More voting complaint calls taken this year than in 2014 election

2 NEWS Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (WDTN) – Complaints about anything from long lines to broken voting machines caused a spike in calls the election protection hot line.

Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of The National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says this year far exceeded what was seen during the 2014 midterm election cycle.

More than 31 thousand calls came in on Election Day compared to 22 thousand in 2014.

Clarke says elections need improvement nationwide.

“In Georgia, we heard about some sites where they didn’t have power cords for some machines, we heard about some places where poll officials didn’t know how to work the machines, and then there is just old equipment that just breaks down,” she said.

Calls from across the country came in for a variety of problems ranging from long lines, failed voting machines, and state election websites with inaccurate information.

Progressive groups argue all of that leads to voter suppression.

“We expect that a lot of people were disenfranchised because of these things,” says Danielle Root, Voting Rights Manager for the Center for American Progress.

She thinks more effort should go into making sure elections run smoothly.

“Ensuring there are enough resources on the grounds, enough polling locations where lines can be shorter, also ensuring that there are upgrades to voting machines or tally systems,” she said.

Root says it’s too soon to tell if there were any major breaches in voter registration systems, or compromised voting tallies.

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