For some reason, she said, when the service didn't reach some 12,000 voters Monday, it then called them again on Tuesday between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. with the same message. Whitlock said another message then went out to the same 12,000 voters, telling them that Tuesday was the correct day to vote.
Back in Ohio, officials in Franklin County--where the capital city of Columbus is located--barred the tea-party linked True the Vote group from monitoring polling places because applications to do so weren't filed properly.
Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Ben Piscitelli said Tuesday that managers were instructed to keep True the Vote representatives from the polls in the Columbus area because of the application problem.
Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the Houston-based group, claimed the Ohio Democratic Party was behind pressure that led several local Ohio candidates to withdraw their permission for the group's members to act as election observers.
Elsewhere, the Election Protection coalition reported problems with ballot scanners in the Ohio cities of Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo; late-opening polling places in minority neighborhoods in Galveston, Texas; and some precincts in the Tampa, Fla., area where voters are being redirected to another polling place where they must cast a provisional ballot.
Meanwhile, voters in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey expressed relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Lines were long in Point Pleasant, N.J., where residents from the Jersey Shore communities of Point Pleasant Beach and Mantoloking had to cast their ballots due to damage in their hometowns. Many people still have no power eight days after Sandy pummeled the shore.
"Nothing is more important than voting. What is the connection between voting and this?" said Alex Shamis, a resident of hard-hit Staten Island, gesturing to his mud-filled home.
Any voting problems are being closely monitored after months of legal and political battles over more voter ID restrictions and other laws, mostly fruitless hunts for supposedly ineligible people on voting rolls in many states and sustained claims that black and Hispanic voters are being targeted for intimidation and suppression.
Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said even in states where the restrictive laws have been blocked or delayed, many people still think they are in effect.
"The laws were struck down but the confusion remains," Waldman said.
Many of these issues could resurface in the courts after Tuesday, particularly if the race between Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is too close to call or heads for a recount in states such as Ohio or Florida.
The Justice Department will have at least 780 observers at key polling places in 23 states to ensure compliance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act and look into any allegations of voter fraud.
Provisional ballots were the latest legal skirmish in the critical battleground state of Ohio, where Secretary of State Jon Husted's decision on how they can be cast was challenged in federal court. Advocates and lawyers for labor unions contend Husted's order would lead to some provisional ballots being rejected improperly because the burden of recording the form of ID used on a provisional ballot is being placed on voters, not poll workers as in the past.
A provisional vote allows a person to have his or her say, but the ballot is subject to review and verification of eligibility. A court hearing was set for Wednesday on the issue. Provisional ballots cannot be counted in Ohio before Nov. 17.