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Five-Hour Wait Today for Richmond Voters

Anne Bartlett

In heavily-Democratic Richmond City, there was a five-hour wait today to vote in-person by absentee ballot. Hundreds of people, many in walkers and wheelchairs, waited in a line that snaked around City Hall.

"I wouldn't be able to come Tuesday cause I need assistance, I just had knee replacement," said Ella Garland, 64, who waited 5 hours. "It was worth it. Obama is worth it. I'd do it all again."

Patricia Scudder also waited with her ailing father in the line, but she wasn't nearly as up-beat when she emerged from City Hall.

"I thought we were going to be in and out," said Scudder, who wondered why there were only six voting machines set up. "My dad has dementia. He kept wanting to leave - he kept wanting water and then to go the bathroom - but I told him we had to stick it out for Obama."

Although many of the people in line said they were planning to vote for Obama, Lucile Hayes, 70, cast her vote for McCain.

"It was my duty for my country to come wait in line today because I have arthritis and did not know if could vote" Tuesday, Hayes said after her four-hour and 20 minute wait. "I just had surgery so I had to sit down a lot, but I am a Christian. God made me a Republican."

Since in-person absentee voting began in Virginia two weeks ago, Gloria Nash Allen has been volunteering for a local senior center to drive people to the polls. But yesterday she waited for hours while her husband, a trucker who would be on the road Tuesday, cast his ballot.

"I've never seen it like this before," said Allen. "It is amazing just watching them coming in wheelchairs and with walkers, and I know for a fact a lot of these people showing up have never voted before."

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 1, 2008; 3:37 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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I'm an RN, a Democrat who strongly supports Obama. What I am apalled at is the woman who brings a father with dementia to vote. Given the behavior she described, I cannot believe he has the cognitive function to make this decision.

It may be a gray area of voter fraud, with a very small percentage of votes. I just don't like anything that hints of fraud being done - by Democrats or Republicans.

"...I'm a Christian. God made me a Republican" Boggles my mind that anyone would actually admit to this.

Posted by: GinnyCinCO | November 1, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

There's no indication that her father voted. As you know, caregivers can't leave dementia patients home alone. It seems likely that she had her father with her so SHE could vote.

Posted by: soundbyte | November 1, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I worry far more about a man with McCain's poor judgment being president than I do about one man with dementia voting. I agree that comments like "God made me a Republican" are scary.

Posted by: truble2301 | November 2, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

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