JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri – Problems with polling station equipment in the most populous county of Missouri led some voters to turn away in frustration on Tuesday without voting in a presidential primary that defined the race democracy between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
After a difficult start that affected at least the first hour of voting, election officials in St. Louis County had not reported any additional problems with their new equipment. But in the city of Saint-Louis, a polling station had to be closed after a man who had just voted supported his vehicle in the building, returned, and began to spill equipment.
No one was injured in the incident and the police arrested the man, but it took almost an hour before voters could be redirected to another polling station, said St. Louis chief electoral officer Gary Stoff.
I don't think there is anything about his vote – at least he gave no indication – that prompted him to explode as he did said Stoff.
It is not known if the unusual incident scared anyone from voting. But earlier today, some voters walked away after the St. Louis County electronic voting books, which are used to register people, had trouble synchronizing with the county system. The problem was exacerbated when some polling officers failed to switch to a manual system for printing the ballots.
They were confused, "said St. Louis County chief electoral officer Rick Stream. The voters left, they had to go to work. It's ours, we should have made everything work properly.
Stream estimated that people had reported problems in at least 50 of the approximately 400 county polling stations. He said problems could have occurred at more sites, but just weren't reported.
Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas also reported voting problems in his city – with his own ballot. Lucas said he was having trouble voting at his polling place because workers could not find his name on the voter registration list. He said it turned out that his name had been entered backwards – with his last name listed as his first name.
Despite a few glitches, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said that the primary elections had gone fairly well overall.
Missouri was one of several states hosting presidential primaries on Tuesday, along with Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota and Washington. Former Vice President Biden was looking to build on the momentum of last week's major wins in what has essentially become a face-to-face battle with Vermont senator Sanders.
But Missouri has a recent history of close Democratic primaries. In 2016, Sanders lost by less than 2,000 votes to the future Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Some Missouri voters who voted for Biden said they were doing it because they thought it could better compete with Republican President Donald Trump.
The number one problem for me is eligibility, and I think Biden has a better chance of defeating Trump, said Donald Lancasty, a 69-year-old retiree who voted Tuesday in a church across from the campus. 39; University of Missouri-Kansas City. .
Keith Williams, a 72-year-old black resident of Ferguson, also voted for Biden, citing his experience and sympathy. However, it is not sure that Biden or anyone will beat Trump.
I'm going to vote for Biden in November, but I don't think Trump will lose, said Williams shaking his head.
Patrick Sanders, a 22-year-old English student at the university, said he had voted for the presidential candidate with his same last name, in part because of his ideas for expanding coverage of Health care.
There is a chance with him of something different, which is much more optimistic than what we have now, "said Sanders.
Concerns over the coronavirus forced late jamming of plans in Kansas City and St. Louis County, when two retirement homes ceased to serve as voting sites less than 24 hours before the offices opened ballot. Election officials posted signs at the facility to redirect voters to a nearby church in Kansas City and a union hall in the suburbs of St. Louis. About 150 of the 3,200 polling officers in the St. Louis County polling station canceled shortly before the election due to coronavirus problems, as did 77 of the approximately 800 polling officers in Kansas City, officials said. local electoral authorities.
Some polling stations provided voters with a hand sanitizer and stocked up on disinfectant wipes for equipment and pens. Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller said special gloves were available so people could log in or vote on touch screens, and voters were also asked to bring their own pens to mark the ballots.
We want them to feel comfortable exercising their right to vote, "said Schoeller.
Whoever wins the Missouri primary could face a tough battle to bring the state in November against Trump. The last Democrat to wear Missouri was President Bill Clinton in 1996. Barack Obama narrowly lost to Missouri in 2008, but the state has become a definitive Republican since then. Mitt Romney wore Missouri by 9 percentage points in 2012, and Trump won the state by 19 percentage points on the road to victory in 2016.
Missouri has long been considered a belligerent state until the recent trend. Missouri voted for the winning presidential candidate each time, but once in the 1900s, missing only in 1956 when it chose Democrat Adlai Stevenson instead of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.
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