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Early voting problems reported around New Orleans

Associated Press   02 November 2004

NEW ORLEANS By the time polls opened at 6 a-m in New Orleans, long lines of voters awaited election workers. It didn't take too long after that for problems to surface with some voting machines.
In the meantime, rain covered most of the state, with some heavy storms falling on polling places in southwestern Louisiana. Forecasters expect the storms to move into the New Orleans area later in the day and they're giving little hope of clearing until well after the polls close.In New Orleans, though, the early storm activity was in the form of malfunctioning voting machines in a city where the late delivery of machines for balloting on September 18th forced a court-ordered replay of a juvenile court judge election Tuesday.Bill Quigley is an attorney working with the N-A-A-C-P and other civil rights groups. He told the Associated Press that he had reports of at least eleven precincts in Orleans Parish with at least one voting machine broken, along with four others in suburban Jefferson Parish.Quigley says 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.W-W-L-T-V in New Orleans reports that viewers had called in reports of problems at more than 20 precincts in and around New Orleans. Problems range from broken machines to a lack of provisional ballots for people whose registrations are in question.Orleans Criminal Clerk of Court Kimberly Butler, who is in charge of the polling places, could not be reached for comment. Phone lines at her office were busy.

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