In Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson stated Tuesday that “precincts are islands of calm.” In Florida, the spokesman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections stated the day was “boring.”

In Georgia, the place the June main election was suffering from widespread voting problems and delays, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stated Election Day was “profitable” up to now. And in Florida, Secretary of State Laurel Lee stated that no voting safety points had been reported within the state.

Officers within the Democratic stronghold of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the meantime, reported no problems at polling locations or at town’s absentee poll counting middle.

“No information is nice information,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett informed reporters. “We’re off to an ideal begin.”

One exception was in 4 spots of the important thing state of North Carolina. Statewide election outcomes might be delayed by at least 45 minutes — till 8:15 p.m. ET — after the state board of elections prolonged voting at 4 areas that opened late on Election Day.

Whereas voting proceeded comparatively smoothy in key states, although lengthy strains had been reported in some areas, federal and state officers stated they had been working to fight deceptive data unfold by means of nameless robocalls that appeared intent on discouraging folks from heading to the polls.

As well as, early indicators pointed to potential authorized showdowns in Pennsylvania, a key battleground that President Donald Trump narrowly gained 4 years in the past and has repeatedly criticized over its mail-in voting. Because the polls opened Tuesday, Republicans filed a federal lawsuit that took purpose at how election officers in Democratic-leaning Montgomery County dealt with absentee ballots that arrived earlier than Election Day.

The plaintiffs allege officers on this suburban Philadelphia county performed “pre-canvassing” of ballots earlier than 7 a.m. ET Tuesday and allowed folks to repair perceived defects of their ballots. The Republicans have requested a federal choose to order county officers to put aside any modified ballots. They argue that treating mail-in ballots in a different way in Montgomery County than different counties within the state violates the Structure.

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Montgomery County officers say they’ve complied with the foundations.

The dispute would possibly have an effect on solely a fraction of ballots on this county that backed Democrat Hillary Clinton 4 years in the past. The GOP criticism identifies roughly 1,200 votes that may have been discovered faulty out of roughly 223,000 absentee ballots that had been solid in Montgomery County as of Tuesday morning.

Robocall warning

Individuals throughout the nation reported receiving the nameless robocalls telling them to “keep residence,” prompting warnings from officers in at least two states — Michigan and Nebraska — to ignore the messages.

Hashim Warren, who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, obtained the decision and informed MeSlop he discovered it “disturbing” as a result of some voters might discover the decision intimidating.

Warren, who works in advertising, stated he has used mass textual content and name companies earlier than and knew this robocall was doubtless going to many different folks. However he stated not everybody would know that.

“For instance, my mother-in-law, I might see her actually disturbed about ‘how did somebody get my quantity,'” Warren stated.

The FBI stated Tuesday it was “conscious of experiences” of the robocalls however {that a} assertion earlier within the day from a senior official with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety company that the FBI was investigating the calls was not correct.

In Michigan, the state’s Lawyer Common Dana Nessel additionally flagged a misinformation robocall concentrating on Flint voters. The message informed them that if the road is just too lengthy they need to go away and are available again tomorrow.

That is categorically false as a result of voters should be in line by Eight p.m. Tuesday to have their votes rely.

“Getting experiences of a number of robocalls going to Flint residents that, because of lengthy strains, they need to vote tomorrow,” Nessel tweeted Tuesday. Clearly, that is FALSE and an effort to suppress the vote. No lengthy strains and at this time is the final day to vote. Do not imagine the lies! Have your voice heard!”

Remoted points, up to now

The once-in-a-century pandemic has dramatically altered how People are casting their ballots. Greater than 100 million had voted earlier than the polls opened Tuesday, shattering information and certain lowering the quantity of people that will prove to vote in individual.
With hours to go earlier than ballot closings, the risk nonetheless remained for points to come up, from the routine Election Day complications — akin to lengthy strains and voting machines malfunctioning — to uniquely 2020 problems, together with the risk that the coronavirus pandemic poses to voters and ballot staff alike and the heightened fears regulation enforcement and election officers have about intimidation and battle occurring at the polls.

In North Carolina, police arrested a person in Charlotte for trespassing at a neighborhood polling place on Tuesday when he confirmed up at the location — with a gun and a hound canine — after being instructed earlier within the day to depart.

In Pennsylvania, heavy turnout was reported in Bucks County, a aggressive county within the suburbs north of Philadelphia. Some voters had been ready so long as three or 4 hours in line, in accordance with Bucks County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo. At Bensalem Excessive Faculty, MeSlop talked to voters who reported spending about 90 minutes ready to vote.

In Arizona, lengthy voting strains shaped rapidly at many polling locations in populous Maricopa County, residence to Phoenix and its suburbs. Polling stations opened at 6 a.m., and by 7:30 a.m. there have been wait occasions so long as 45 minutes for voting websites in GOP strongholds akin to Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert and Shock, in accordance with estimates posted on the Maricopa County Recorder’s election web site.

Elsewhere, voting rights teams are monitoring potential problems after officers shuttered polling locations due to the pandemic and potential confusion over many states’ new voting processes this election.

Suzanne Almeida, the interim director of the Pennsylvania’s arm of Widespread Trigger voting rights group, stated the state “is having a daily election day right here in Pennsylvania” however seeing lengthy strains “because of polling locations opening late” and last-minute polling modifications.

Mail-in ballots might delay tallies

Election challenges from the pandemic lengthen past the polls, because the hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots are anticipated to result in a delay within the counting of votes as soon as the polls shut — notably within the battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the place the state legislatures didn’t go legal guidelines for processing absentee ballots earlier than Tuesday.

“Look, the nation is on edge,” North Carolina Lawyer Common Josh Stein stated Monday. However voters “ought to take consolation in understanding that they would be the ones who decide the winners of those elections — not any politicians, not any attorneys,” stated Stein, a Democrat.

Regardless of election officers’ warnings that it could take a number of days to complete counting ballots, Trump has continued to falsely declare that the rely is meant to be accomplished by Election Evening. It is politically helpful to him to make the false suggestion as a result of extra of his supporters are anticipated to vote in individual on Election Day, whereas extra voters for Democratic nominee Joe Biden are anticipated to vote by means of the mail.

Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official, stated it will doubtless be Wednesday earlier than the state’s unofficial outcomes had been reported due partly to the excessive variety of absentee ballots.

Lawsuits anticipated

Even earlier than polls opened on Election Day, each presidential camps had been gearing up for authorized confrontations.
The modifications to voting guidelines as a result of pandemic sparked a litany of courtroom instances over guidelines associated to voting and the counting of ballots, and rulings continued proper as much as Election Day. On Monday, a Nevada choose tossed a GOP problem that sought to cease using a signature verification software program for not being stringent sufficient and to let ballot watchers get nearer to officers counting ballots.
In Texas, Republicans challenged greater than 125,000 votes in Democratic-leaning Harris County, which incorporates Houston, as a result of they had been solid at drive-thru polling locations, however a choose dismissed the swimsuit Monday on technical grounds, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing.

However Harris County officers opted to shut all however certainly one of 10 drive-thru polling locations on Election Day as a result of the choose had questioned the validity of utilizing tents as polling areas. The one remaining drive-thru web site that may stay open Tuesday is the Toyota Middle, which has “partitions and a roof” and meets the choose’s definition of a constructing.

Pennsylvania, specifically, might be the supply of messy post-election authorized fights. Final month, the US Supreme Court docket declined to take up a Republican problem to a state Supreme Court docket ruling that absentee ballots might be accepted three days after Election Day, as long as they had been postmarked by Tuesday, even when the postmark will not be legible.

However a number of the courtroom’s conservative justices urged the state ruling was unconstitutional, and the late-arriving ballots are being segregated in case of further authorized disputes, although the state is counting them.

Trump, who has sought to solid doubts on the integrity of vote counting, warned within the closing days of the marketing campaign that he plans to dispatch his attorneys to key swing states akin to Pennsylvania. “As quickly as that election is over, we’re moving into with our attorneys,” the President informed reporters over the weekend.

Ballot watching

This election marks the primary presidential contest since 1980 during which the Republican Nationwide Committee and the GOP presidential nominee will work collectively to observe polling exercise. In 2018, a federal choose allowed a consent decree to run out that for many years had sharply restricted the RNC’s “poll safety” actions with out prior judicial approval.

Voting rights specialists say they’re on look ahead to voting intimidation and suppression at the polls, particularly after Trump inspired his supporters to go to the polls to protect in opposition to alleged voter fraud.

The President additionally stirred controversy earlier this yr when he urged his supporters to vote twice — by absentee after which in individual — to check the election system.

Late Monday, Cochise County Recorder Lisa Marra in Arizona tweeted that her workplace had obtained dozens of calls from folks demanding to know when their ballots had been counted. Cochise County, stretching from east of Tucson right down to the US-Mexico border, backed Trump in 2016.

“They know the date we obtained it,” she wrote. “Needed to know date and time counted. As a result of the President stated in the event that they did not get that data to go vote once more tomorrow. Horrible recommendation for voters. STOP.”

This story has been up to date with further reporting.

CORRECTION: This story has been up to date to appropriate the time polls opened in Arizona to six a.m.

MeSlop’s Donie O’Sullivan, Paul Murphy, Omar Jimenez, Katie Lobosco, Geneva Sands, Alex Marquardt, Curt Devine, Dianne Gallagher, Pamela Kirkland, Jason Morris, Bob Ortega, Holmes Lybrand, Jessica Schneider, Laura Jarrett, Evan Perez, Kelly Mena, Annie Grayer and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.