Typos, Machines and Mother Nature All Affect Polling

Everything was supposed to be different this time around, but voting glitches still plagued Election Day, despite the introduction of advanced voting machines and increased training for poll workers.

In South Dakota more than seven thousand votes could be held up until early Wednesday morning because of a faulty computer chip in Davison County.

Election workers in Mitchell have stopped counting votes until they can make repairs. A replacement chip is on the way from Omaha, Nebraska.

In Pulaski County, Ark., a judge extended voting until 9 p.m. after the Democratic Party sought an injunction, a state Democratic chairman said.

Chairman Ron Olive  cited inexplicable delays at polling sites and a number of precincts that have reported running out of ballots. The Democratic Party has been contacted by numerous voters who, because of these problems, have not been able to vote.

"We simply cannot let another election go by with disenfranchised voters. The citizens of Pulaski County deserve a fair opportunity to vote."

Pulaski County is a majority Democrat county, and the GOP said if Pulaski is going to be open, the whole state should be open.

Georgia has 22,000 touchscreens, the country's largest amount, and also may have the biggest problem on their hands. In two counties, officials said problems could result in contested elections and lawsuits.

In one county, ballots in at least three precincts listed the wrong county commission races. Officials shut down the polls at one point to fix the problem but didn't know how many wrong ballots were cast or how to correct errant votes. In another, a county commission race was omitted from a ballot.

Elsewhere, some machines froze up and others had to be rebooted. Dozens were misprogrammed, and cards voters need to access machines malfunctioned.

"They are locking up, and we have to turn them off and turn them on. The voting is taking a little longer," said Mary Cranford, election superintendent in Georgia's Coweta County.

There are now 510 counties nationwide with electronic voting systems, according to Election Data Services, a Washington, D.C., research company. That's 16 percent of counties representing one in five registered voters.

"A lot of these products were rushed to market," said Rebecca Mercuri, a Bryn Mawr College computer science professor and expert on election technology.

Mercuri warned that some problems with the new touchscreen systems may never be known because they lack paper backups for double-checking ballots.

Diebold Election Systems, which supplied machines for Georgia and Maryland, said election officials never asked for such features, which worries Mercuri.

She said any misprogramming isn't always obvious, "so there's no way to prove that [a machine] didn't cast a vote for Candidate B when you cast for Candidate A."

In Montgomery County, Md., where results of a tight congressional primary race were delayed by faulty planning, a programming error caused machines at 30 precincts to display a ballot with a header reading "Democratic."

The header would normally be blank, but the glitch does not affect the tally, an elections administrator said.

Republicans and Democrats have reported ballot shortages in some Minnesota precincts, and there is concern that the secretary of state may not have printed enough ballots for the higher-than-usual turnout in that state.

Chicago election officials reported a number of minor glitches in the early voting around Illinois. Cook County elections spokesman Scott Burnham said a sheriff's deputy in Cicero had to escort out a reportedly drunk election judge.

Three central Florida counties reported problems with optical scanners. Machines malfunctioned at a South Miami precinct. An electrician was called to a Broward County precinct running on battery power, where voters were reportedly putting their ballots in a box to be counted by hand.

Some who showed up to vote drove off before a precinct in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park, Fla., finally opened 20 minutes late.

Once the poll opened, some voters said they had trouble feeding the optical scan ballots through the machines -- and some English-speaking voters said they were given Spanish-language ballots.

In Texas, WFAA television is reporting that voting machines are mistakenly programmed, and spits out errors when straight party-line voting is registered.

Two-thirds of the 91,000 absentee ballots in Jefferson County, Colo., have a typographical error that experts say could lead to a court challenge of election results.

The ballots tell voters to "mail by Saturday, Nov. 5." But Saturday was Nov. 2; Tuesday, Election Day, is Nov. 5. Ballots mailed on Nov. 5 will arrive too late to be counted.

The error could open the door for the losing candidate to contest the outcome of especially close races, such as the contest between Republican Sen. Wayne Allard and his Democrat challenger Tom Strickland.

In Cherry Hill, N.J., a computer glitch caused voting machines to malfunction in about three-quarters of the township's 46 voting districts. Some voters had to use paper ballots while repairs were taking place.

In Indiana, Democratic Rep. Julia Carson, in a tight race for a fourth term, came to the polls early to vote, but her machine broke down when she pulled the lever.

Election officials in Delaware are worried there might be some confusion among voters because of this year's redistricting, which shifted thousands of voters into new districts or precincts.

Most Missouri voters were greeted by rainy weather Tuesday morning, and the electricity was out at 6 a.m. At scheduled poll openings in the rural town of Vienna, some voters were turned away at the courthouse. People began voting by flashlight around 6:30 a.m.

Voters casting ballots for state treasurer in Manchester, Conn., were given the choice Tuesday morning of Republican Ross Garber or Democrat Deniss Nappier. The problem is, the Democratic incumbent's name is Denise Nappier.

The secretary of the state's office said Nappier's name was misspelled on all the voting machines in the city, but was spelled correctly on a sample ballot the town sent to the state.

"We're not quite sure what happened there," said Larry Perosino, a spokesman for the secretary of the state.

The Justice Department announced it was sending 324 federal observers and 108 Justice Department personnel to 26 counties in 14 states to monitor the general election.

Fox News' Carl Cameron and The Associated Press contributed to this report.