Image: Conn. Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz
Stephan Savoia  /  AP
Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz explains why the polls in Bridgeport, Conn., were remaining open for two additional hours. The city of Bridgeport ran out of ballots; the city printed 21,000 ballots for approximately 68,000 possible voters. staff and news service reports
updated 11/3/2010 12:39:26 AM ET 2010-11-03T04:39:26

From Delaware to California, Election Day 2010 ushered in a variety of voting problems and irregularities.

In Nevada, a brief power failure at a polling place in Las Vegas caused a slight delay in reporting the early voting results, according to the Secretary of State's Office. No votes were lost, officials told NBC News. At poll closing time, people standing in line were allowed to finish voting.

In Illinois, voting was extended at seven suburban polling locations, NBC News reported. Voting hours were extended by one hour, to 8 p.m. CT, at locations in north and western Cook County.

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House Minority Leader Tom Cross' office was told that voting at those polling places did not open on time Tuesday morning. Some opened as much as two hours late, NBC News reported.

Polls in Bridgeport, Conn., were also ordered to stay open until 10 p.m. ET., after stations ran out of ballots, according to NBC News.

Voter turnout was expected to be up slightly from 2006. With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, exit polls and other data projects that turnout was up in at least nine states, including significant increases in Florida, Minnesota and Texas.

Curtis Gans, the director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University, said competitive races featuring Tea Party-backed candidates in Florida, Texas and Delaware were drawing high voter turnout, with mixed results.

Turnout appeared to be down in several other states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Wrong day
In Los Angeles, about two dozen California residents received Spanish-language robocalls and mailers instructing them to vote a day after Election Day, a polling watchdog group said Tuesday.

Election Protection said the Hispanic voters in central and southern parts of the city received the reminders telling them to vote on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

U.S. Justice Department officials were investigating the complaints, the group's Los Angeles hotline director Kathay Feng said.

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Election Protection said it has received more than 11,000 requests for assistance nationwide, with more than 2,500 of them coming from California voters.

The group said most of the problems seen Tuesday were mistakes by poll workers and election officials.

Angry voters
A north Alabama election official says voters were so mad in Madison County they were messing up ballots and causing minor problems at the polls.

Madison County Probate Judge Tommy Ragland said Tuesday that voters had been marring ballots by pressing too hard with the pencils they used to mark them. He said counting machines had kicked out a few dozen ballots at each precinct, requiring voters to cast their ballots again.

Ragland said he thought the problem was that voters were mad after a contentious, ugly campaign season. He said they were taking it out on the pencils.

Secretary of State Beth Chapman said she hadn't heard of similar problems in any other county.

Too loud?
In Delaware, the Christine O'Donnell campaign was asked to "cease and desist" from rallying so loudly outside Kent County polling places that voters inside could hear them, The News Journal of Wilmington reported. The noisy rallies were a technical violation of the election code, State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove told the paper.

O’Donnell campaign spokesman, Doug Sachtleben told the News Journal the campaign was glad “supporters are passionate and that when told to be a little quieter they gladly did so.”

Manlove said she received a complaint this morning about advance teams for the Republican U.S. Senate candidate arriving at polling places just before the candidate. The group stood beyond the 50-foot line of the polling place but were clapping and talking loud enough to have committed the violation, the paper reported.

Manlove reached an O’Donnell staffer from Delaware Republican headquarters and asked them to stop and was assured ralliers would, the News Journal said.

Incidents were reported at a couple of polling places in Kent County, but Manlove said she didn't know the exact locations, the paper said.

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The Minnesota state Republican Party reported mechanical breakdowns in Twin Cities suburbs, as well as Duluth, Faribault and Rochester, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The Republicans said the problems were an example of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's "incompetence."

Ritchie, who is also on the ballot, responded with a letter itemizing how complaints about a handful of specific voting machines in Dakota and Rice Counties had been resolved, with one being investigated in Plymouth, the paper said. Several dealt with judges moving ballots into and out of auxiliary boxes, used to store ballots when machines won't accept them. State law requires those judges be from each of the major political parties.

Ritchie's letter said such contingencies are minor and "not new in the election process."

Check back later on this developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Map: Election results 2010

Video: At long last, voters have their say

  1. Closed captioning of: At long last, voters have their say

    >>> and good evening from studio 8 g inside 30 rockefeller plaza . our decision 2010 election headquarters. tonight, with control of congress at stake and, perhaps, much more, american voters and all 50 states in a massive mid-term election have the chance to alter the american political landscape. the pollsters have been telling us and there's every indication voters are about to give the political pendulum in this country a good shove. our team is in place here in the studio and covering races of course, all across this country and we'll kick it off with our white house correspondent, savannah guthrie on this decision day which has finally gotten here.

    >> with the back drop of a struggling economy and history, the president's party almost always loses seats in a mid term. republicans appear to be on the brink of big gains.

    >> remember to vote on both sides.

    >> reporter: across the country today, after a long, bruising campaign, voters finally had their say.

    >> we need changes, major changes.

    >> too many people are out of jobs.

    >> i think it will be a close race. that's why i'm here.

    >> reporter: the candidates were out, too. getting some last-minute face time.

    >> i'm christine o'donnell, can i ask for your vote this morning?

    >> reporter: and casting their vote. the vice president visited his polling place today. as did the man who would likely take power if republicans win the house. ohio congressman, john boehner .

    >> i think we have a real opportunity to win the majority and hopefully, my colleagues will elect me speaker.

    >> reporter: but the current house speaker says, not so fast.

    >> we're very confident in our candidates and the message that they are delivering.

    >> can you hear us now?

    >> reporter: at the capitol, tea party activists were preparing to celebrate their arrival as a fourth in american politics , while at the white house the president took to the airwaves doing a round of radio interviews in some of the campaigns hardest-fought territory including his own home state of illinois .

    >> how well i can move my agenda forward over the next couple of year also depend on part on folks back home having my back.

    >> reporter: for the president it's a potentially crushing comedown on election night just two years ago.

    >> in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to america.

    >> reporter: but tomorrow we'll hear from the president. he has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow afternoon at the white house . brian?

    >> it looks like a much younger man just two years ago in that videotape. savannah will be with here all


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