Election roundup

Voting problems in Maryland; Clinton and Spitzer walk in New York.

Published September 13, 2006 1:09PM (EDT)

Rhode Islanders weren't the only ones voting Tuesday. In other primary news:

Maryland: As the Baltimore Sun reports this morning, Marlyand's first attempt to use electronic voting machines statewide suffered "major glitches" that "frustrated thousands of would-be voters" and forced election officials in two counties to extend polling hours. Among the problems: Poll workers didn't show up for duty, and when they did, they struggled with "a balky new electronic voter list, which at times erroneously declared a voter had already cast a ballot."

There have also been problems in counting ballots, leading to delays in determining winners. Rep. Benjamin Cardin is currently leading Kweisi Mfume, 47-38 percent, in the race to run against Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele for Paul Sarbanes' Senate seat, but only 93 percent of the precincts have reported and there are still a lot of Democratic absentee ballots to count. Sarbanes' son, John Sarbanes, was leading in the Democratic primary for Cardin's seat, and Donna Edwards remains in a neck-and-neck primary race against incumbent Democratic Rep. Al Wynn. Edwards, a blogger favorite, attacked Wynn for his support of the Iraq war and for cozying up too much to the president.

New York: Eliot Spitzer walked to a victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Hillary Clinton strolled to a win in her Senate primary and Andrew Cuomo beat out Mark Green for the right to run for attorney general. The New York Times declares this morning that the state's Democratic Party is in its "strongest shape in 12 years" and " uniting politically in hopes of making postwar history this November with a sweep of top statewide offices."

Minnesota: State Rep. Keith Ellison won the Democratic primary for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District. If he carries the heavily Democratic district in November -- he should -- he'll become the first Muslim in the U.S. Congress.

Arizona: Sen. Lincoln Chafee held off a challenge from the right in Rhode Island, but moderate Republican Steve Huffman couldn't defeat his party's hard-liners in Arizona. Conservative Randy Graf won the GOP nomination for the state's 8th Congressional District, leaving Republicans worried that they may just have handed the open seat to the Democrats' nominee, former state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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