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Confusion, long lines as U.S. states vote during pandemic

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:25s - Published
Confusion, long lines as U.S. states vote during pandemic

Confusion, long lines as U.S. states vote during pandemic

Confusion, missing mail-in ballots and long lines at some polling centers marred primary elections on Tuesday in eight states and the District of Columbia, the biggest test yet of voting during the coronavirus outbreak.

This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

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Voters in eight states across the U.S. and D.C.

Faced confusion and long lines at the polls Tuesday, in the biggest test yet of voting amid the coronavirus pandemic and as protests grip American cities.

At one voting location in Baltimore, Maryland - where voters wore face masks and stood 6 feet apart, the line stretched out the door, despite officials there encouraging voters to send in their ballots by mail.

Though some in line said they never received them.

Voter: We all here did not get our ballots in the mail." A similar story played out across the U.S. in states that voted on Tuesday.

All 8 states encouraged or expanded mail-in balloting and reduced the number of in-person polling places.

That led to record numbers of mail-in ballots requested and cast - but it also came with an explosion of complaints about delayed ballots and questions about where to vote after polling places were consolidated.

Tuesday's voting offered a glimpse of the challenges on a national scale if November's election is conducted under a lingering threat from COVID-19.

An issue that came up at a Wednesday congressional hearing about voting amid the pandemic.

Stacey Abrams - who narrowly fell short of becoming the first black woman to serve as governor of an American state - said absentee voting will be critical in November.

"Crowded polling places endanger voters and our polling workers." After her defeat in 2018, Abrams founded the voting rights nonprofit, Fair Fight Action.

"Our first obligation is to reduce the number of voters who will cast their ballots in person on election day through national access to vote by mail." But voting by mail has become a partisan battle.

Democrats support it as a safe way to cast a ballot.

But Republican President Donald Trump has claimed without evidence that it would result in fraud.

Trump on May 20: "I think just commons sense will tell you it's massive manipulation can take place, massive.

And you do, you have cases of fraudulent ballots, where they actually print them and give them to sign." Numerous studies have found little evidence of voting fraud tied to mail-in ballots.




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