EXPLAINER: Why did Arizona have voting slowdowns? One state after another, from California to North Carolina and on to Maine, the day after election day saw voting districts in states such as Alaska shift up or down on election day, a phenomenon that some experts say is linked to the national political upheaval.
In California, the day after the presidential election, election officials moved the polling places for more than a thousand people in heavily Latino areas. In North Carolina, a day after the election, state election officials put polling places in minority districts in three counties up for grabs; the number of people whose voting was canceled grew to 5,000 over the course of the day. And in Maine, the day after the election, an election official in Portland changed voting hours for hundreds of people in minority areas and moved them to one of the city’s other polling places.
Experts say the voting changes often occur in the days after the election, when the mood is most unstable, that they are hard to attribute to partisan politics, and that they are usually driven by local officials trying to protect their political turf.
In Arizona, the day after the election, officials saw a 3.4 percent increase in the number of vote-by-mail ballots sent in a district where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a small margin, despite an earlier announcement that the mail-in ballots would not be delivered. The state’s Secretary of State initially said that the increase was a one-time glitch, but then later said that the number was caused by an additional post office in the area that was not fully operational.
In Maryland, the day after the election, the state’s elections board said that an election official in Frederick County incorrectly sent ballots back after a person who voted in the wrong precinct had cast them. The state board then said that the county elections chief had changed how ballots were counted, causing the glitch.
“It’s just a sign of instability and chaos when there’s a vote fraud,” said Daniel Tokaji, director of voting and elections for the left-leaning Election