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POLLING PLACE problemS

Long waits, misleading robocalls to voters

WASHINGTON — Voters in key states such as Florida and Virginia waited in long lines hours after polls closed Tuesday night to cast ballots, even as politicians and their supporters urged them not to give up despite the long delays.

In Florida, where Republican officials cut back the number of days of early voting, there were waits of more than four hours at some polling places. There were also waits of up to four hours in Prince William County, Va., election officials said.

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One Florida elections office, in Pinellas County, mistakenly told voters in automated phone calls that the election was on Wednesday.

The start of vote-counting was delayed beyond scheduled poll-closing times in some locations, as voters already in line were allowed to cast ballots.

Candidates turned to social media to encourage voters through the long wait. ‘‘StayInLine,’’ tweeted Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin allow voters who were in line when polls closed to cast ballots.

High turnout rather than glitches or problems appeared to be the cause of the long lines, but there were plenty of other problems around the country.

Many were in Pennsylvania, including a confrontation involving Republican inspectors over access to some polls and a voting machine that lit up for Republican Mitt Romney even when one voter pressed the button for President Obama.

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