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Election Day News And Open Thread

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM CST

Happy Election Day! How is turnout in your area? If you haven't voted, please go to the polls. If you have voted, please take time to pitch in at your local Democratic campaign office, or make calls online to swing states for President Obama or with Progress Texas to Texas voters.

Here's the news we've heard so far today:

GALVESTON COUNTY: Polls will remain open an extra 1 hour and 54 minutes tonight, because one polling place took that long to open this morning.

TRAVIS COUNTY: Voters can cast a ballot at ANY polling location in Travis this year, click here for a map. Lines were long early this morning, but GOTV volunteers are working to shuttle voters to slower locations. As of 1:00p.m., 72,500 Travis County voters had cast a ballot.

HARRIS COUNTY: The Houston Press has an interesting read on 5 exceptions to voting straight ticket -- for members of both parties.

NATIONAL: Disturbing reports are surfacing of voting machines turning Obama votes into Romney votes. NBC News confirmed one such instance in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Nate Silver suggests that Obama's late polling gains leave Mitt Romney with long odds of winning. Hrm.


* Lines are long at the Flawn Academic Center, UT's campus polling place. Students can also go to First Lutheran Church at 30th and Whitis, or the Baker Center at 39th and Avenue B to avoid a wait.

* Nick Lampson posted this great photo on Facebook of his march to the polls with Lamar University students:

What's the news in your neck of the woods?


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Voting machine glitches (0.00 / 0)
Actually, there have been problems in both directions, with some Ohio voters having trouble getting their votes for Romney counted right. In both the PA and OH cases, it was possible to get the machine to vote as the voter intended, but only if you touched JUST the right spot. The visual display and the touch sensors just weren't aligned right.

In other words, this isn't an evil scheme by either side to steal the election. It's just garden-variety problems with electronics, showing yet again that touch screens are a Really Bad Way to record votes. The e-Slates we use in Travis County are much, much safer. Not perfect, but safer. The incredible efforts that Dana and her team make to secure the system deserve a ton of credit.

The e-Slates are nearing the end of their working lives, and the county is working with vendors to get a system that is as easy to input as the e-Slate, but that produces an unambiguous, human-readable paper output that can then be proofread by the voter and counted with an optical scanner.  

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