November 4th, 2008
05:16 PM ET
14 years ago

Turnout causes slow voting in parts of VA

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Lyles Crouch School on Election Day November 4, 2008 in Alexandria, Virginia."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some 50 percent of the registered voters in Chesapeake, Virginia showed up to the polls early to vote Tuesday morning causing long wait times, according to a spokesman at the Virginia Board of Elections.

Officials do not believe there were technical problems causing the lines, however some voting locations in the area were experiencing problems with optical scanner voting as wet ballots did not scan properly. It rained in parts of Virginia election day.

At a press conference for reporters election board officials said the wet ballots would be collected and secured and once dry tabulated by officials in front of official observers.

Voting crowds have since thinned out and Virginia election officials are expecting more lines as people leave work and come to the polls to vote.

Reports of lines in the Virginia Beach region are also due to a heavy volume of voters. The region is one of the largest municipalities in the state and has seen consistent voter turnout Tuesday, officials said.

The lines had about a 30 minute wait at 4pm eastern Tuesday, and to make things move faster election officials at the voting locations split the paper voter logs among the staff to allow more voters to check in faster, according to Jessica Lane, a spokesman at the Virginia Board of Elections.

There are no reports of equipment malfunctions, Lane said. The Virginia Beach voter region uses touch-screen electronic voting machines.

Filed under: Virginia • Voter Problems
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. JC

    It took me 2 hours to vote this morning in VA Beach. I got there at 6:15 . The voting officials had the lines broken up by last name, but the A-G was 4 times as long as the others. I saw people repeatedly come and go, while my line just got longer. The workers could have easily broken up the lines (and should had the foresight to break them up ahead of time when they saw how many people with those last names were registered). It was ridiculous. There were a lot of unhappy voters standing outside in the cold rain for 2 hours, while other people came and went

    November 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. James

    amazing how problems were only in parts of VA that are pro-obama. Richmond, Northern VA, Chesapeake.. Interestingly enough no glitches in the western, more conservative part of the state

    November 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Tyrell

    Hopefully, sometime in the near future we will be able to vote from home online. That will make everything so much easier. But unfortunately they will have too find a way to keep hackers and other sources from corrupting the systems. We are our own worst enemies when it come to making anything easier.

    November 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Bianca

    I got up early to vote and waited an hour and a half in Norfolk. The weather was bad but too many people didn't complain. My uncle voted in 7 minutes with no wait. My mother waited 4 1/2 hours. My boss waited 6 hours in Chesapeake. People in Suffolk had no problems and more machines than voters. My voting location had 3 machines and 5 volunteers. Not enough.

    November 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Shenell from chesapeake va

    Took me 10 mins in and out please please be patient if u have to...BARACK the vote America

    November 4, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Dave

    The longest part of my FIRST TIME VOTING in a presidential election was reading the paragraph on whether or not to go into debt about park funding...seriously I was in and out of there (Vienna, Fairfax county, VA) in around five minutes!

    Hopefully enough of the Commonwealth have enough sense to protect America against socialism! May the wealth stay with those who earn it, and NOT get spread around by the government! Go McCain!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. sms

    waited 1 1/2 hours.

    November 4, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    took me about 10 minutes to vote in Northern VA, all the Va coverage is spun by the NAACP lawsuit which is complete BS. I have voted in 4 different VA precincts over the years and have never had to wait more than 30 minutes.

    Nobama 08!!

    November 4, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Norfolk, Virginia

    Polls opened at 6:00 am. I was there by 6:10 and the line was way around the block. 2 1/2 hours later, standing in the rain...I got my vote. I have never seen it like that before!

    It was an amazing feeling. I felt like I could fly!

    Mark Warner
    Bobby Scott

    All Blue!

    November 4, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Whitney

    I work at a school that is a polling location in a large county in Virginia and got to work at 6:30 this morning to see no parking and lines wrapped around our building 3 people thick. There were absolutely no problems with the voting equipment or staff. Again, there were NO problems with the voting equipment or staff. It was simply the number of people who came out early to vote that caused the long lines. At 12pm there wasn't a line at all and people were able to go immediately in and vote. I went after work at 3:30 to my location and went immediately to the table and did not have to wait behind anyone.

    I think it's a shame so many of us are in such a rush in this nation that waiting in line to vote angers us. There are people in many countries that do not have the opportunity to participate in elections as we do. Why do we all have to be in such a rush all the time? Slow DOWN America!

    November 4, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Sedelle

    Took less than 15 minutes for me to vote in Odenton, MD. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease and organization of the process. I realize it has not been this easy for many in the nation, please don't be discouraged! Vote! Vote! Vote!

    November 4, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Wet ballots, come on ?

    November 4, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Mieisha

    Why is is that some of us voters have electronic voting systems and some of us still have the pen markers?

    November 4, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. KKK


    November 4, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Sean

    I have seen alot of people determined to vote no matter how long the lines. I completly agree with an earlier comment, all of these reports about the ballots not scanning correctly, lines thinning, etc. is just so that when history is declared it will be easy to raise doubt with all the what if stories appear. I am so afraid of this happening that I have been sick and with a very bad headache all day. Please lets make history, lets bring forth change do whatever needs to be done !!!!! Lets make HISTORY.....

    November 4, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Shari, NY

    Thank god wait time in my neck of the woods was a little over an hour and that is because I fell in line with people who had to go to work and needed to be done ASAP. In consultation with those who went after 10 a.m. it was a 30 minute wait. What will happen during crunch time this evening is anyone's guess. Hopefully it will be OK.

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. David

    Do Not Give Up On Voting. Every Vote Is An Important Vote.

    Excuse my bias but vote for the United States of America and VOTE For Barack Obama. Get rid of that red state and blue state mindset and vote for the country and the best person to do the job.

    No more name calling and mudslinging, no more insulting remarks in the comments section.

    Let's put civility first and talk openly and honestly, agree to disagree but don't get so vitriolic about it.

    Vote, vote, vote! Be Patient and Vote!

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. G. S.

    Just to throw this out there... why is it that voting locations in predominately black areas are ill-equiped and have this poor system of managing the volume of voters. Va. Beach, Philadelphia. It just makes me think. Not to rely on the C-O-N spiracy argument, but really, I think nationwide we need to be better prepared, have more voting booths, etc so we can get a real count!

    November 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Angi's Mom

    These long waits at the polls are unacceptable. Someone should be fired!

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. MVJ

    I voted this morning in Richmond, VA, got to the polls @ 6:15am and voted @ 9:33am. I waited in the cold and rain and I would do it all again if I had to. OBAMA-BIDEN '08

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. FirstTimeVoter

    If a country like India can have inexpensive, electronic voting machines installed for their entire voting population (which is a hell of a lot more than the entire U.S. voting population), I don't understand why the U.S. can't implement such a simple solution. Instead, you've got people messing around with paper stuff..... ballots getting wet in the rain???!!!! What the heck?

    November 4, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Rob Johnson

    High turnout in Virginia = Obama victory in Virginia

    Obama victory in Virginia = Hello President Obama! 🙂

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Terry

    Took 10 mins to vote in Scottsville. Obama will take our guns and raise our taxes, Ya'll better be ready when ya figure out you messed up by voting for him.

    November 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. AirDiva in NC for OBAMA

    Shouldn't it be automatic that when you turn 18, you are eligble to vote? Why do we have to "register?" I could buy alcohol with an i d at 21 without "registering." And I really don't understand why we don't have just one type of voting system; one type of machine, one type of ballot and the same back up rules should anything go wrong. Seriously, we are the United States, for pete's sake!!!!

    November 4, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. From TX

    Voter turnout is always good for republicans.

    November 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
1 2 3