Problems at the polls: Many Chesterfield voters left confused, frustrated

Things appear to be going a bit smoother at the polls Tuesday night, but that was not the case this morning in Chesterfield County.
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 5:52 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Things appear to be going a bit smoother at the polls Tuesday night, but that was not the case this morning in Chesterfield County.

At several locations, the electronic poll books were down. This made for a stressful and confusing voting experience for many voters.

“It does concern me about how this has been run in our county,” one voter shared with NBC12 anonymously.

Several Chesterfield residents called 12 On Your Side to express their unease about their voting experience. One woman spoke to NBC12 anonymously, saying that she and her husband were given the wrong ballots.

“I was kind of in awe, and it made me nervous,” she said. “I almost had butterflies in my stomach because I didn’t know exactly what to do about it.”

She and her husband left their polling place having voted in opposite districts because her husband didn’t notice and voted in District 4, despite being registered in District 1.

“I just want to make sure that everybody’s vote counts the way they’re supposed to count,” she said. “It’s an incredibly important process, and I think local elections are very important.”

Another voter contacted NBC12 by phone and wished to be kept anonymous. He says his voting experience at Clover Hill Library in Chesterfield left him with questions.

“When I went to register under my name, they said I had already voted, and I had not,” he said. “The director suggested that they search my last name county-wide in Chesterfield and what came up was that everyone with my last name had already voted.”

The Director of Elections in Chesterfield, Missy Vera, says this was a software issue and should now be resolved.

However, several poll workers had to pivot and use paper poll books instead of electronic ones to check in voters.

“We’ve had a couple of instances where people show up to vote, and they’re told they’ve already voted,” LaTwyla Mathias with the Election Protection Hotline said.

Mathias has been fielding calls from voters all day. She says the issues with the electronic poll books made many voters uneasy.

“The things with the poll books were kind of concerning. I’m glad that we did have the paper poll books to back that up, but that was unfortunate that digital poll books went down earlier in the day,” she said.

If you experienced any issues at the polls today, you can file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Elections.