US elections officials brace for voting problems
Election officials across the US braced for record turnout on Tuesday in a historic presidential race, hoping to avoid the long lines and malfunctioning machines that scarred previous contests for the White House. Lawsuits alleging voter suppression surfaced in the hotly contested state of Virginia. A judge refused late Monday to extend poll hours and to add voting machines to black precincts in some areas. Civil rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in a federal lawsuit, demanded those changes, saying minority neighborhoods would experience overwhelming turnout and there weren't enough electronic machines. US District Judge Richard Williams denied the motion for a preliminary injunction, but ordered election officials to publicize that people in line by 7 p.m., the polls' closing time, would be allowed to cast ballots. Republican John McCain's campaign sued the Virginia electoral board hours before polls opened, trying to force the state to count late-arriving military ballots from overseas.
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