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Election Day latest: Thousands of Georgia voters wait at least 3 hours to cast their ballot

Election Day latest: Thousands of Georgia voters wait at least 3 hours to cast their ballot Advertisement ...

Election Day latest: Thousands of Georgia voters wait at least 3 hours to cast their ballot

Advertisement Election latest: Voting hours extended in Atlanta area Advertisement Election latest: Voting hours extended in Atlanta area

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6:33 p.m. ET

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Anyone who has received a text message about polls closing early in Pennsylvania is being advised that it is not true, and that the polls will remain open until 8 p.m. as normal.

Common Cause Pennsylvania tweeted that it has been alerted about "a misleading mass text effort to PA voters saying polls are closing early" Tuesday evening.

The false alert was also being flagged by the Election Protection call center in Washington, D.C. Voters are reminded that polls will close at 8 p.m. Anyone who is in line by that time will be allowed to vote.

5:30 p.m. ET

Health care and immigration were high on voters' minds as they cast ballots in the midterm elections, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate conducted by The Associated Press.

A majority of voters considered President Donald Trump a factor in their votes.

Similarly, a majority of voters overall say the country is headed in the wrong directio n. Still, about two-thirds say the economy is good.

With control of the Senate and the House of Representatives at stake, Trump encouraged voters to view the first nationwide election of his presidency as a referendum on his leadership.

5:08 p.m. ET

By Tuesday afternoon, the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline had received some 17,500 calls from voters experiencing problems at their polling places.

Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which helps run the hotline, says that is on par with the number of calls received during a presidential election. The hotline had received about 10,400 calls by the same time during the last midterm election in 2014.

Clarke says most reports of voting problems were connected to malfunctioning voting machines.

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4:05 p.m. ET

A man is accused of threatening to shoot workers at a western Pennsylvania polling place after they told him he wasn't registered to vote.

Christopher T. Queen, 48, of Claysville, was charged Tuesday with terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

Washington County assistant elections director Melanie Ostrander says Quinn came to the South Franklin Volunteer Fire Department in South Franklin Township at about 9 a.m. Tuesday. She says he became irate when he was told he wasn't registered to vote.

Christopher Queen

Ostrander says the man allegedly "became upset, told the poll workers he was going to go get a gun and come back and shoot them."

Court documents don't list an attorney for Queen and a phone number listed in his name rang unanswered before disconnecting Tuesday.

1:00 p.m. ET

Some voters in one of Georgia’s most diverse counties are reporting that they’ve had to wait more than three hours to cast their ballots at a polling place in Snellville, east of Atlanta.

Ontaria Woods said she arrived at Annistown Elementary School at 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote. More than three hours later, she was still waiting, with roughly 75 to 100 people in line. She said she witnessed about two dozen people leave in frustration without voting because of the long wait.

Joe Sorenson, a spokesman for the Gwinnett County, Georgia, supervisor of elections, said he can’t confirm the wait times, but he says four precincts have had i ssues with “express polls,” which create cards that amount to electronic ballots.

Reports out of Fulton, Clayton and Gwinnett County say polling places are vastly underprepared for the high voter turnout. Broken voting machines are also being reported as the delays continue to affect thousands of Georgia voters.

10:25 a.m. ET

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes the outcome of the U.S. midterm election will ease domestic tensions in the United States and enable Washington to focus on global issues.

Speaking to reporters in Madrid on Tuesday, Lavrov lamented that Russian-American ties have become “hostage to internal political squabbles in America.”

Lavrov said he is hopeful that the elections will help stabilize domestic politics in the U.S. “so that Washington could concentrate on some positive steps on the international arena.”

Lavrov also reiterated Moscow’s position that it is not me ddling in U.S. elections.

He said, “All the accusations that we will be meddling in today’s elections turned out to be empty statements.”

9:25 a.m. ET

Severe weather in several Southern states could affect voter turnout on Election Day.

A line of storms moved through the Deep South overnight and early Tuesday morning, knocking down trees and power lines from Louisiana to South Carolina. There were no serious injuries but an estimated 11,000 residents were left without electricity.

A separate storm front in central Tennessee overnight killed one person, injured two others and also left thousands without power.

The National Weather Service warned of a possibility of high winds, severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes Tuesday around Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Dry weather was forecast for the West and Southwest, but significant snow accumulations were expected across the northern Ro ckies.

Previous story below

A turbulent election season that tested President Donald Trump's slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era.

With voters going to the polls Tuesday, nothing is certain.

Anxious Republicans privately expressed confidence in their narrow Senate majority but feared the House was slipping away. Trump, the GOP's chief messenger, warned that significant Democratic victories would trigger devastating consequences.

5 things to watch on Election Day

"If the radical Democrats take power they will take a wrecking ball to our economy and our future," Trump declared in Cleveland, using the same heated rhetoric that has defined much of his presidency. He added: "The Democrat agenda is a socialist nightmare."

Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they predicted victories that would break up the GOP's monopoly in Washington and state governments.

"They've had two years to find out what it's like to have an unhinged person in the White House," said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who leads the Democratic Governors Association. "It's an awakening of the Democratic Party."

Democrats could derail Trump's legislative agenda for the next two years should they win control of the House or the Senate. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to inve stigate Trump's personal and professional shortcomings.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns. Others have pledged to pursue impeachment, although removal from office is unlikely so long as the GOP controls the Senate or even maintains a healthy minority.

Democrats' fate depends upon a delicate coalition of infrequent voters â€" particularly young people and minorities â€" who traditionally shun midterm elections.

If ever there was an off-year election for younger voters to break tradition, this is it. Young voters promised to vote in record numbers as they waged mass protests in the wake of the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 students and staff dead.

Democrats are drawing strength from women and college-educated voters in general, who swung decidedly against Trump since his election. Polling suggests the Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree.

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot.

Three states could elect their first African-American governors, while several others are running LGBT candidates and Muslims. A record number of women are also running for Senate, House, governorships and state legislative seats.

"The vast majority of women voters are angry, frustrated and they are really done with seeing where the Republican Party is taking them, particularly as it related to heath care and civility," said Stephanie Schriock, who leads EMILY's List, a group that help elect Democratic women. "You're going to see the largest gender gap we've ever seen."

The political realignment, defined by race, gender and education, could re-shape U.S. politics for a generation. The demographic shifts also reflect each party's closing argument.

While the economy continues to thrive, Trump has spent much of the campaign's final days railing against a caravan of Lat in American immigrants seeking asylum at the U.S. border. He dispatched more than 5,000 troops to the region, suggesting soldiers would use lethal force against migrants who throw rocks, before later reversing himself.

Republicans have privately encouraged the president to back off, to no avail.

Democrats, meanwhile, have beat their drum on health care.

"Health care is on the ballot," former President Barack Obama told Democratic volunteers in Virginia. "Health care for millions of people. You vote, you might save a life."

Tuesday's results will be colored by the dramatically different landscapes in the fight for the House and Senate.

Most top House races are set in America's suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Trump's presidency, despite the strength of the national economy. Democrats were buoyed by a wave of Republican retirements and an overwhelming fundraising advantage.

They need to pick up two dozen seats to claim the House majority.

Democrats face a far more difficult challenge in the Senate, where they are almost exclusively on defense in rural states where Trump remains popular. Democratic Senate incumbents are up for re-election, for example, in North Dakota, West Virginia and Montana â€" states Trump carried by 30 percentage points on average two years ago.

Democrats need to win two seats to claim the Senate majority.

Given Trump's stunning victory in 2016, few were confident in their predictions.

"I feel less comfortable making a prediction today than I have in two decades," Republican pollster Frank Luntz said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Source: Google News | Netizen 24 United States

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