Ballot Watch: Eyes on the Election

Republican officials alleged that activists from the left-leaning group MoveOn.org had tried to operate within 100 feet of more than 20 Twin Cities-area polling places in violation of state laws against electioneering. Republicans said they were seeking a temporary restraining order to stop Moveon.org from violating Minnesota election laws. Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org, denied the claims, which were alleged in multiple states, calling them "scurrilous" and "false" and said "we appear to be a victim of orchestrated effort to create a phony storyline if the election is close."

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Republican Party officials claimed that workers from the left-leaning political group Moveon.org posed as exit pollers to get inside polling locations. The GOP officials said once inside they tried to persuade voters to cast ballots for Sen. John Kerry. Republicans said they successfully removed the alleged Moveon.org/exit poll imposters from polling stations. MoveOn.org representatives denied the allegations and said their efforts focused on getting out infrequent voters and there would be no reason for their organizers to be going to the polls to change people's minds so late in the game -- because that would go against the whole point of their campaign. They said it was the GOP trying to create a public record of controversy in battleground states.

New Jersey

In a Mount Laurel precinct, a voting station was closed for two hours when officials found a suspicious substance on the floor, according to the AP. It was later determined to be spilled salt and the station reopened.

New Mexico

Bernalillo County initially reported an extraordinarily high number of provisional ballots. Under the procedure set by the state, provisional ballots won't be counted until Nov. 6 at the earliest (the counting period is Nov. 6-12).

Ohio

A federal judge in Toledo ruled that Ohio voters who did not receive absentee ballots on time could cast provisional ballots at the polls. This ruling reversed an earlier directive by the secretary of state who ruled voters could not cast provisional ballots despite not receiving their absentee ones. A lawsuit, filed by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Bingham McCutchen LLP, had asked the federal court to enter an injunction requiring the secretary of state to allow statewide provisional voting.

A federal court judge granted a request filed by attorneys for the Ohio Democratic Party, ordering election officials in Franklin and Knox counties to provide paper ballots or other alternative methods to voters waiting to use electronic touch-screen machines. The Franklin County Board of Elections appealed it, and election officials in both Franklin and Knox counties claimed they had no way to carry out the judge's order. The secretary of state filed a response saying the complaint was bogus.

At some polling places, waiting times to vote were reported to be up to five hours long. The judge also ordered both counties to comply with state law, which requires that those already in line at the official poll closing time of 7:30 p.m. be allowed to vote. In the village of Gambier, where Kenyon College is located, the last vote was cast Wednesday at 3:56 a.m.

Pennsylvania

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