Americans are urging each other to stay in line and wait to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, despite long waits that have been reported at polling stations during the first few hours of the midterm elections.
Voters are taking to Twitter to share their stories of long lines due to either higher turnout or a lack of voting machines using the hashtag #StayInLine.
One Atlanta polling location had hundreds of people waiting to vote at only three voting machines. Reverend Jesse Jackson called the wait a “voter suppression” tactic and encouraged people to stay in line and vote.
Reports of broken ballot scanners are leading to long lines at several polling sites across New York City.
Turnout was so heavy Tuesday morning at one packed precinct on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that the line to scan ballots stretched around a junior high school gym.
At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours. Voting machines at the Gwinnett County precinct did not work, so poll workers offered provisional paper ballots while trying to get a replacement machine.
One voter, Ontaria Woods, said about two dozen people who had come to vote left because of the lines.
“We’ve been trying to tell them to wait, but people have children. People are getting hungry. People are tired,” Woods said. Woods said she and others turned down the paper ballots because they “don’t trust it.”
Voting in a Rhode Island community only accessible by ferry was interrupted briefly after the sole voting machine on the island malfunctioned.
The Rhode Island Board of Elections tweeted at about 9 a.m. Tuesday that the machine on Prudence Island “experienced a technical difficulty.”
A new machine was ferried over and the board said the polling place is operating normally and all ballots have been accepted.
Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay is part of the town of Portsmouth and has a population of about 200.