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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Problems At the Polls in Florida

MIAMI -- Florida's first big test of its new elections system turned into a nightmare during primary elections Wednesday as polling stations opened late and dramatic problems cropped up with the touchscreen voting machines brought in after the 2000 presidential election debacle.

"It's shameful," Governor Jeb Bush said. "The state put up money -- significant sums of money -- for training, for machines. ... There's no excuse for not having precinct workers in a precinct for voting, no excuse for not turning on the machines."

Florida changed voting laws and spent $32 million to reform its election system after the 2000 presidential election was marred by confusing ballots and punchcards that failed to properly record votes. That led to a disputed presidential recount that gave George W. Bush a razor-thin victory.

Problems were reported in 14 of Florida's 67 counties, including six of the seven that were sued after the 2000 vote. The glitches ran the gamut: ballots jamming and tearing in machines, workers unable to get machines working for hours, at least 600 people leaving polls without casting votes, Democratic voters given Republican ballots.

"It's deja vu all over again," said Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe. "Even before the polls closed, we know that election reform in Florida has failed its first test."