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. BradAllen

    John in Ohio...........................your a Pinhead.

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Jeff4rey

    .I'm not voting for either of the major candidates so it's very interesting to see the high tension tactics coming from conservative talk shows and their listeners. The level of exaggeration challenges their credibility and stifles open thought and conversation.
    They are desperate and lying to themselves if they believe most of what they are saying

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Ferd Berfall

    I hate Obama and everything he stands for. All you idiots that vote for him will pay dearly for your stupidity..When gas is $10 Gallon, December electric bills over $300 dollars because coal industry destroyed, unemployment over 10% and your minimum wage job gone......be carefull what you wish for, you might get it....LOSSSSSSSERS....

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. theresa

    To Noah: The republicans have already ruined this country and its standing in the world. Where have you been the last 8 years, under a rock?? Millions out of work, the economy in the sewer, everyone hates us (except maybe China – we owe them billions of dollars and import their melamine tainted food and products). As far as Troopergate – the election today is much more important. Most of America knows Palin is a right-wing nut radical and can't be trusted anyway.

    November 4, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. NCGirl03

    Are they handing out ballots to people in line? One would think they would hand them a paper towel and then a ballot?!?!?!?

    Opening the door for a legal issue either way.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Independent Voter

    please be patient...this election depends on it. if your hands are wet, wipe them; if the paper is wet, blot it but please, do all you can to make your vote count. we need you – it's our time! God Bless You and Keep You All.

    Voted Early in Florida for President Elect Obama!

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Tom in VA

    LOL, the comments on the Reps trying to steal the election again are too funny.

    Those areas in Chesapeake with the paper ballots, they are primarily Republican.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Liberal

    Boo Hoo the media is so liberal and unfair wah wah.

    Give it a rest, you election stealing, dimpled chad rejecting, lipstick wearing war pigs. I've had about enough of your bellyaching.

    If Sarah Palin didn't want to be opened up to criticism, then she should stick to her PTA meetings and her Todd Palin shadow governorship.

    I'd normally be inclined to be a little nicer, but CNN won't post this anyway.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Robert

    OK OK now. I'm voting for Obama, but did you people read. Water is dripping off of wet people. They are not being handed wet ballots. It makes sense that a machine that scans dry ballots might have difficulty reading a wet one. I don't think it is a fix.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Marco from Montreal

    If Rove says it, it must be true! Why is there always some big drama and really suspicious behavior in the voting process on each election day? I haven't been to the states since 8 years. Hopefully I will be able to stop this boycott once the GOP are out of there for a little while.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. stephanie

    I predict riots if this is stolen again. Americans can't even trust that their vote is safe. So what were those thousands of deaths in the 1800s for? come on people. let americans make a true choice.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Shaun

    Noah, Palin was not cleared of wrongdoing by the bi-partisan legislative investigation, in fact she was found to have violated ethics rules. This 'clearing' she received was from a 3 person personnel board made of people who serve at her whim. What it is, is a biased manipulation that is trying to confuse and deceive voters, and clearly from your comments it has worked to some degree. I suggest you research a little more next time, b/c allegations of 'liberals' this and that just make you sound ignorant.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Dewey Goode

    Barbara – 65 yr old white female in NC .. you're an idiot and a perfect example of the furthing of dividing the people in this country. I guess you have inside information that Republicans are in good with God and had him rain on these folks.. and only in Va.

    Get your head out of your rear end and join the human race.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. Maureen

    I am fairly certain it was probably registered republicans that sent flyers to everyone in a Virginia community telling republicans to vote tuesday and democrats to vote wednesday. Maybe jumping on the already teeming liberal media bandwagon isn't the smartest move.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Joe

    OMG! My ballot has TEXT on it!

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Lauren from Texas and living in VA

    You people commenting on this story make me sick! The Republicans did not force it to rain. How is rain and wet drops on some ballots a republican tactic to steal the election? It isn't! All it is is rain! I am sorry that rain typically signifies a larger republican lead, but you cannot blame that on the Republican's trying to steal the election. The polling places are not run by the parties anyways, they are run by the state voting commission which is made up of both parties. If you want to say someone is stealing the election it is the people working for the voting commission.

    This election has been riddled with scare tactics. The Republican's are not rigging an election. There is no bad intent to the rain, it is simply rain.

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Michelle

    The wet weather should have been in the plans. There should have been a plan to correctly such problems that may occur before they happen. This is just more BS to avoid a win for the Obama camp.

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Linda Braun

    The Personnel Board that cleared Palin this time around was APPOINTED BY HER! Of course they cleared her!

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. VA

    The ballots are not wet to begin with people! Republicans cannot make it rain!! Give me a break! There wouldn't be a problem if people would be smart and dry off. Or should Republicans be over there to dry off everyone since they made it rain with a dance. Stop pointing fingers people!

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Marine 1

    Democrates and their scheming will never end. The liberals make our voting process look like a 3rd world election. Do I hear it for the hanging chad? Or will this VA instance be, "The wet Chad?"

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Michael J

    How come America can come to the rescue to overseas countries (ie Iraq) to ensure a smooth and fair election and it can't succeed in it's own back yard.

    Maybe the 'dip the finger in ink' plan should be adopted here too!

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. jon in VA

    whats wrong with using a computer like Virginia Beach? The one thing that is missing is a receipt on the way out... just to make sure it got registered....maybe i need to make the 20 million for the next voting machine!

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. keith

    what is the big deal people...no one is trying to steal anything...grow up!

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. SJM

    Sarah Palin was cleared in the second investigation by a committee of political appointees – yes, people who reported to her. So no, duh! She was acquitted of any wrong doing. Anyone expect anything else? The first committee's decision still stands!

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Chris

    I love how you Democrat rubes are already starting with the Republicans are trying to steal the election bs. What about Democratic voter fraud – Acorn signing up Mickey Mouse and dead people. Anyone? You people deserve the left wing government we're going to get.

    November 4, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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