There now appears to be some serious problems and patterns emerging in key states like Virginia and Pennsylvania. Heavy democratic areas have been polling places shutdown and thousands of voters turned away. Provisional ballots have been given inappropriately to many voters.
Over the weekend, I described my own observations of election officials failing to properly staff or equip early voting sites. Now a wider number of such problems are emerging. This includes a large number of site where voters are given the choice of waiting for hours in the rain or not voting.
In Virginia, there are widespread machine failures and closure of offices. Of greatest concern is the decision of election officials to close the voting place for Virginia Tech students at the last moment. The location was moved six miles away to a location with little parking. This is considered a key area of Obama and was previously targeted by voter suppression efforts.
At George Mason University, an official looking email from the Provost went to all students and faculty members telling them that voting day had been changed to November 5th. It is consistent with other vote suppression efforts seen in the state.
Richmond is reporting lines where people are being forced to wait over three hours in the rain. Various sites in North Carolina and Virginia are reporting soaked paper ballots.
In Pennsylvania, voting malfunctions and closures are being reported across Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, McCain supporters have objected to black panthers blocking the door of one polling place.
In Indiana, a court order the McCain campaign to follow election rules and two McCain workers were removed from a polling place for using improper means for challenging workers.
In many states, provisional ballots are being improperly handed out to voters. There have already been lawsuits filed by the McCain and the Obama camps. A judge ordered military ballots to be preserved. The situation appears to be worsening and looks much like what we saw in 2004 when I was covering legal issues for CBS News.
Obviously, if this is a landslide for Obama, such problems will not matter and provisional ballots will not be counted. However, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other swing states already appear to be trouble areas.
For one report, click here.