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Record Turnout Causes Problems, But Fewer Than Thought

POSTED: 08:00 AM ET, 11/ 5/2008 by Derek Kravitz


A ballot with the presidential canddiates at a polling station in the West Lawn neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)

Malfunctioning voting machines, long lines and registration errors hampered voting across the country, caused largely due to record-breaking turnout, but the problems were far fewer than originally feared, experts said.

Given the extraordinary number of voters who came out to the polls yesterday, the lack of voting problems was surprising.

Florida's Secretary of State told reporters that the state was poised to break the 83 percent turnout record set in the 1992 presidential election. Connecticut predicted a whopping 90 percent turnout. In Nevada, an estimated 1.1 million of the state's 1.4 million registered voters took part.

Los Angeles was set to break its overall turnout record of 79 percent in 2004; Of the county's 4.3 million registered voters, 72 percent had cast ballots by 6 p.m.

In Virginia, the crunch of voters (40 percent of Virginia's 5 million registered voters voted before 10:30 in the morning) caused widespread problems, arguably the worst in the country. But, save for a few paper james and temperamental voting machines, the state lucked out.

Still, long lines became a substantial problem in some areas of the country.

Voters in Chesapeake, Va., waited in line for more than 7 hours after voting machines went down at one polling place, slightly more than the extraordinary 6 1/2-hour wait times in the predominantly black suburbs of St. Louis.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 5, 2008; 8:00 AM ET Election 2008
Previous: 'Breathtaking' Numbers of Americans Flood the Polls | Next: Lobbyists Hire Dems, FCC Expands Use of Airwaves, Michigan Dimes Redeemed

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