Update: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016
Poll workers erroneously notified voters at one location in the Brightside area Tuesday morning that they could not use their LSU identification cards to vote, an East Baton Rouge Parish elections official said.
But Brandon Abadie, East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's Office elections administrator, the mistake was corrected Tuesday morning after it was brought to his office's attention. The workers were informed to stop telling voters that they could not the school ID's.
State law requires that voters provide a picture identification with a signature. For many years, LSU's and many other state college's ID's did not meet that requirement.
But Gov. John Bel Edwards signed legislation into law June 10 that will require public universities have both the necessary head shot and signature so the ID cards can be used for voting.
The law does not take effect until Jan. 1, 2019, but LSU chose to issue ID's this fall that comply with the new state requirements.
Justin DiCharia, 22, an LSU law student who lives off Brightside, said he heard a poll worker announced to a line of voters about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday that LSU student identification would not be accepted at the Louisiana School for the Deaf poll location.
"She repeated it again, 'We are not accepting an LSU ID and then went back to the polling place,'" DiCharia said.
DiCharia said that his LSU identification does not have his signature but he was able to vote because he had his driver's license. He said he didn't think much of the announcement at the time until some pointed out the changed law to him on social media.
Abadie said that elections officials were aware of the new law but did not realize that LSU had started issuing compliant identification this fall.
He said there were no reports of that erroneous announcement occurring at other poll locations.
Update: 6:45 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016
A video widely shared on social media shows a former Baton Rouge woman apparently unable to cast a vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday, though the state voting machine appears to light up and accept a vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton moments later.
Meg Capser, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Secretary of State's office, said state elections officials were notified of the problem and called the woman's polling precinct in Shreveport, where she lives now, and were told no issues had been reported.
The office sent a technician to try to replicate the problem anyway and he was unable to do so. Casper said state elections officials were also able to speak with the woman who said that, despite her video, she was still able to vote for the candidate of her choice.
Casper said state elections officials have been responding to similar concerns through the day and tracking them down but has not been able to replicate any of them.
"We have had no verified reports of anything like that," Casper said.
Attempts to reach the woman through Facebook were unsuccessful Tuesday. Her phone number was not available.
The video was picked up by local newspaper publisher and former state legislator Woody Jenkins and shared on Facebook. Some Baton Rouge commenters suggested others had similar problems in Baton Rouge.
But Brandon Abadie, East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's Office elections administrator, said no such reports had been made to his office Tuesday.
Update: 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016
Voting machine delivery contractors working for the state switched voting machines for two precincts east of Ponchatoula and three voters cast ballots on the wrong machines before the problem was caught early Tuesday, a Tangipahoa Parish election official said.
Despite the early mistake, the two precincts at the Martha Vinyard Elementary School polling place have the exact same ballots, the official said.
"They didn't vote on anything that they shouldn't have," said Alicia Fussell, election supervisor for the Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Court's Office. She stressed the three voters' ballots would be counted.
She said the mix-up of eight machines by the drayage contractor — four total for each precinct — ended up causing some early delays in voting Tuesday morning as well.
Fussell said poll workers had to act quickly to correct the problem and called the situation, at one point, "mass confusion" as voters already waiting in line didn't understand what was going on. Elections officials showed up Tuesday morning to supervise the vote for a few hours after the problem came to light.
The mix-up affected precincts 145 and 151. The three voters were from precinct 151 but cast ballots on machines intended for precinct 145. She said the machines, which were delivered some time Monday, have serial numbers that tie them to specific precincts.
Fussell said the Vinyard Elementary polling site covers three precincts with a large number of voters in each precinct. She said the wait for precinct 145 lasted an hour at one point this morning but noted voting has been strong parish-wide.
"I would say it's been very heavy," Fussell said.
She said the wait in precinct 143 at the Chappapeela Park polling place between Hammond and Ponchatoula was reported to her to be, at one point, up to two hours long.
Update: 2 p.m.
Lunchtime lines were short and swift at the Juban Crossing super precinct Tuesday.
The shopping center served as a temporary polling location for nine Denham Springs-area precincts displaced by the August flood. Those precincts are usually housed at Denham Springs Elementary, Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High, all of which remain closed for repairs.
Poll workers at the super precinct said there was a rush of voters early Tuesday morning, with lines overflowing the converted corner retail space and streaming halfway down the block toward Rouses, but by noon, the crowds had ebbed to a steady trickle.
Officials were preparing for another rush of voters in the late afternoon, as people left work for the day and stopped at the polls on their way home.
Update: 10:40 a.m. East Baton Rouge Parish's lead elections official reported heavy voting this morning as workers encountered a few issues with a poll location and scattered voting machines.
Brandon Abadie, the parish Clerk of Court's administrator of elections, said five or six voting machines were having problems powering up this morning. Also, the polling location at Labelle Aire Elementary School on Tams Drive did not have electricity, though the battery-powered voting machines continued operating, he said.
"It's normal for all elections. I didn't have anything that was out of the norm this morning," Abadie said.
He said the powering-up issue is common with the battery-powered voting machines. Abadie said poll workers were instructed to call for assistance from technicians with the Secretary of State's Office before allowing voting to occur on a machine that had a problem powering up.
"We don't take any chances, so we make sure the technician certifies it before we allow anyone to vote on it," Abadie said.
He said most poll locations have two or three machines so voting could continue while the problem machines were being checked. More than 750 voting machines are at poll locations parishwide, Abadie said.
When poll workers arrived this morning at Labelle Aire Elementary School before voting started, they did not have electricity in the building.
Abadie said election officials sent over a generator so people would not have to vote in the dark and were preparing to send a second generator when Entergy restored power. The voting machines' batteries allowed ballots to continue to be cast without power in the building.
Meg Casper, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's Office, said she was notified power returned at 8:40 a.m.
Abadie said that by mid-morning, no other issues with machines had been reported parishwide.
Original: 8:40 a.m.
Voting machines for two Livingston Parish precincts were switched by mistake Tuesday morning, forcing voters who arrived when the polls were supposed to open at 6 a.m. to stand around and wait for the error to be corrected, election officials confirmed.
The machines for Gray's Creek Elementary and Juban Parc Junior High were discovered to have been swapped before 6 a.m., Secretary of State spokeswoman Meg Casper said.
Casper could not confirm what time the error was corrected and people at those locations could begin voting.
Casper also could not confirm whether a similar problem occurred at Precinct 145 in Ponchatoula, where one voter called in to WWL radio to report that machines were still being shuffled in and out at 6:15 a.m.