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Editor’s note: Journal Junction offers the public a forum to applaud successes, discuss issues, point out problems and review the events of the day in a constructive manner. Journal Junction comments should be limited to two to four sentences and be no longer than 80 words. Longer comments should be submitted as “Letters to the Editor,” which is a separate forum. The Journal's classified ads section offers help to those with lost or found items. This is a sampling of comments received today. Any others, subject to editing, are published in the online Journal Junction at www.journalnews.net under opinions.
From Jefferson County: The biggest wastes in the state of West Virginia are the regions, Region 9 and Region 8. They all have big salaries. They have forecut people in staff and all they do is give out awards and they don’t really do anything, yet they get tremendous wages, which is never reported in the newspaper.
From Martinsburg: The Martinsburg Post Office is a complete joke. Carriers can’t read correct addresses, deliver mail to wrong homes, no stamps in the stamp machines and long lines with not enough help at the windows.
From Berkeley County: I just received a phone call from “Microsoft” that they were receiving error messages from my computer. This is a scam to seize control of your computer and steal your identity and address list. Microsoft does not care what happens when you buy their software unless you call them for tech support.
From Inwood: I am mortified by the inadequacy of the voting setup at Valley View. They didn’t have enough power cords for the voting booths, thus causing them to have to link all booths together. In turn, people had to walk behind everyone else, once they were done, while people continued to vote. So much for confidentiality. To me, that’s just icky.
From Harpers Ferry: “Children are to be seen, not heard.” Enough said. To reach Journal Junction, call 304-263-3381, Ext. 333, 800-448-1895, Ext. 333, or send your comments via The Journal’s Virtual Newsroom at www.journal-news.net
Biggest late poll problem long lines in key states Voters cast their ballots on Election Day Tuesday at R.S. Payne Elementary School in Lynchburg, Va.
BY CURT ANDERSON ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — Voters in key states such as Florida and Virginia waited in long lines hours after polls closed Tuesday night to cast ballots, even as politicians and their supporters urged them not to give up despite the long delays. Candidates turned to social media to encourage voters through the long wait. “#StayInLine #StayInLine #StayInLine” Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin tweeted. The three states allow voters who were in line when polls closed to cast ballots. High turnout rather than glitches or problems appeared to be the cause of the long lines, but there were plenty of other problems around the country. Many were in Pennsylvania, including a confrontation involving Republican inspectors over access to some polls and a voting machine that lit up for Republican Mitt Romney even when a voter pressed the button for President Barack Obama. One Florida elections office mistakenly told voters in robocalls the election was Wednesday. The Election Protection coalition of civil rights and voting access groups said they had gotten more than 80,000 complaints and
questions on a toll-free voter protection hotline. “The calls have been hot and heavy all day long,” said Barbara Arnwine, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Aside from the lines and other scattered problems with voter access and machine failures, there didn’t appear to be any wholesale disenfranchisement of voters, few tense confrontations among poll monitors and no major instances of election fraud. “Despite the shameful attempts to suppress voting, voters are standing up,” said Bob Edgar, president and chief executive of Common Cause. Still, Election Day was far from glitch-free. And voters faced a whole different set of challenges in parts of New York and New Jersey ravaged by Superstorm Sandy. In Philadelphia, the Republican Party said 75 legally credentialed voting inspectors were blocked from polling places in the heavily Democratic city, prompting the GOP to obtain a court order providing them access. Local prosecutors were also looking into the reports. Democratic Party officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Also in Pennsylvania, Department of State spokesman Ron Ruman said the voting machine in the central part of the state that switched a person’s vote from Obama to Romney has been recalibrated and is back in service. Video of what Ruman called a “momentary glitch” was widely viewed on YouTube. Pennsylvania was also the scene of what a state Common Cause official called “widespread” confusion over voter ID requirements. The state this year enacted a new photo ID requirement, but it was put on hold for Tuesday’s election by a judge amid concern many voters would not be able to comply in time. Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause in Pennsylvania, said election workers in many places were demanding IDs even though they are not required. It was unclear, however, just how many voters may have been turned away or discouraged. Also in Philadelphia, a judge ordered a mural of Obama covered up after a Republican election worker snapped a picture of it at a school polling place, according to a statement from the Republican Party. The battleground state of Ohio was the scene of yet another court battle, this one
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involving a lawsuit claiming voting software installed by the state could allow manipulation of ballots by people not connected to official election boards. A judge, however, flatly dismissed a lawsuit seeking to stop use of the software. The Florida robocall glitch occurred in Pinellas County, where the supervisor of elections said about 12,000 voters were wrongly told they could vote Wednesday. Spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock said the office had contracted with a company called callfire.com to call voters who had requested mail ballots but had not yet returned them. Whitlock said calls went to those voters without a problem Thursday, and then again Monday. Back in Ohio, officials in Franklin County — where the capital city of Columbus is located — barred the tea party-linked True the Vote group from monitoring polling places because applications to do so weren’t filed properly. Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the Houstonbased group, claimed the Ohio Democratic Party was behind pressure that led several local Ohio candidates to withdraw their permission for the group’s members to act as election observers.
Elsewhere, the Election Protection coalition reported problems with ballot scanners in the Ohio cities of Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo; late-opening polling places in minority neighborhoods in Galveston, Texas; and some precincts in the Tampa, Fla., area where voters were redirected to another polling place where they must cast a provisional ballot. Both political parties in Nebraska accused each other of voter disenfranchisement after a woman claimed she was handed a ballot already filled out for Romney and Republican Rep. Lee Terry — a situation elections officials chalked up to a mistake. The GOP, meanwhile, contended some voters were being falsely told in recorded phone calls that they were ineligible to cast ballots. In New Orleans, advocates said they received several complaints from large Vietnamese American communities that in at least three major polling places, language services were not being provided to voters needing help with translations. Of particular concern were several proposed constitutional amendments and ballot initiatives, said Jennifer Coco, a volunteer field director with the Louisiana Election Protection Program.
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Published on Apr 4, 2013