2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Minor Glitches, Easy Remedies For Bay Area Voters

The problems that did surface, seemed to be quickly taken care of, for the most part.

By Lisa Fernandez and staff reports
|  Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012  |  Updated 5:22 PM PDT
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Images: Bay Area Election 2012

Damian Trujillo

Polling workers at the Santa Clara County registrar's office. Nov. 5, 2012

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Only small glitches - and ones that could be easily remedied - were experienced by many Bay Area  on Election Day.

One poster named Ben Tatge wrote on the NBC Bay Area Facebook page wrote: "My voting experience was fantastic...I wrote on my ballot, filled in some circles and I left that place, just a wonderful experience."

The problems that did surface, seemed to be quickly taken care of, for the most part.

There was a small fire that displaced voters at one Prunedale polling spot Tuesday afternoon but they were quickly moved down the street to the American Legion Hall. There were a couple of power outages in Oakland, but because those stations use paper ballots it wasn't really an issue.

In Contra Costa County, several people had logistical problems, which were eventually worked out. They had just moved to California, and registered with Department of Motor Vehicles, but the county registrar's office never got the information. So, those voters went before a judge to turn in their paperwork to be handed a court-ordered ballot.

That was the case in Santa Clara County, too. Court spokesman Joe Macaluso said about 30 "petitions to compel voter registration" were ordered by a judge in a dedicated courtroom on Monday and Tuesday. Most often, it was because the lines of communication between the DMV and the local registrar's office got muddled.

In a more lighthearted snafu we're calling StickerGate, some South Bay voters were upset that they didn't get "I Voted" stickers. That's because they mailed in their ballots, and both the Santa Clara and San Mateo county registrar's offices decided not to send the 15-cent stickers with the mail-in balots to save money.

All throughout the day, NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit handled dozens of calls to its tip line dedicated to solving election problems. Most calls  were from voters wondering why they don't need IDs to vote. The answer? It's not required. Addresses are simply matched to the voter's signature.

One San Jose woman called in to say that she was bedridden and couldn't get to a polling station. The NBC Bay Area team patched her through to the Santa Clara County registrar's office, who told her she could have an "emergency" provisional ballot - her son would need to come pick it up for her.

And in Oakland, some people called in to complain that their poll workers were talking too loudly about how they wanted Obama to win. It's not proper for poll workers to discuss politics, or how they voted.

These stories were tame compared to what happened in other parts of the United States. In Pennsylvania, there was a confrontation with Republican inspectors over access to some polls and a voting machine that lit up for Mitt Romney even when a voter pressed the button for Obama. In Florida, one election office mistakenly told voters in robocalls, the election was on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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