Some Virginia voters say long lines prove it's time for a change

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 7 at 7:20 PM

NORFOLK -- Many voters say change is needed to avoid the long lines and sometimes hours-long wait at polling places.

Throughout Election Day Tuesday and again on Wednesday, posts on social media sites asked the same questions - why weren't there more voting machines, would having more polling places and better-informed workers reduce the wait?

Some people wrote they stood in line five hours, some just gave up and left without voting; still others wrote they waited less than half an hour.

"The line was wrapped around where I went to vote.  We need more machines," said Gayle Barnes Roberts.

Dr. Jesse Richmond, an associate professor in Department of Political Science and Geography at Old Dominion University, states registrars were not prepared for the large turnout.

It'll take more money to add extra machines, polls and workers. 

State elections officials say overall, turnout for this presidential race was down 2.6 percent from 2008. He says hopefully we can learn from the problems that occurred this year to prevent them in the future.

Election officials and groups whose volunteers monitored voting precincts say some of the backups were unavoidable, but others could have been mitigated if not prevented.

Lara Cole of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law says a backup she saw at one Chesapeake precinct appeared to result from short staff and voter confusion. Registrar Al Spradlin added poll books and workers all day long.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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