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Home / US / At the end of a chaotic campaign, an election day defies the worst fears

At the end of a chaotic campaign, an election day defies the worst fears



Authorities in Michigan have sought to trace the origins of electronic calls that alert “at home” voters. A federal judge ordered the Postal Service to perform a powerful sweep of undelivered mail ballots. And legal skirmishes broke out in and around Philadelphia as the Republicans sought to challenge the votes in the key Democratic stronghold.

The most disputed, interrupted and polarized election of generations ended on Tuesday when a confused but determined voter voted in the end. And despite the hiccups and confrontations here and there, the worst fears of a turbulent end to the campaign have come to fruition, even as the tension over the outcome and consequences. remains unabated.

With a record number of votes cast through early direct voting and mail voting, election officials across the country have reported relatively smooth operation, nothing different than announcement reports. often on long lines at polling stations – done longer by social distancing – and machine malfunctions.

The director of the National Security Agency, General Paul M. Nakasone, told reporters on Tuesday, over the past few days and weeks, foreigners have intervened less than they did prior to the election. midterm elections 2018. And although there have been reports of Russian scammers trying to amplify exposed claims of electoral fraud, they have limited scope and no evidence of rampant hacking or rampant election day information attempts.

Fears of violence that caused some shop owners and homeowners to climb to their windows and doors was not taken into account as early as Tuesday evening, and there were only scattered and limited reports of intimidation in the polling stations.

The end of the day is expected to push the voting rate of Americans to their highest level since 1908, with a projected total of around 160 million votes, clearly the nation’s poor electoral infrastructure. the family is showing more resilience than expected by either the Republicans or the Democrats.

“We haven’t seen major system problems or efforts to hinder abandonment,” said Kristen Clarke, chair of the Lawyers’ Commission on Civil Rights under Law, which runs the Election Protection Hotline. votes, ”added that the problems were“ isolated and disjointed ”.

Conducted for weeks, during which coronavirus infections hit new highs across the country and with President Trump fiercely seeking ways to question the integrity of the voting system, the election poses challenges the knowledge that both voters and the officials who run it are largely adapted to respond.

Television images showed election officials in downtown Philadelphia speeding up the opening and counting of stacks of mail ballots. Voters have met long lines in Detroit with elation, and there have been no major reports of the turmoil.

Even in Georgia, which has become a symbol of all the challenges facing the nation’s electoral infrastructure as their new voting system crashed in the spring, officials reported as a whole. is “steady movement” at polling stations, despite reports of some dilemmas due to polling machine malfunctions.

“It’s all settled down as she travels across the state,” Gabriel Sterling, an official at Georgia’s foreign minister’s office, told a group of reporters mid-afternoon Tuesday. Wait times around the state, he said, averaged two minutes.

Across Omaha, the flow of people at polling stations has been shorter than in previous days. Behind them are people like Ann Roth, 57, a voter who said God told her the president would win, and Happy Sadjo, 47, immigrated from the West African country Togo and called Trump “home. American dictator. “

At polling venues across northern Philadelphia – Democratic stronghold of the sort that Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic candidate, is trusting to give him an edge in a key battlefield states – voters had lined up as early as 6 a.m., an hour before polls opened.

“I think Philadelphia is ready for a change, and they’re leaving,” said Sonia Bacchus, who arrived early at William Rowen Elementary and was fitted with a folding chair for the routes. “OH that’s right.”

According to TargetSmart, a Democrat data firm, the broad expansion of early voting options could reveal a very different electoral district: out of 100 million voters who voted early, nearly 30 % did not vote in 2016, according to TargetSmart, a Democratic data firm.

But arduous work is ahead with a tally of record volumes of mailed ballots, especially in states like Pennsylvania that don’t start counting absentee ballots until Election Day and potentially function takes days to complete the task.

Democrats are especially wary of the Postal Service, reporting that their processing system has failed to record transfers to election offices about 300,000 votes – and mail delivery is slow has particularly had a negative impact on Democratic strongholds such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and South Florida.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the Federal District Court in Washington, DC, ordered trouble spots to be scanned Tuesday to ensure that all ballots were found and delivered. The Post Office said it worked until evening to try to meet the court’s requests, albeit on a separate timeframe.

The entire voting process still faces the threat of continuous and persistent litigation. During the election, more than 400 election-related lawsuits were filed across the country and the courts are still issuing key rulings while the vote is in progress. Overnight, a federal appeals court in Texas dismissed the Republican appeal to try to remove more than 127,000 votes that were cast at the pass-through polling sites in Harris County.

In Montgomery County, just outside of Philadelphia, Republicans filed a complaint on Tuesday opposing the county’s attempt to contact voters whose mail ballots were rejected for error and love. ask them to vote provisionally. A federal judge agreed to hear the case on Wednesday morning.

Trump’s campaign also complained that election officials in Philadelphia kept campaign observers too far away from the counting table. Observers were there to observe the process as the absentee ballots were processed and counted for potential challenges, but the campaign still hadn’t filed a lawsuit late in the afternoon.

In Nevada, Trump’s election campaign filed an emergency petition on Tuesday afternoon, asking the Nevada Supreme Court to stop processing some mailed ballots in Clark County until officials The local electoral authority allows broad access to the processing of mail ballots. The campaign appealed to a lawsuit it lost on Monday. (Then it filed an emergency lawsuit to extend polling hours in Clark County, including Las Vegas.)

Those efforts are part of Mr Trump’s long-standing effort to raise doubts about the integrity of the entire voting system and provide the basis for defying any adverse outcomes or too. The vote count process extends by declaring fraud.

Although it threatens to undermine confidence in the end result, it also pushes voting power at the heart of the national political debate in a way not seen since the civil rights era, prompting Democrats to vote. said Biden, campaign aide.

Both party election officials tended to agree, asserting that all voting questions this year forced Americans to vote earlier, spreading tension in the system across the board. week and avoid a last-minute crush.

“Voters really thought about how they were going to vote for months, and many people planned and followed that plan,” said Kim Wyman, Republican and Secretary of State in Washington. , who oversees one year primarily to vote on the domestic mail system and becomes adviser to her colleagues in other states this year. “It’s really interesting that we have such interaction.”

However, the president’s attacks on the voting system also create an unusual situation in which his own supporters point out to the polls that they are less likely to vote by mail. more than his Democratic counterparts, creating bipartisan expectations that the president will lead directly, vote on election day and follow up in ballots by mail.

That split in terms of the threat from the coronavirus pandemic was visible on Election Day. At a polling place in Dallas, an election judge refused to wear a mask inside, causing voters to complain throughout the day.

At an afternoon press conference with reporters during his campaign visit to Virginia headquarters, the president has not repeated his legal nonsense requests in recent days for terminates on Election Day. However, he continued to complain that the Supreme Court did not interfere with Pennsylvania’s decision to count all postmarked ballots on or before Election Day to electoral offices up to three days. later.

Some states are also planning to count late ballots, meaning that if the results are near, it could take a few days before a winner is known for sure.

On Monday night, Twitter flagged a post by Mr. Trump predicting violence in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Pennsylvania, for now, to continue the extended vote-counting deadline.

And on Tuesday it highlighted a statement by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office that denied a claim by Trump aides and supporters that Democrats illegally hung a poster. Biden ticket statements at a polling station in the city center.

Jane Roh, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia district attorney, said: “The misinformation circulated online prompted more calls to the Election Task Force hotline than the actual incidents at election points. ”

Nick Corasaniti reports from Philadelphia, Jim Rutenberg from New York and Stephanie Saul from Atlanta. The report was contributed by David E. Sanger, Julian E. Barnes and Luke Broadwater in Washington and Dionne Searcy in Omaha, Neb.




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