Thomas Wood of Chandler is frustrated and tries to vote on Tuesday morning. The Gila polling station of Wood in Chandler was locked out on 6 November 2018.
Arizona Republic

WASHINGTON – Voters across the country voted in polls in the first nationwide polls since 2016, and there were isolated reports of long queues and voting issues – and this time it grew the suspicion that the entire electoral process might be susceptible to hacking or tampering.

A number of federal agencies oversee elections during their development, including the Justice and Homeland Security, Intelligence and FBI Departments. Federal and state officials – who received $ 380 million this year to improve their electoral systems – have used sensors on local networks to detect burglaries.

From 9:00 am Eastern, Homeland Security said there was nothing material to report.

The greater threat could stem from attempts to influence voters with misinformation campaigns. On Monday evening, Facebook announced that more than 100 accounts had been removed, carrying out co-ordinated activities in French, English and Russian, increasing the possibility of foreign actors engaging in the election.

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"Americans should be aware that foreign actors – and especially Russia – continue to seek to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through measures that sow discord," said Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary General of the DHS, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director by National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray. "The American public can mitigate these efforts by staying informed, reporting suspicious activity, and being vigilant consumers of information."

Meanwhile, the Election Assistance Commission has sent election observers across the country, and several NGOs have set up call centers to file complaints and support voters.

The Election Protection Coalition, a group of more than 100 constituents and voting groups, has signed up to thousands of volunteers in 20 centers across the country. Marica Johnson-Blanco, co-director of the Civil Rights Lawyers' Credentials Project, said she expects the number of calls to the coalition hotline, 866-OUR VOTE, to reach 120,000 during the year ahead of the presidential election 2016th

"Voters are very interested in this election," she said.

We will update this story during the day (and night) with any issues that arise during the course of the vote. Here are some important hotspots that we observe:


Election day began horribly when voters in a city outside Phoenix took part in the vote, only to find that their polling station had been foreclosed the day before.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said the landlord of the building, which appears to be a mall, locked it overnight after the workers had already set up the polling station. There are ballots in the building, he said.

Fontes said his staff are working with the sheriff's office to see if they can forcibly enter the property to pick up the ballots and equipment. In the meantime, he said that the survey workers had set up a temporary polling station in the parking lot.


Polling stations openedAt 7 o'clock in the morning in the Sunshine State. For the inhabitants of the panhandle, who were devastated by Hurricane Michael a few weeks ago, this means that they are entering a selection of "election supercenters" in churches, district election offices, and Panama City's mall.

Voters in the region are heavily republican and could change the balance between current Republican Governor Rick Scott and acting Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in the Senate. They could also host the governor's contest between GOP MP Ron DeSantis and Democratic Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum.

The last two gubernatorial races of the state were decided with less than 66,000 votes. There are approximately 200,000 registered voters in the handful of counties damaged by the hurricane, including 120,000 in Bay County, which includes Panama City and ravaged Mexico Beach.

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"I am pleased to announce that all surveys have been opened on time across the country and that voters are giving away ballots in all districts," Secretary of State Ken Detzner said in a poll update. "Polls are open until 19.00 and all voters waiting in line at 19.00 can vote.

According to Detzner's office, more than 5 million Floridians have already submitted ballots by e-mail or in early polls. This far outstrips the 3.2 million that were prematurely or emailed in 2014 – a potential indication that voter turnout might be high today.


Common Cause, a member of the coalition "Electoral Protection", said there had been reports at 10:30 in the morning about "voting machines that are coming to a standstill across the country".

"We are working with local election officials to solve these issues," spokesman David Vance said. "When lines are built, election observers push voters to stay in line."

He said that storms also "complicate matters further".

Clashes over elections in the Peach state were held long before election day. In recent weeks it has been claimed that voting machines in two countries did not have properly registered votes before a court battle over about 51,000 voter registrations held.

The Democratic candidate for Stacey Abrams Governor and former legislator has recently been linked to Republican candidate, Georgian Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The most recent survey of Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Channel 2 Action News had Abrams with 46.9 percent and Kemp with 46.7 percent.

Abrams has called Kemp "a notable voter suppression architect" during a performance in "The Daily Show," and her supporters fear the controversy will actually intimidate voters and limit voter turnout. However, some experts believe that this could have the opposite effect.

"I think it will have a mobilizing effect," said the political scientist of the University of Georgia, Charles Bullock. "It may bring some people, who were otherwise not so interested, to the polls just to show that they have that right, and they will protect their right."

Early polls have already broken records: Kemp's office lists nearly 2.1 million ballots. Compared with around 940,000 in 2014, Georgia Votes said.

"Obviously, people are keeping an eye on Georgia with the registration issues, but one of the things we really see beyond these kinds of issues is the great interest in this year's voting that the lines are very long everywhere," Viki said Harrison, Director of State Operations for Common Affairs.


Voters in the Greater Cincinnati area had long morning rows and a few technical glitches when they dropped votes on Tuesday morning. Election officials said voters and campaign workers are confused by a change in the electoral machine system there that voters are now being informed if they are "under-elected" or have left some races on their ballots. Electronic voting machines reportedly rejected some unfilled ballots.

The Americans elect a new governor who decides between Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine. They also have a Senate race – the acting Democratic Senator. Sherrod Brown faces Republican Jim Renacci. Cordray and Brown are in favor of Inside Elections, USA TODAY believes.


Texans who submitted ballots in early ballots reported problems with voting machines that chose some of their choices. According to the State State, Hart eSlate machines were in use in about 30 percent of the federal states. They said that users can fill in and drop ballots too quickly. Voters should recheck their choices on screen before sending their ballots.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, accepts Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke in a closely watched race in that state. Cruz had a lead of 6 percentage points on election day in the RealClearPolitics average.

Another nationally recognized competition is incumbent GOP Rep. Pete Sessions and Democratic challenger Colin Allred, a civil rights lawyer and former Tennessee Titans footballer of the NFL. The survey average in this race shows that Allred is between 46 and 42 percent.


Governor Scott Walker issued an order to launch the Wisconsin National Guard to assist state election officials in their efforts to prevent hacker attacks or other threats to the state's election.

In the last survey of the Marquette Law School he is associated with 47 percent to 47 percent with the Democratic candidate Tony Evers.

Late in the morning, the biggest problems reported at Badger State were long queues. The Milwaukee election officials said the city was ready for a turnout of only 65 percent of registered voters.

Make the USA TODAY Election Quiz here.

Contributed by Nicquel Terry Ellis, Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Dan Horn, Arizona Republic reporter Jessica Boehm, Associated Press

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