By BU NewsLab staff
Voters waiting in long lines and voting machines failing to work are resulting in people leaving without casting a ballot.
In Northern Virginia, voters have waited for two hours to cast a vote, whilst in Florida, lines lasting up to three hours have led to people walking away before voting. Problems in Florida emerged after governor Rick Scott refused to extend voting hours, a decision which has drawn criticism from many, including Scott’s predecessor, Charlie Crist.
Galveston, on the coast of Texas, reported an increase in problems with the polling machines, and many citizens who tried to vote before 7am, hoping to fill out their ballot paper before leaving for work, were unsuccessful and may not get the chance to cast their vote before polling closes.
District Judge of Galveston, John Ellisor, has ordered polling stations to remain open until 8:54pm, an hour and 54 minutes after they were originally due to close.
In Pennsylvania, two of the voting machines were claimed to have broken down, leading to poll workers having to issue more provisional ballots – slowing down the line even further. It is believed that over 30 people left the queue.
Such issues with voting could have an effect on voter turnout, which could in turn have an effect on the election results as the three states involved – Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania – are all important battleground states in which the slightest change in voting numbers could make the biggest difference.
Problems have not been reported in states such as New York and New Jersey, where voter turnout has been heavy, despite problems caused by Superstorm Sandy.