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. Richmond Voter

    Thank you Don, I almost forgot to put on my tin foil hat today.

    Its lovely when a line is reaching out of the Richmond Public Library down the street because 2 officials with paper registries are looking through names one by one.

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Catherine Miller

    Here we are at election day again and once again we are hearing reports of voter fraud, delays at the polls, voter machine difficulties and voter registration issues.

    I can think of nothing more important in a democracy than ensuring the right of it's citizens to vote. It is hard to believe that the nation that put a man on the moon before anyone else has difficulty figuring out how to make sure each citizen is entitled to a vote. These are reports we expect to hear from third world nations, not the United States of America. I can also imagine nothing more demoralizing to the electorate than the fear their government does not care, does not listen and does not guarantee participation.

    With this in mind, I believe until there are severe consequences for those districts that continue to have diffulties running a fair and timely election day, I believe this tragedy will continue.

    I would suggest introducing legislation dictating any district which is unable to run a seamless, fair election day should be immediately denied federal funding, If you are unable to dedicate enough resources to print a fair ballot, have an adequate number of machines and volunteers and update your voting roles, you simply do not deserve to receive federal funding.

    Perhaps also there should be a national hotline to report voter difficulties and register a formal compaint. This hotline should be advertised at every polling place and printed on all voter registration materials. Any district receiving complaints equaling 3% or more of its registered voters complaining, would be put under review for denial of federal funding. The review process should also be pro-active and not just punitive in that there should be federal consultants available to help violators review their election procedures to bring them up to a national standard.

    I believe it is imperative to address this issue before one more election day in this country demoralizes its citizens. I hope you will agree with me that this issue is of greater importance than any other issue facing the future of our democracy. I urge you to take a role in advocating for reform.

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Scott from Loudon County VA

    This is why I always carry my hair dryer with me on voting day...
    Stacy...did I see you this morning at the polls?

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Reace

    "More Virginia hijinks. Republicans working hard to steal Virginia."

    You mean like signing up Mickey Mouse and the Dallas Cowboys? Oh Wait... they registered as Democrats.

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Jeff in Phoenix the person who asked CNN to post that Sarah Palin was "cleared", remember that those making the decision were appointed by and could be fired by her. I hardly find that to be an "independent" investigation.

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Anonymous


    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Madison

    Noah...did you know that the members of committee that cleared Palin of any wrong doing in Troopergate were mostly APPOINTED BY HER!

    The REAL investigation already concluded that she abused her power. And just an FYI – the people that concluded this were 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Partisan politics, yes, absolutely, but IN HER FAVOR and they still found her GUILTY!

    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Josh in NH

    Wow! Talk about a failed process! Speaks magnitudes about the voting problem in this country. Voted first thing, and it was an hour line at 7am!


    November 4, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. DC

    To Noah – This is exactly why liberals think that republicans are idiots because of comments like this. First off, in what way was Palin vindicated in Alaska? By her own investigation only? Maybe you should actually read the report before talking "FINDING ONE
    Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. That states: "Each public officer holds office as a public trust and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest though official action is a violation of that trust." Tell me again how is this being cleared of any wrongdoing? Final point I have is the whole "Liberals are working overtime to ruin this country." comment. This is ridiculous to think that there are actually Americans are aren't as patriotic as you or are working to ruin the country. This is just fearmongering by the uneducated, read something other than Drudge and and come back here with something educated to say...

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. george bush clone

    Bwahaha. Our plans to disenfranchise the lefties is working perfectly. Thank you Jesus for the rain–he's part of the vast right wing conspiracy too.

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Paxmaker

    Another intelligent Obama supporter!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Big_Iron

    Hey, just another portent for life in Obamastan. God help us all.

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Alex

    The evil Republicans made it rain today.......they would have sent a hurricane this way, but it would be too suspicious since the temps are so cool.....

    Go McCain/Palin

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Gene, RichmondVA

    I voted this morning with no problems. Yes it was raining but the problem once again is the people filling out the ballots are a bunch of baffoons. They can not read the note at the top of the ballot it says" DO NOT FOLD AND FILL IN CHOICE CIRCLE COMPLETELY". Another attempt by the Left Wing Media to Cry foul. Vote NOBAMA and keep your change!

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. raining in GA too

    Common sense says to bring your own towel to dry off if you are standing in the rain, or take off your jacket before voting. Come on people, this is stupid if you can't figure out how to dry yourself off.

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Someday a Blue ND

    Noah: CNN did acknowledge Palin's clearing last night on the news. I'm guessing their front page is going to be tied up with this silly Election thing we have going on

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Dan

    I can't believe any liberal would have the nerve to use the phrase "Republican hijinx" in regard to voting integrity when they are voting for a shady Chicago politician who's married to ACORN...

    On second though, I do believe it.. Many of them can't think for themselves, & just repeat the talking points of others.

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Texas Joe

    President Bush made it rain and hid all the towels

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Vic of New York

    Wasn't it Virginia that kept saying – "We don't expect any problems?" I guess you can toss that into the bucket of: "Famous last words"!

    Go Tim Pollenti! The Republican Governor and VP hopeful sure knows how to prepare for an election!

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Dwight

    I voted this morning in VA. It was raining with long lines you stand in the rain beore you get inside the bldg to vote. Onne chedked in you are given your ballot and sent to the voting booth. If you then let the ballot rub up against your wet umbrella or clothes, its gets wet. They warned the people not to do it but they do it but to no avail. Oddly enough, the water is not discriminating against blacks or whites. It just wets the ballots and scanner can't read it or some were so wet they would not even feed into the maching. Is not the election officicals, the one in charge was black by the way, it is the voters.

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. Dr. Narendra Patel

    Obama ! Obama ! Obama !

    November 4, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Rocky watching from Scotland

    It seems as though CNN and other liberal news media are quite willing to present to the public a rendition of the news that is anti-conservative. Anything that will shed a bad light upon the values through which this country was founded seems to be the "in" thing. If Obama was to commit a blatant felony, I'm sure the media of which I am speaking would somehow gloss it over as something much less than what it was. Sorry folks, the course liberal journalism has taken and will probably continue has led me to the point of not believing 90% of what is published or broadcast.

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

    It's official! The Repugs are STEALING the election!!! Everyone knows blacks wil suffer most under these conditions because the rain will just roll off their oily, nappy heads.

    Go Obama!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Stan

    Maybe we have to go ask the Iraqis how to run a democratic election. Afterall, didn't the current administration tout how successful theirs was? And hasn't this country proven an inexplicable inability to successfully complete the simple task of COUNTING!

    November 4, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Paul

    Noah, did you happen to mention that the "new" report was prepared by Sarah Palins office?

    November 4, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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