Final polls close on continent, only AK remains

[JURIST Election Special] 11:00 PM ET - Polls have closed in California, Hawaii, western Idaho, western North Dakota, western Oregon and Washington, leaving only Alaska residents still casting ballots.

11:15 PM ET - Rather than challenges to voters arising, a major issue cropping up today appears to be a shortage of provisional ballots. The shortage was particularly problematic in Pittsburgh, where turnout was much higher than in 2000. JURIST Staffer Liza Hall was present at a polling station in Pittsburgh today, and she reported the shortage of provisional ballots was especially problematic. Hall said each polling station received only 12 provisional ballots, with the station where she was observing running out by 11 AM. A number of voters at that Wilkinsburg station were turned away due to the shortage. In New Mexico, KRQE-TV is reporting a provisional ballot shortage as well.

11:20 PM ET - Colorado's Amendment 36 on whether to switch the state's nine electoral votes to a proportional system has failed, with 65% of voters opposing it.

11:40 PM ET - With Florida increasingly looking to go to Bush, Ohio remains a key state for Kerry. With 62% precincts reporting:

Bush - 1,777,749 - 52%
Kerry - 1,642,620 - 48%

Reuters reports that ballot confusion remained as results were tallied there this evening.

11:55 PM ET - The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay a lower court order extending hours at polling stations in two Ohio counties and requiring officials to provide paper ballots to ensure people had an opportunity to vote. Read the 6th Circuit's order [PDF]. The Columbus Dispatch has more.

Ohio likely remains the key state in the outcome. The Ohio Secretary of State has Bush up 52 to 47 percent with almost three quarters of precincts reporting.

That's all for me from the anchor chair. Taking over from 12 to 2 AM is D. Wes Rist.

 

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