November 4th, 2008
10:19 AM ET
3 years ago

Soggy ballots challenging scanning machines in Chesapeake, VA

 Virginia voters faced rainy weather early Tuesday morning while waiting to vote.
Virginia voters faced rainy weather early Tuesday morning while waiting to vote.

(CNN) – Some voting machines are not working properly in Chesapeake, Virginia because of wet weather, according to voters and the State Board of Elections. Spokesman Ryan Enright confirmed the rain is throwing a wrench in the works in a few places that use optical-scan paper ballots.

He said ballots were getting soaked as water drips off wet voters walking into polling stations. That makes the scanner unable to read a ballot.

The Virginia State Board of Elections is encouraging all voters to dry off before filing out ballots to avoid problems.

And to solve the problem of wet ballots, the polling station is collecting them in a secure container next to the polling machine. Once dried, these ballots will be tabulated by officials, Enright said.

He added that while this will mean a longer processing time for election officials, it should not affect voters and their wait time.


Filed under: Virginia • Voter Problems
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Kathy Virginia Beach VA

    I got in line at 5:35 in the pouring rain, and finally voted at 7:00..other people I work with waited 3 hours in line. The weather isn't discouraging people here. I wouldn't want to see how long the lines will be at 5:00pm.

    November 4, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Michelle

    I live in Chesapeake and its a sad thing that the Republicans in this state are that hard pressed for votes. This is Florida all over again. OBAMA/BIDEN 2008. Lets get it!!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. ouch

    Ouch

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Jarrid

    Here we go again. Voting problems at the polls. Looks like they are trying to steal it again. I predict were are going to see this happen in more states. Not just Virginia...

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Alex

    I guess the republicans made it rain too....Come on people, quit whining!

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Jas87

    I find it ridiculously hard to believe that America, one of the most technologically advanced and intellectually gifted nations of the world STILL cannot get it right when it comes to voting!! Soaking wet ballots? Give me a break! Penguins in Antarctica would have less problems voting.

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. bruce

    unbelievable...in this country we cannot figure out how to make the voting process work.
    We either ned to go to paper ballots, or go back to the old fashioned lever machines. I am 54 years ond never rememeber having issues with the count of the old type machines.
    Funny though that all the voting issues are in swing states that mccain needs...
    do not give up wait and vote..

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Republican and proud of it

    @ John in Ohio:

    That's right, Republicans can make it rain. Grow up.

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Bourne

    I voted in the Larchmont section of Norfolk, VA this morning and a few stations had to be rebooted and paper ballots issued...I hope there aren't any problems to arise from that.

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Obama all the way....

    As if we weren't the laughing stock of the world for the last 8 years based on our last President- we are surely the laughing stock today knowing that the biggest proponent of democracy in the world-can't even get their own voting system to work correctly!!!

    What a joke!

    November 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. 1 For Obama in VA

    I just voted in Chesapeake, VA on an electronic touch screen machine. Why couldn't they have this available for all voting stations. There is no need to have paper ballets, now when everything is done by computer. This is suspect. Let's stop the trickery, and grow up. Don't steal this one...may the best man win!!

    Obama '08

    November 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Ian Woo

    Hey Noah, it was on the front page of cnn.com earlier today. Now shut up.

    November 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. mark

    What did the republicans make it rain?? How are they responsible for the wet ballot causing problems. You have to love Obama supporters no brain idiots. Yes it is a conspiracy republicans control the weather!!! Bush must be making it rain!!

    November 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Charleen James

    Not this time! God Bless America!

    November 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. PUCK615 in Maryland

    VOTE!

    ! Get out there and exercise your God-given privilege as a U.S. citizen !

    VOTE!!

    We, all the citizens of the United States of America, thank you.

    VOTE!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. SUSAN WALLACE

    I live in Chesapeake Va. I stood in line for 3 hours in the rain. A towel would not have been enough for the 100's of up out there. We were young old and black and white. The lady holding the umbrella for me was voting for McCain and I for Obama. We are all out there together. So really it was not the media or the machines.

    November 4, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Steve - Richmond, VA

    Yes blame the Republicans of "stealing" the Virginia election because of the rain!!

    November 4, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. jeff

    i cant believe you stupid republics are calling everything liberal media...think of this fox news is always saying false things about obama because they are the most bias media out there. There will be false comments and other things on both sides get over it and stop complaining. If you want to complain then complain about mccain being a racist running a racist campaign. I cant see how anyone can support mccain when his own party doesnt support him. All i have to say is think before you vote

    November 4, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. scarlette ballard

    We can see corruption when it comes in the form of wet ballots. That is what happened in Florida when the popular vote did not matter and we got stuck with Bush. Whats next republicans? History repeating itself? We don't buy it. Barrack the vote

    November 4, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Raquel

    I'm sick of the way things are going, Republicans won't steal my joy! OBAMA 08!

    November 4, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. brian

    Noah – look at the NY Times homepage.

    November 4, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. Roberto Antonio

    The republicans are trying to steal the elections??????

    Lets think about that comment…… first the Democrats refuse to enforce a photo ID to verify the identity of the voter, and right after we have ACRON registering hundred of thousands of illegal voters. THINK!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Melissa from Virginia

    Its amazing to see how angry the right-wingers are knowing they are probably going to lose this election. Turn Virginia blue!!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. tom

    This is where my precinct is.

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Lynne Danley

    Everyone should do it like we do in Oregon. Our ballots are mailed in under a tightly controlled process. No lines, no going out in bad weather, no leaving work or the kids, no hanging chads or polling place/voter irregularities. It makes so much sense I wonder everyone doesn't do it!

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8