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Va. Some precincts switch to paper ballots

Anita Kumar

A handful of the state's 2,300 precincts were forced to switch to paper ballot today because of a variety of problems with the electronic machines.

The problems varied at locations across the state. Among them: Workers couldn't enter one precinct because keys didn't work so they set up shop outside. Power outages. Equipment failure. A voter jammed a machine when the person used hand sanitizer available at the precinct to help prevent the spread of H1N1 flu.

Affected localities include the counties of Loudoun, Chesterfield and York as well as Bristol and Suffolk.

Nancy Rodrigues, secretary at Virginia State Board of Elections, said all problems were minor and quickly resolved.

In addition, a few voters had registration problems when they appeared in the electronic poll log as absentee voters, and one of the political parties passed out sample ballots that did meet color regulations, Rodrigues said.

By Anita Kumar  |  November 3, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009  
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I voted this morning at my precinct in Vienna. I've always voted electronically. Today we received paper ballots. When I asked why, I was told by those working at the polls that "Richmond required us to use paper ballots this time." Is that true? And if so, why?

Posted by: AGM611 | November 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I, along with AGM611, had the same experience at my voting precinct in Oakton. It was obvious by looking at the setup that it was deliberate and organized, not a last minute change resulting from a glitch with electronic voting machines. There was even a ballot box that automatically "swallowed" the paper ballot when the ballot was fed into the box - similar to feeding an original document into a fax machine or copier.

I think it is clear that Ms. Kumar's comments are inaccurate.

Posted by: MillPond2 | November 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with MillPond2. I voted today at my precinct in Bailey's Crossroads, which always has used machines, and today not only were paper ballots used, but the entire setup was different, almost as if they were expecting a smaller number of voters than usual. And for Ms. Kumar's information, my precinct is located in Fairfax County, which her post does not mention.

Posted by: lydgate | November 3, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

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