Voters frustrated with problems at the polls call NBC12 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Voters frustrated with problems at the polls call NBC12


With more people, come more problems. And at least some of the Richmond area polls got off to a rocky start.

We heard about malfunctioning computers, a power outage, even red and blue tickets... all in a day's work for a presidential election.

While they waited in a cold, dark line early this morning, voters in eastern Henrico lost their power - in more ways than one.

"I was at home, and something just went 'boom!' Like, 'tsst!' and the lights went off," said Rena Carter.

A sudden power outage brought voting to a momentary stop. But the battery backups kicked in, and nobody was turned away.

In Richmond's west end, a tale of two colors... as in red and blue tickets.

Voters complained about having to say which party they were voting for, so they could receive the corresponding color.

Elliot: "She said, 'you gotta tell them what party you're voting for before they'll give you a ticket to go into the booth.'"

Andy: "And you just thought, no way?"

Elliott: "And I said, 'That's not right.'"

The partisan question stopped soon after. Poll workers mistakenly operated under rules for a dual primary.

Those complaints and others came in quickly to our Call 12 center, where volunteers were on the front lines of polling place problems.

For example, at Retreat Hospital in the Fan, a delay checking in voters, because computers wouldn't turn on. No emergency; people just had to wait until technicians came in.

And at Reid Elementary in the southside, paper ballots were used because some machines were malfunctioning.

A similar story at Davis Elementary in Chesterfield.

"There is one machine reading the paper ballots, but there is a line waiting after you do cast your vote," said Kristina Knode.

And at Woolridge Elementary, long lines and traffic... a delay, after poll workers forgot the right user name and password to get into the voting machines.

"I don't want to prevent anyone from voting. That's why it was so disturbing to me for this to occur," said election officer Kevin Byrd.

All of the polling places we visited had the problems corrected by the time our camera arrived, and the State Board of Elections considered today's issues relatively minor.

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