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Long lines, sporadic snags in U.S. election

Posted at 3:06 PM, Nov 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-06 15:06:22-05

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — Long lines and sporadic problems with voting machines caused snags in some key states during Tuesday’s closely watched U.S. election.

Voters waited for two hours in northern Virginia and three hours in some parts of south Florida, leading some people to walk away before casting a ballot.

In Pennsylvania, nonpartisan election monitors from Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy said two voting machines had broken down at one precinct on the city’s north side, forcing poll workers to issue provisional ballots. That slowed down an already long line, and at least 30 voters had dropped out, the group said.

A judge in the heavily Democratic city ordered election officials to cover a mural of Obama at one city school that was being used as a polling locations after Republicans complained the painting violated electioneering laws. And GOP poll monitors were being escorted into precincts by sheriff’s deputies after some observers had been denied access earlier in the day, said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

As many as 64 of the monitors had been turned away before a judge ordered election officials to admit them, the local Republican Party chapter said.

In Covington, Virginia, a small town north of Roanoke, city officials reported problems with the programming of their voting machines and switched to paper ballots, the state Board of Elections reported.

In New Jersey, state officials allowed voters displaced by Superstorm Sandy last week to cast ballots electronically or by fax. But the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was headed to court Tuesday afternoon on behalf of voters who said their requests for an electronic ballot weren’t being acknowledged.

“What’s happening is they’re not receiving any sort of response from their respective count election officials,” said Katie Wang, a spokeswoman for the group.

Ernest Landante, a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s office, said the office was not aware of any such problems. Individual counties have the responsibility to conduct elections in their counties, Landante said.

CNN’s Brad Rhoads, Ann Colwell, Sarah Hoye and Courtney Yager contributed to this report.

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