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

Soggy ballots challenging scanning machines in Chesapeake, VA

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. kat

    I voted in Virginia Beach and we have computerized voting so WHY is Chesapeake..20 minutes down the road using paper ballots? If it's not one thing it's another!

    At 7:30 this morning my wait time was about 30 minutes. I didn't think that was too bad!

    November 4, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Matt

    You have got to be kidding me. The idiots who came up with the concept of using an electronic voting machine should be exiled to some Third World country never to be heard from again. These things are more trouble than they are worth! GO BACK TO PAPER BALLOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Rachelraye49 - MD

    We can do better than this. Virginia official insured us that everything was okay. They didn't need any help with voting situation. Yeah, right whatever you do Virginians don't leave that poling place until you've cast your vote and please make sure it's correct. We will not let them steal another election. Enough is enough.

    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth


    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. 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 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Angel

    didn't this happen in NC? very interesting

    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Tsongasluva

    Well at least they won't be counting all the military absentee votes in VA

    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. blake


    Its the liberal medias fault that

    1. The gop has no message that anyone with a 6th grade education wants to hear.

    2. The republican incompetence of the last 8 years will go down in history as the most polarized self serving time in american history

    3. That election officials in virginia don't know that water ruins paper and electronics

    Division and fear are all you have


    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Jason

    Hey Noah – the story about Palin being cleared did run on the CNN home page all this morning. That, along with the headline about Obama's grandmother have both moved off to make room for more up to date news and election coverage. Get over yourself.

    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Dan

    Noah, what does Troopergate have to do with anything? If I'm not mistaken, there's an election happening today...

    November 4, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Obama For America

    Wet ballots? Lets just let them dry and hope they work? Forget that i would say burn that ballot and give me a new one, I want to watch it count myself not just hope it works later...

    November 4, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    Don't trust anyone – demand a dry ballot and guard it carefully. The republicans will do anything to steal this election too.
    What election did we steal? Show me froop? Even Gore has admitted he lost fair and square and EVERY recount he asked for showed he lost...the only and I mean ONLY areas with questionable voting were in DEM controlled we could say the desm TRIED to steal two elections but were caught.

    November 4, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. ran

    And it begins. People vote and in such #'s that there will be no doubt Obama/Biden has won. We do not want this election decided by a Republican leaning Supreme court.

    For the free press: get out there and make sure this is a fair election for us all.

    November 4, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. John in VA

    Blaming the Republican party for the weather is why it is so hard for this independent to vote for a Democrat. Those votes will get counted manually – like they were for more than a hundred years.

    November 4, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Johnsole

    Americans as a group take no personal responsibility. For pete's sake how simple is it to make an effort dry yourself off before you drag your wet arm, hand, or belongings across all ofthe ballots. Come on people!

    November 4, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Kathy from VA

    Technology, phewy. Whatever happened to the good old fashioned paper ballots?

    Republicans up to no good...why? VA is traditionally a Republican state...they don't have to. If anything, it's Democrats being desperate.

    NO to Obama...we don't need a Socialist in the White House!!

    November 4, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Eva Harrison

    I think it is entirely ignorant to say that we have "morons" running the elections in the country. The voter registrars' offices are extremely understaffed along with there being a shortage of election officials in polling places. The registrar's work tirelessly for months leading up to elections. There are errors to be expected. With the over 140,000 newly registered voters, lines are bound to be long.

    November 4, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Citizen

    The Election is already stolen. Replicans know what exactly is going. McCain said and knew he had it already. It is going to be the worst disaster for us

    November 4, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. spread the wealth

    It is pouring down here in VA. We went into the polling place and everything is soaking wet! I don't know how anyone thinks the R-lettered people made it rain, but I guess the liberal media will tell everyone that the R's are responsible for it and the stupid D people will believe it. I voted "L" so it doesn't matter either way to me...socialism has already taken over all my freedoms.

    November 4, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Joe in Canada but Close to Michigan

    Please don't make me cross the border to drive people to vote. Help your neighbors! I voted in the Canadian election and our politics are boring. This is the biggest deal ever just do it up!

    November 4, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Nader = Change

    Until we clear out the two Corporate Parties, "incidents" like this will always happen.

    Nader= Change

    November 4, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Herdine

    Noah, the conservatives already ruined the country.

    November 4, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. 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! Our news channels are comparing it to 2000, and 2004.. God help the Republican Party if they steal this one too!

    Elections are easy.. Ballot, Mark it, Count it!! What do you need scanners and stupid machines for? Fraud.. thats what!

    November 4, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Jerry

    liberals dont need to "work overtime to ruin this country"...the republicans and their ineptitude have already done the best at ruining the country. now the liberals have to step in and clean up their mess. The conservatives have controlled the media during the last 8 years of the bush "regime" dont now act like the media is only on the liberals side. It goes both ways.

    November 4, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. male in NC

    wet ballots, how hard is it to keep them dry when polling takes place inside where it's dry? maybe someone should call joe the plumer to clean up the mess.

    November 4, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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