Voting watchdogs in swing states nationwide are reporting thousands of calls from voters having difficulties exercising their constitutional right to vote today. “We are seeing a manifestation of a new Jim Crow in America,” says Wade Henderson, head of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, “and I don’t think that’s an overstatement”.
People are encountering long lines, being turned away from the polls because their lacked photo ID, or experiencing difficulties with malfunctioning machines or inadequate staff, says the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. It is asking voters to call 1 866 OUR VOTE to record any problems, and they say they have already received “thousands” of calls.
Barbara Arnwine of the Lawyers’ Committee says some voters are being turned away by poll workers who mistakenly believe that all voters need government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot, while state laws say this is necessary only for first-time voters.
"The state of Pennsylvania ought to be ashamed," Arnwine said. Pennsylvania passed a voter ID law, but the court blocked it from being enforced this election - and later ordered Republican activists outside polling places in Allegheny to stop demanding ID from voters.
Other trouble spots include Florida and Ohio, where voting machines in Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland are non-functional. Some Ohio voters are also complaining of regular ballots being placed in provisional ballot boxes, where they are less likely to be counted.
Voting in New Jersey, slammed last week by Hurricane Sandy, is a “catastrophe”, says Arnwine.
Heavy voter turnout, confusion over Voter ID requirements and malfunctioning voting machines were among the issues being faced in key swing states across the country as Election Day wrapped up Tuesday.
In Pennsylvania, where an earlier video of malfunctioning voter machines went viral, several other reports surfaced, including this one on VideotheVote.
In Ohio, VideotheVote captured footage of voters who appeared to be properly registered and have proper identification still being required to cast provisional ballots.
And in Northern Virginia’s hotly contested Prince William County, considered one of the bellwether localities in this election, voters in a heavily minority precinct were forced to wait up to five hours to cast their ballots, according to PotomacLocal.com.
What issues did you face at the polls today? Download the NewsiT app and share your experiences.
New Hampshire is one of the country’s smallest states, with only four electoral votes. But it’s also a swing state, so every vote counts. And it’s not alone in confusion about voter ID laws.
New Hampshire voter Amy Barnes (@moeizme) tweeted, “All the literature says: You don’t need a photo ID to vote in NH. I go to the poll & they say: show me a photo ID? Whaaaaa? #confusion.”
Actually, as it turns out, New Hampshire does have a new law requiring a photo ID. But if voters don’t have one, they can fill out an affidavit at the polls and still be allowed to vote, as the Secretary of State’s website explains.
What confusion have you seen at the polls on Tuesday? Download the NewsiT app and report on your experiences.
Good news! NewsiT version 2.2 has been released on Apple!
So what’s new on v2.2? You can now rate contributions to push the best to the top. You’ll also find advanced social sharing options and more. Check it out and please let us know what you think.
If you have not downloaded the free NewsiT app yet, now is the perfect time to try it. The election is heating up and there is a huge storm bearing down on the east coast. These stories and more are unfolding on NewsiT and we’d love for you to join in the conversation… and the fun.
Meanwhile, we’re hard at work on v2.3, which will debut in early November. We are excited to report that this release will feature a home screen. From here you’ll be able to see the latest from your NewsiT friends, be able to share content more widely and see how the community is rating your contributions and those of your friends.
We are constantly working to make NewsiT better. Stay tuned for more updates as they roll out.
Visit www.NewsiT.net to learn more and get the app.
YOU AND YOUR CROWD CAN TELL THE WORLD
Voter ID is a hot issue this Election. Voter laws have changed in many states. Confusion is growing amid legal challenges and claims the new laws will tilt a close race either way.
Will voters in your state know what they need to vote? Will poll workers carry out the right laws? Will they protect the vote or deprive citizens of their rights? Could it impact the results on Nov. 6th? Help tell the story. Here’s how:
- Download the NewsiT app. It’s free.
- Choose Voter ID as an interest
- Browse threads
- Contribute! Just tap the grey !T button and TelliT or SnapiT!
- Ask friends to help: Tap AskiT and share on Facebook and Twitter
- Use the #VoterID hashtag on Twitter
Your contributions will be published in real time on the NewsiT app and www.NewsiT.net where you can make news – and history!
When you vote, document what’s happening! What do poll workers ask you? Are they following the rules? Are people being turned away? Is there confusion?
1. Any problems with early voting? Mail in or absentee ballots?
2. Are Voter ID laws clear? How many people are being turned away? Why? Are people being allowed to vote without ID? If people forget their ID, what are they being told to do? Interview voters and ask them about their experiences.
3. Keep an eye out for voter intimidation or misinformation.
Share posts and photos by uploading to a thread – or creating a new thread in the NewsiT app. Vote elements up or down. Share with your friends!
Today, NewsiT launches its 2.0 iPhone and iPad apps.
We’ve worked hard this year to improve wildly on our original ‘minimum viable product’ - and for those of you who’ve been with us from the start, you’ll notice some very big differences.
A new ‘look and feel’, a complete re-think of the user experience, and improved architecture of what is now social, collaborative, interest-focused, and a full integration with Twitter and Facebook.
At NewsiT people come together around interests they share with people they trust. Threads evolve and update over time, breaking the fleeting nature of traditional news. Our algorithms bring Tweets into the mix, appearing within original crowd-sourced NewsiT threads. These Tweets are being mined and sorted for hyper-relevance to each thread, and you will see functionality improve daily - as our technology platform is increasingly able to discern - in real time - the validity, authenticity, relevance and factual accuracy of each contributed element.
A couple of notes for NewsiT members:
For those of you downloaded NewsiT’s original iPhone app (versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2), you will not get the new app as an update. This is a long story about Apple rules, and relates to the fact this is a native iPhone app and we did not, when submitted last week to Apple, support the iPad. But as of today, we ARE on iPad too!
To get the new app, you will have to download it again from the app store. It’s free and easy. You can get it here:
One other difference: You will need to login using either Twitter or Facebook.
You will also notice that the new website no longer supports content contribution. As more funds become available, this will change, but for the moment we have invested in iPhone and iPad, our powerful algorithms and we are hard at work on an API/SDK for our partners to use on their iPhones/iPads and websites. We will keep you posted.In the meantime, please ‘kick the tires’, contribute to threads, start threads, invite your friends, follow cool people … and tell us what you think. Ask your friends to check it out.
And meantime, we want to use your feedback to shape current development iterations. We are working hard on improving the back end functionality (in particular making sure the Tweets aggregate properly within feeds), adding other aspects like rating/ranking, game layer and more.
Watch out also for the 2.1 and 2.2 releases coming very soon - you will see continual improvements.
Melinda and our awesome team!
We’re so excited to give everybody a sneak peek at our next generation iPhone app. We anticipate it’s going to be available from September 21, touch wood…
Now you can discover facts and friends around interests you share with people you trust. You decide what interests you - and who you want to invite into your communities - and we make sure you have relevant, accurate ‘news you can use’ and trust. It’s fun, easy, and here’s what it looks like!