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UPDATE: Long lines, some problems in early voting across Richmond

November 6, 2012   ·   Richmond Times-Dispatch   ·  Source Article

10 a.m.

Among the groups that have been keeping an eye on Election Day is the Virginia NAACP, which is providing officials with reports of problems.

Here are some of the problems reported by the NAACP:

-- Roadwork around George Wythe High School in Richmond caused voters to "go around and around to find parking."

-- A power surge at the Math and Science Center in Henrico cut electricity. (officials said power has been restored.)

-- Paper ballots had to be put in use at Elizabeth Davis Elementary School in Chesterfield because of machine problems.

-- Computer problems at Chesterfield's Woolridge Elementary caused "an overflow crowd" to be turned away from voting for 30 minutes to an hour. (Officials said the problem has been corrected and the situation is being monitored.)

-- Tom Kapsidelis

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

9:45 a.m.

Even sparsely populated Charles City County was reporting a busy morning at the polls.

"It was crazy this morning, everybody voting before they went to work but it's kind of steady now," said Charles City County Registrar Catrinia Barneycastle.

-- Frank Green

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

9:40 a.m.

At Providence Middle School in Chesterfield County this morning a voter was surprised to hear a poll worker shout that those casting ballots needed to have their registration card and a picture ID. Those are among the forms of ID required but having two is not mandated under state law.

"I wouldn't leave until I talked to someone about it," said Cynthia Losen. She said she talked to a polling official who confirmed the order was "wrong, and he would take care of it.

Losen was in line for about an hour before voting.

-- Tom Kapsidelis

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

9:20 a.m.

Richmond Registrar J. Kirk Showalter said that some early voting problems in the city of Richmond have been resolved.

She was not able to provide a precise list of problems but said there had been difficulties with machines at G.H. Reid  Elementary School and the main library on Franklin Street. Voters also reported problems at Retreat Hospital.

"In every election there are always a few hiccups," Showalter said. "As far as I'm aware, everything has been resolved at this point," she said shortly after 9 a.m.

-- Joe Macenka

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

9:05 a.m.

A Spotsylvania County resident said this morning voters were being turned away from a precinct because a machine apparently had been loaded with the wrong congressional district.

Keith Gagnon said he witnessed the problem about 7:15 a.m. at a community building on HCC Drive off state Route 2. Paper ballots were being brought in, he said, but they weren't enough for the voters immediately on hand.

Voters who had to leave for work were told they could come back later, he said. But Gagnon added that many of the voters in the county's Lee Hill Distirct commute to jobs in the Washington area.

"A lot of those people aren't going to be back by 7 this evening to vote," said Gagnon. He said he urged poll workers for the campaigns to look into the situation.

-- Tom Kapsidelis

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

9 a.m.

Long lines and some glitches are being reported at precincts in Virginia as voters head to the polls to cast their ballots.

Voters began lining up at precincts in Hampton Roads and other areas as early as 4:30 a.m.

Power outages briefly disrupted voting at at least three polling places in Eastern Henrico. Dominion Power says all electricity was restored by 7:41 a.m.

In Spotsylvania, election official John Adams says one precinct had machines available only for one of two congressional districts. Additional machines were brought in.

The Grayson County Voter Registrar's office says a poll worker made a mistake setting up voting machines at one precinct.

Malfunctioning ballot counting machines were reported at a polling place in Newport News.

-- Associated Press

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

8:55 a.m.

Voting problems earlier today at Retreat Hospital in Richmond are being corrected, according to Cecilia Dabney of the city of Richmond Electoral Board.

Dabney declined to answer any questions about what took place shortly after the polls opened this morning.

Several voters, including Rebecca Hankins, said they had waited more than an hour to vote.

"I knew it would be a long time today, but I didn't plan for it to be an hour and 15 minutes," Hankins, 32, said after casting her vote at Retreat. "But at the same time, I feel that people in other countries have to go through riots to vote, so I can't complain too much."

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

-- Reed Williams

8:35 a.m.

A Richmond voter tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning that he refused to fill out a paper ballot at Richmond's G.H. Reid Elementary school after having waited for more than an hour to vote.

"Honestly, I absolutely 100 percent refused to do that," said David Bell, who worried that a paper ballot was not as secure as voting on a machine

Officials could not immediately be reached to discuss the problems at Reid. Voter have complained of problems at two other precincts in the city, Retreat Hospital and Maymont Elementary.

-- Tom Kapsidelis

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

8:25 a.m.

An hourlong wait was reported at the Deep Run High School polling place in western Henrico this morning, while voters waited 20 minutes at Hanover's Chickahominy Fire Station 10.

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. Earlier updates are posted below.)

-- Tom Kapsidelis

8 a.m.

Voters this morning have complained about long lines and problems at two Richmond precincts.

At Retreat Hospital on Grove Avenue in the Fan District, a voter said it took more than an hour to vote shortly after the polls opened at 6 a.m. as poll workers struggled with apparent problems checking in voters through laptop computer rolls.

"There were announcements that the laptops weren't working" and that paper ballots might have to be used, said voter Raina Fields.

Fields, who carried her voter registration card with her, said the poll worker couldn't find her on the rolls and she was asked to sign an form confirming her identity. Fields said she voted by machine and was uncertain whether anyone had voted by paper ballot.

Another Richmond resident said lines at the Maymont Elementary School polling place were at a standstill for a period of time.

"Long, unmoving lines to vote at Maymont Elementary are causing many to have to leave after waiting in line for over an hour, without voting," Kimberly Lammi said in an email to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "Very troubling."

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. An earlier update is posted below.)

-- Tom Kapsidelis

6:55 a.m.

Virginians got in line early to vote in many communities across the state on a frosty morning.

Among the queues was one at the Hermitage senior residence in North Richmond, just a couple of blocks from the home of former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the Democratic candidate for Senate. The Democrat was among those casting his ballot in the early going.

-- Bob Brown

(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more reports as they become available. An earlier update is posted below.)

Polls opened at 6 a.m. across Virginia for a day of voting that concludes at 7 p.m.

Besides the race for president, voters are casting ballots for two constitutional questions, the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and a host of local races, depending on your locality.

(Check back for more Election Day reports.)