Va. turnout expected to meet or exceed 2008 election

Va. turnout expected to meet or exceed 2008 election

Credit: Lisa,13News viewer

Line inside a Chesapeake school at 6:30 p.m.

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Associated Press

Posted on November 6, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 6 at 8:15 PM

RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia election officials said statewide turnout would likely meet or exceed the 2008 presidential election.

State Board of Elections Secretary Donald Palmer said robust turnout led to long lines at polling places across the state and waits varied from one to up to four hours.

Officials say they were working with localities to bring in more voting equipment and staff to help ease lines at polls that opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Palmer saids there have been very few issues at the about 2,400 polling places statewide, ranging from problems with electronic voting equipment, power outages and polls opening late.

Officials aren't seeing a large number of provisional ballots being cast for not having proper identification stemming from Virginia's new voter ID law.

Polls closed at 7 p.m.   In order to cast a ballot in this election, you must be in line at your polling location by that time.

Highlights of Virginia exit poll results

Economic concerns weighed heavily on the minds of Virginia voters as they went to the polls, with more than six in 10 voters saying it was the most important issue facing the country, according to preliminary results from exit polling in the state Tuesday for The Associated Press. Among the findings:

ECONOMY
Economy was by far the biggest concern of voters in the Old Dominion. No other issue topped 20 percent. Asked which economic issue affected them most directly, nearly half said unemployment, with about three in 10 citing rising prices. Fewer were concerned about taxes or the housing market.

OTHER TOP ISSUES
Health care was a distant second in the ranking of top issues, followed closely by the federal budget deficit.

CANDIDATE QUALITIES
Voters were about evenly divided on whether they most wanted a president who shares their values or one who has a vision for the future.

FAVORABILITY RATINGS
Voters in Virginia were split on whether President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney was more in touch with people like them.

ABORTION
By a 2-1 margin, voters favored keeping abortion legal in most or all cases.

GOVERNMENT'S ROLE
A majority said government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

HEALTH CARE
Virginia voters were divided on the nation's new health care law, with about half saying it should be repealed at least in part and a similar share saying it should be expanded or left as is.

TAXES
Half of voters said they thought taxes should be increased for those earning incomes of $250,000 or more, four in 10 said they should not be increased for anyone and one in eight said everyone should pay more in taxes.

The preliminary exit poll of 2009 Virginia voters was conducted for the AP by Edison Research in a random sample of 50 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

AP-WF-11-06-12 2134GMT

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