B_Blog  
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