Voting Officials: Voters, Precincts Deal with some Challenges
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -
Election officials admit there were some technical challenges and confusion at the polls Tuesday. Precincts - and voters - had a few hurdles to face.
Tuesday afternoon, election officials discussed malfunctions with dozens of polling machines. Some voters were even turned away due to a misunderstanding with the new voter ID law. With a reported 36 polling machines out of service due to touch screen failures, and a handful of voters rejected from casting ballots in Virginia.
"And, um, it's been an interesting day so far,” said Chairman on the State Board of Elections, Charlie Judd.
Elections officials hope this cycle does not foreshadow the presidential election in 2016.
"We are using machines - this is probably a good example - that are older than some of the voters using the machines. I hope that somehow for the record this gets to the General Assembly,” said Judd.
At the State Board of Elections briefings on Tuesday, officials hashed out lapses in the system. They worry that dated equipment, that underwent the proper pre-testing protocol, represent a flaw across Virginia.
"It's a known issue,” said Egardo Cortes, Department of Elections commissioner.
While elections officials report that the new photo ID law in Virginia went relatively smoothly, isolated incidents took place. Sprinkled across the commonwealth, volunteers wrongly told registered voters they could not submit ballots without the ID. That was incorrect. Provisional ballots can still be cast until Friday if voters hurry to their registrars and apply for a free photo ID.
Meanwhile in the eastern part of Virginia, those working precincts will have a late night tallying results the old-fashioned, paper way.
With touch screens, voters do have the option of verifying the screen before submitting. However, if someone rushes through in light of the calibration problem - there is no way to change a ballot once it has been cast.
Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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