Albert and another expert said most of these circumstances have been sporadic historically, but voters should alert poll workers and election officials if they believe there are any problems. . They added that voters should be aware of a possible spread of misinformation and disinformation campaigns that use reports of problems at poll sites on social media and guard against possibly amplifying those false messages online. …
Albert said the long lines are a result of several factors, including limited polling locations put in place by election districts and large voter turnout. This year, COVID-19 has played a role in the lines as well, as polling sites limit the number of people allowed indoors at one time and require voters to be 6 feet apart.
The key thing that voters should be on the lookout for in this situation is how fast the line is moving, according to Albert.
“A long line that moves fast isn’t bad,” she said. …
In every election, there are reports of voting machines breaking down, leaving voters frustrated in line.
Albert said Common Cause’s research has found that these issues are sporadic throughout the country, since many of the machines are over a decade old, and that they are not a sign of malfeasance. She did note that the federal government approved two separate $400 million funding measures this year to help with election security and to make the sites COVID ready.
“That includes money for better machines,” Albert said.
Albert noted that one complaint that frequently comes up during elections is malfunctioning touchscreen machines, which she said happens when those machines need recalibration.
In some previous cases, voters touched the screen for their preferred candidate, but the machine indicated that they selected another candidate, she said.
Albert said when that happens, voters should know that the erroneous vote is not logged until they give a final confirmation.
“If you’re in midst of voting and there is a calibration error, none of that is recording,” she said.
The voter should flag an election worker, report the problem and asked to be taken to a different machine, she said. …
In addition to poll workers, election offices and attorney general offices, Common Cause has a hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683), with staff who have direct lines to election officials, according to Albert.
“There are tons of organizations and lawyers who are out there and we have your back,” she said.