November 4th, 2008
09:41 AM ET
5 years ago

Voting machine breakdowns lead to long lines

 Residents wait in line to vote Tuesday morning in Annandale, Virginia.
Residents wait in line to vote Tuesday morning in Annandale, Virginia.

(CNN) – Voting machines were breaking down or simply not deployed in adequate numbers in some polling places Tuesday morning, slowing balloting as Election Day dawned.

Watch: Last push in Colorado

Long lines were seen in rainy Richmond, Virginia, where Henrico County switched to paper ballots at the Math and Science Center after five of seven machines broke down.

Callers to the CNN Voter Hotline originally said there were no paper ballots. But Virginia's State Board of Elections said the center has started using the ballots and the board is in the process of deploying more equipment.

Watch: Obama's first win

Fairfax County, Virginia, General Registrar Rokey Suleman said a handful of memory cards did not work when machines were started Tuesday morning. He said replacement memory cards already have been sent to those precincts with problems.

Full story


Filed under: Voter Problems
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Swing State

    Most of you can't even spell Bush correctly, and you think the republicans are breaking the voting machines? I bet you also favor 9-11 conspiracy theories? Liberals.

    Republic of Texas .... Right on. Maybe a republican gave him a ballot that was doctored? If you cross of McCain and Give him the option to vote for himself or "present", he probably couldn't decide. On one hand ... he should vote for himself, on the other, he's voted present 130 other times, why stop now?

    November 4, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Mitch - San Diego

    It's interesting that we are capable of putting a man on the moon but some how we are not capable to fix our voting machines. Mayors, Governors responsible for voting areas currently experincing minor difficulties that could have been resolved prior to election day goes to show their ineffective leadership on this matter. Days, Weeks, Months ago we all understood the magnitude of election day to come. Shame on the local leadership for not planning! We are what we do and if we don't do that well then that says a lot about who we are. Bottom line GET R' DUN! Take care of the American People.

    No excuses!

    November 4, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. republican voting for obama

    mcbush, your biggest mistake was palin around with sarah.

    go obama

    November 4, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. concerned

    This is what really scares me. When we actually have a strong canidate all of the sudden the machines break down! Obama dont worry god is in control this is your year!

    November 4, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Alison

    I don't see why we can't just go back to using paper ballots around the country. I used a paper ballot when I voted this morning in Gainesville, Florida and it was a breeze (and no wait at all!). Plus, there is a paper trail in the event that any sort of recount is needed.

    November 4, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. tekena

    We can send a man to the moon but can't fix a stationary computerized machine. WOW!

    November 4, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. A.H. Scott

    Usually when my mother and I vote together, it's a process of under 5 minutes. We're in and out without any lines or fuss. Ah, but this Election Day in November, it was totally different in New York City.

    Arrived at polling place at 6:15 am. Waited in line for a good 25 to 30 minutes to vote. I've been voting since the election of 1992, and have never seen anything like what I saw this morning at a public school, where I went to vote with my mother. There were around 50 people inside on line waiting. Now, that was the first surprise I had this morning. The second was when my mother and I were standing in that line of people waiting for our turn to go into the booth. And, I looked around and realized there were almost another 24 standing behind us.

    When I saw my candidate's name, I took a deep breath and pulled the lever for him. Although I will not say whom I voted for, I knew my single vote had the ability to change history. And, that is the golden principle of democracy to me.

    November 4, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. dave g, minneapolis

    @ robert in MN,

    Sorry that your polling place is having trouble with the machines, it's 2008 and we should be able to make a machine read the ballots. As for turning the shirt inside out, it is illegal in MN to wear campaign paraphenelia to vote. no one can campaign within x feet of the polls. If they do, and their candidate loses there can be lawsuits to reconsider the ballots.

    November 4, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Paul, Europe

    From over here it's very clear what's going on.. and it's Disgusting!
    The "Democatic" leader of the world will yet again have another fixed election.. Misleading robo calls, Machine Breakdowns! Please!!! Our news channels are already comparing it to 2000, and 2004.. God help the Republican Party if they steal this one too!

    November 4, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. barr

    My vote for Bob Barr was proudly entered today!
    No vote for the bailout duo McCain/Obama.

    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Don

    I knew that George Bush would get blamed yet again. Now it is the rain tomorrow it will be something else.

    God Bless our country were going to need it in the next 4 years.

    November 4, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Bill the Printer

    I voted in rural Mississippi and the only people using paper ballots are the ones that are not wanting to wait in line. I will say this... I voted for John McCain, BUT will support whichever one wins. If we dont support our president we will not make it as a country. BUT!!! I will have a serious problem if the next president tries to change our flag or our national anthem! Too many people gave their lives and are currently fighting for our flag! I will not stand by and watch it be taken away!

    God Bless America!!

    November 4, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Jbristol

    Washington Co. VA here. Very, very conservative area. No lines, in and out within 5 minutes.

    Obama/Biden

    November 4, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. GAWoman4Obama, Atlanta

    And we are suppose to trust that they will talley the votes correctly.
    This is an effort to steal this election. Cheaters never prosper.

    November 4, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Niccole in Georgia *OBAMA/BIDEN08*

    /27. Super DNovember 4th, 2008 9:50 am ETGood…..lots of broken machines……we need to prevent the ignorant and uneducated from voting for the devil. I pray that there’s problems everywhere and that Obama votes will be lost.I don’t want dummies deciding who the next president is, they have no business voting!/

    Do you know how ignorant and uneducated that YOU sound? If there are problems everywhere,then your precious McCain votes could be lost too. This is supposed to be a democracy and EVERYONE has the right to vote and have their voice be heard, even the ignorant, uneducated dummies such as yourself.

    And what's this nonsense in Miami-seperate lines for whites and blacks? What in Hades is going on?

    November 4, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. HonestAbe in Santa Barbara, Ca

    Hey Hey Hey...and away we go. Another year of cheating the polls. But just remember who you have voted for and what they promissed before they got in office, because they will not do it when in office. Will you have the balls to take them out of office if they don't do it right?

    Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonite !

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. SJR

    So strange how they don't make sure all the machines are working before election day...and it's always in the swing states...hmmm, what a coincidence.

    November 4, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. ran

    This is too sad. We need Obama/Biden now more then ever. We should be having election held over a whole weekend and the results made public the following Tuesday.

    November 4, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Dan

    This is absurd. How long have they been predicting record turnout for now? And they have not provided an adequate number of machines for some districts? This is pure incompetence by election officials nationwide.

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

    Why do we always fire the coach when the TEAM loses??? Americans make this country, not the President !! Dems / Repubs – it should be American House and Senate.....The President doesn't raise taxes – the Dems/Repubs do. Has anyone looked at the pay raise they voted themselves ?? House $3300 / Congress $4100 / President $0.00........Get off the coach – It's time Americans took back America...WE THE PEOPLE....stop blaming each other – we know its broke – LET'S Fix it.......

    November 4, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. proud american

    Here's hoping a victory for Obama-Biden. Obama gets 4 votes from my household. A time for change is here. Goodbye to dirty republicans. McCain-Palin will ride off into the sunset and will not be heard again. Go Obama-Biden.

    November 4, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. ANGIE

    PLEASE PLEASE DONT LET THE GOP STEAL THIS ELECTION AGAIN PLEASE NO MORE REPUBLICANS!!!!! DONT GIVE UP OBAMA SUPPORTERS

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. SS

    To those in areas with broken machines and long lines, we're praying for you. Don't give up. Your vote is too important. Don't let them suppress your vote. NOT THIS TIME!!!!

    Vote for change!!! Vote OBAMA!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. ANGIE

    I voted in PA It took all but 10 minutes and I proudly casted my vote for SENATOR OBAMA OH HAPPY DAY!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. mac

    Memo to cya: I went to the polls, voted for Obama, then went to my job. The idea that Obama voters don't work is a slander.

    November 4, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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