Sporadic complaints of equipment failures and long lines greeted voters across the country Tuesday as they headed to their polling centers to cast their vote – though the largely routine glitches didn’t stop some from claiming the system was “rigged.”
Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has repeatedly claimed the election process is fixed, filed a lawsuit in Nevada alleging that last week, a Clark County polling station was illegally left open late, potentially boosting Democratic voter turnout. He also tweeted Tuesday evening about voting issues in Utah.
Those issues aside, much of the country experienced a relatively smooth Election Day.
At the New Life United Methodist Church in Virginia, people waited outside for a machine to be fixed early Tuesday morning but by midday, operations were running smoothly.
The Virginia Department of Elections reported only two late openings in more than 2,400 polling places. A dozen places had routine equipment issues and there were a “couple of issues with scanning machines,” a statement said.
Some people were forced to switch to paper ballots which would be counted once a replacement scanner went out, the DOE said, adding there had been a few touchscreen issues.
By midafternoon in Alexandria, Virginia, there were more poll workers than voters at McArthur Elementary School, though earlier in the day, the lines were long.
In and around the country’s capital, lines snaked around many polling places in the morning but had evened out throughout the day, though election officials told FoxNews.com that they expected a rush later.
It was largely the same up north. In New Jersey, one voter reported waiting three hours because there were too few voting machines at her polling place in Jersey City, while in Brooklyn, New York, one voter spent an hour in line to cast her vote.
The well-prepared voter told FoxNews.com she “was expecting a bit of a wait so I brought a book.”
In Texas, a computer used by election clerks malfunctioned at a polling place inside a high school in suburban Houston, forcing officials to briefly divert voters to another polling place more than two miles away. Fort Bend County Elections Administrator John Oldham said the malfunctioning console was later replaced with a backup and voting resumed.
Andrea Patience, a 50-year-old pharmacy technician, was among those standing in line when the computer malfunctioned. She said she waited an hour for it to be fixed. Patience said as many as 100 people were standing in line at the time, and about half of them left.
"There were a lot of upset people," Patience said. "I don't know if they will come back later or decide not to vote."
In Michigan, Fox 2 reported receiving dozens of phone calls and emails from voters claiming the machines at their polling places weren’t working correctly. The station reported that “an overwhelming number of voters from several cities” report their machine wasn't able to accept the ballot so they have had to leave them with election officials. Some in Detroit, Sterling Heights, Novi, Holly and Roseville said the machines have malfunctioned altogether or complained of them jamming.
Election officials in Utah said voting machine problems in the southern part of the state forced poll workers early in the day to use paper ballots. A computer problem in Durham County, North Carolina -- a Democratic stronghold in a state that has been a key battleground in the presidential race -- triggered long lines when election officials had to rely on a paper check-in process.
There were also sporadic reports of people in North Carolina who said they were not put on the voter rolls despite registering to vote through the Division of Motor Vehicles.
The question this year was whether problems would be widespread and indicate a pattern of fraud or voter intimidation.
Trump had suggested that Philadelphia was among those places ripe for voter fraud. The city's district attorney, Seth Williams, said in mid-afternoon that his office had investigated 68 complaints about voter intimidation, broken machines or other problems, a number consistent with the past three presidential elections. He said all had proven unfounded.
In the last week alone, Democrats went to court in seven states seeking to halt what they claim were efforts by Republicans and the Trump campaign to deploy a network of poll watchers hunting for voter fraud. Republicans have disputed claims they are planning to intimidate voters, and judges largely found no evidence of efforts to suppress voters.
While there were concerns that the heated rhetoric of the campaign would lead to confrontations at the polls, only a few minor skirmishes were reported.
This is the first presidential election in which a key enforcement provision of the Voting Rights Act was not in place. A 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down a portion of the law that had required certain states and jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to receive pre-approval from the U.S. Department of Justice for any election law change. This allowed a number of states, most led by Republican legislatures and governors, to enact strict voter ID laws and reduce early voting.
Legal challenges to some of those voter ID laws have led to a multitude of court rulings in recent months that blocked or struck down some provisions while upholding or reinstating others. That triggered concerns of misinformation among voters, election officials and poll workers.
The Supreme Court ruling also prompted the Justice Department to send fewer trained election observers to polling places around the country than in previous years, with the reduction likely to diminish the department's ability to detect voter intimidation and other potential problems.
Meanwhile, state election officials were guarding against any attempt to breach their systems. Previously, some 33 states accepted an offer from the federal government to check their voter databases and reporting systems for vulnerabilities after hackers attempted to access systems in two states over the summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.