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Early voting problems reported in and around New Orleans
11/2/2004, The Associated Press    

NEW ORLEANS (AP) ? Long lines greeted early voters when polls opened at 6 a.m. in New Orleans and it didn't take long for reports of problems to begin surfacing in the city, which is having to restage a juvenile court race because of voting machines not being delivered in time for the Sept. 18 elections.

Bill Quigley, an attorney working with the NAACP and other civil rights groups, told the Associated Press that he had reports of at least 11 precincts in Orleans Parish with at least one voting machine broken, along with four others in suburban Jefferson Parish.

Quigley said that at one precinct in New Orleans, all three voting machines were broken and voters were being turned away and told to come back later. Almost three hours after the polls opened, he said, no one had cast a ballot at that precinct.

WWL television in New Orleans said viewers had called in reports of at more than 20 precincts in and around New Orleans, problems ranging from broken machines to a lack of provisional ballots for people whose registrations are in question.

Orleans Clerk of Court Kimberly Butler could not be reached for comment ? phone lines at her officer were busy. Scott Madere, spokesman for Secretary of State Fox McKeithen, the state's top election official, said there were sporadic reports of problems but had no details.

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