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Virginia reports some early voting problems

The Virginia State Board of Elections has discovered problems with some electronic voting machines in isolated parts of the state, and some precincts have been encountering an unusual weather-related issue: Wet voters coming in from out of the rain have been causing some ballots to become unreadable by optical scanners.

Susan Pollard, a spokesperson for the Board of Elections, said this morning that "there have been no widespread problems" in Virginia but that there have been reports of electronic pollbooks failing. She assured voters that all polling places have paper ballots as back-ups and that state officials are working to send working machines to precincts that have had electronic pollbooks go down.

Optical scanners in some parts of the state have been experiencing trouble because of wet ballots affecting the machines.

"Apparently what is happening is some of the problems that are occurring is voters coming in out of the rain with wet hands and wet clothes," Pollard said, adding that the board has received multiple reports of the problem. "Ballots are getting wet and affecting the machines. You need to be sure to dry your hands before completing your ballot."

The Board also reported that all but three of the state's 2,349 precincts opened their polls on time this morning at 6 a.m. Those precincts -- in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Richmond City -- all were up and running later this morning. Pollard said two of those precincts opened late due to unspecified "human error."

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 9:47 AM ET
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Showed up at my local poll in western Fairfax at 5:55am, left after voting at 7:10am, 75 minutes later. Line snaked in the school down three hallways and two to three times around in the cafeteria, but moved at a reasonable pace. Compared to both Bush elections 2000 and 2004, longest lines have seen.

Posted by: commute201 | November 4, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I showed up at the Warren County Government Center at 6:50. My wife and I were 3rd and 4th in line and were out of there by 7:00. Absolutely no line out in Front Royal this morning.

Posted by: WVU_Engineer | November 4, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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