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Weather, Glitches, Long Lines in Va.

POSTED: 01:45 PM ET, 11/ 4/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Long lines and a host of voting machine problems are dominating the story in Virginia, according to watchdog groups and elections officials across the state. Election Protection called for the state to extend poll times to 9 p.m.; a federal judge refused a similar order earlier this week.

Long lines and paper jams in voting machines were reported in Hampton; Malfunctioning machines and long lines were found in Roanoke; and lines as long as four hours and machines that "turned on and off" were seen in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach; and in and around Richmond, voters were bused to polling places where parking lots were filled and wet ballots caused by stormy weather had jammed voting machines.

"There has been a wide range of problems, ranging from machines not booting up to machines not bringing up the full slate of choices," Karen Newman of the Fair Elections Legal Network told The Post's Josh White. "There have been problems with optical scan machines, apparently from getting wet. In Chesterfield, there were a number of problems with marked ballots being improperly fed through the machine. And there's some human error as well."

Other watchdog groups blamed the State Board of Elections for a lack of planning by ignoring calls to have more paper ballots available and to standardize voting around the state.

The question of whether there are enough machines in Virginia to handle turnout surfaced before Election Day. The minimum standard for machines is one for every 750 voters, compared to one for every 200 voters in Maryland. (washingtonpost.com; Hampton Daily Press; Roanoke Time & World News; The Virginian-Pilot; Richmond Times-Dispatch)

By Derek Kravitz |  November 4, 2008; 1:45 PM ET Vote Monitor
Previous: Missing Ballots Prompts Concern in Fla. | Next: Anti-Obama Fliers, Heavy Turnout in Pa.

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