Although the press and many commentators worried in the days leading up to the election about problems at the polls, few incidents were actually reported. The Wall Street Journal reports, "What looked to be record numbers of voters cast ballots in an election marred only by isolated incidents of voter intimidation, voting-machine glitches and legal challenges to voters' eligibility." By "early this morning, none of the dire predictions intimidation of minorities, floods of illegal voters had come to pass." The Washington Post reports, "Dire warnings of chaos at ballot boxes, fueled by weeks of legal battles and political skirmishing, largely evaporated yesterday as voting proceeded with relatively few problems and only limited disputes at polling places nationwide." Still, lawyers "from both parties continued to prepare potential legal strategies as the race remained tight last night in pivotal battleground states such as Ohio." The New York Times reports, "America's national election seemed to run smoothly yesterday, with no widespread reports of chaos, fraud or legal challenges that might affect the outcome." The Los Angeles Times reports, "Few major problems were reported as the 2004 national election appeared headed to a record turnout."
Some Problems Reported With Electronic Voting Machines.
In the first major test for electronic voting machines, the Los Angeles Times reports more "than 45 million people in 29 states, or 29% of the nation's electorate, were expected to cast votes on the new machines, up sharply from 12% in 2000. Many machines seemed to have worked flawlessly, but frozen screens, machines that wouldn't start up and votes cast for the wrong candidate were reported by people in states ranging from California to Florida and from Louisiana to Pennsylvania." Reuters reports, "Voters calling in to an election-day hotline reported more than 1,100 problems with the ATM-like machines, from improperly tallied choices to frozen screens that left their votes in limbo."
Florida Avoids Serious Problems. Reuters reports that in Florida, there were "glitches but no widespread problems as the state tried to avoid a repeat of the 2000 ballot fiasco." Secretary of State Glenda Hood said, "This really has been a referendum on our process. We knew that the eyes of the world would be on us during this election cycle. We welcome that. We were prepared." The New York Times reports, "For all the predictions that Election Day in Florida would be a repetition of what happened four years ago, with a razor-thin margin, chaos at the polls and a disputed outcome, the results here on Tuesday were pretty much the opposite."