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No big hitches after voting begins in highly scrutinized US midterm election

Voters line up to cast their ballots in the US midterm election at the Aspray Boat House in Warwick, Rhode Island, November 8, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Voters line up to cast their ballots in the US midterm election at the Aspray Boat House in Warwick, Rhode Island, November 8, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Final voting begins without major hitches in US midterm elections under intense scrutiny after two years of false claims and conspiracy theories about how ballots are cast and counted.

With polls open across most of the country, no big problems are reported early in the day, though there were hiccups in some places, which is typical on any Election Day. For example, vote tabulators were not working in a county in New Jersey and one in Arizona — potentially requiring hand-counting instead — and some voting sites in Pennsylvania were delayed in opening because workers showed up late.

“These are things we see in every election cycle,” says Susannah Goodman, director of election security at Common Cause, a group that advocates for voting access. “There’s nothing majorly concerning this morning.”

Since the last nationwide election in 2020, former US president Donald Trump and his allies have succeeded in sowing wide distrust about voting by promoting false claims of extensive fraud. The effort has eroded public confidence in elections and democracy, led to restrictions on mail voting and new ID requirements in some GOP-led states and prompted death threats against election officials.

Election Day this year is marked by concerns about further harassment and the potential for disruptions at polling places and at election offices where ballots will be tallied. Election officials say they are prepared to handle any issues that arise, urging voters not to be deterred.

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