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Voting rights advocates in key US states said the first hours of voting in Tuesday’s midterm elections appeared to be going smoothly, with a few isolated problems reported. “What we are seeing are things that we usually see on Election Day,” said Susannah Goodman, director of election security at Common Cause. “Sometimes voters are going in and one of the voting machines isn’t working, or lines are a little longer.” MORE ON VOTING RIGHTS 2020 election lies have officials on edge for problems at polling places and lawsuits Tuesday Georgia county extends deadline for roughly 1,000 voters who didn’t receive absentee ballots after ‘human error’ Philadelphia election official said more than 3,400 mail-in ballots at risk of rejection ‘creates a really unfair disenfranchisement’ How to navigate intimidation and other obstacles to voting One early issue occurred in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous, where officials said tabulators were having tech issues in about 20% of its voting locations. Maricopa County chairman Bill Gates and recorder Stephen Richer advised voters experiencing issues to put their ballots inside a secure box attached to the tabulators and assured they would be counted by bipartisan vote counters after polls close. The tabulator problems were played up in right-wing media, including by Donald Trump Jr., after a post showed an election worker in the Phoenix suburb of Anthem explaining the problem to voters. Gates and Richer said officials were working to resolve the issues and said there would be no impact on voters. “No one is being disenfranchised. And none of this indicates any fraud or anything of that sort. This is a technical issue,” said Gates. The tabulator issue is a representative example of the challenges that state and local officials face Tuesday as they brace for potential problems at voting places, contentious legal fights over ballots and disinformation about the vote itself.

Voting rights advocates in key US states said the first hours of voting in Tuesday’s midterm elections appeared to be going smoothly, with a few isolated problems reported. “What we are seeing are things that we usually see on Election Da
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