By Deborah Hastings, The Associated Press, November 2, 2004
Machines malfunctioned, tempers flared and edgy voters often waited hours Tuesday to pick a president in a contentious race watched by thousands of monitors who expected the worst.
In Pennsylvania, zealous GOP election monitors complained that some Philadelphia voting machines already had thousands of recorded votes when the polls opened at 7 a.m.
Local election officials quickly explained that voting machines registered every vote ever cast on them — like mileage on a car odometer — and that did not constitute evidence of fraud.
"It's absolutely ridiculous," said Deputy City Commissioner Ed Schulgen.
But in New Orleans, problems with electronic machines, some of which did not boot up, forced precinct workers to tell voters they would have to come back, said voting activists.
"New Orleans wins the award for the worst voting situation in the country when it comes from electronic voting machines," said Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.