Va. Dept. of Elections provides update on 2023 election

Polling place issues were reported across the state, including Chesterfield.
Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals gave an update on the 2023 election during a media briefing Tuesday morning.
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 4:37 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2023 at 4:55 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginians are making their voices heard with their ballots for Election Day, featuring races for Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate, numerous local races for boards of supervisors and school boards, and a casino referendum in Richmond.

At J.B Watkins Elementary School in Chesterfield, voters told NBC12 that casting their vote was smooth.

“It was very easy. I’m on my lunch break, so it was very convenient for me, and the process went very smoothly,” said Thelma Stockton, one of the voters who went to this Chesterfield precinct.

A county spokesperson told NBC12 their 86 polling precincts saw a steady stream of voters casting their ballots for the 2023 election with a smooth turnout.

This morning, the Virginia Department of Elections did report a brief issue with poll books in Chesterfield.

“My understanding is that it was a select number of polling locations, and it was not countywide,” said Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals.

One of those locations was Marguerite Christian Elementary School. A county spokesperson told NBC12 the poll book issues had been resolved at all locations, which didn’t affect the check-in process or people receiving their ballots.

Across the Richmond area, voters also reported a smooth voting process, casting their ballots within minutes.

“It was super easy quick line, everybody was super friendly, so good easy process today,” said Matthew Gravens, voting in Richmond.

At Johnson Elementary School in Henrico, voters told NBC12 they thought the polling place opened late. However, when NBC12 went to check it out, we discovered that wasn’t the case.

Instead, people were going to the wrong side of the building.

“What happened was they moved the location to the gymnasium, and a lot of folks have been confused by that and don’t really pay attention to the sign and just go where they usually vote,” said Chris Snidow.

Beals also went over a couple of issues reported at polls across Virginia.

At a polling precinct in Arlington, Beals said there was a power outage reported just after 6 a.m.

“They moved voting outside so that it could continue, and the power was restored by 7:45 a.m.,” said Beals during an 11 a.m. media update.

In Roanoke County, the general registrar’s office lost power due to a blown transformer.

“They are without power and without internet, so they’re working to get generators moved in to help with that,” said Beals.

Beals said 6.1 people are registered to vote in Virginia, and 930,928 absentee ballots were requested for this election. As of this morning, 789,704 Virginians have cast their ballots either through early voting or absentee by-mail ballots.

The Virginia Department of Elections plans to hold another update on Election Day this evening at 8 p.m. You can watch the livestream of this 8 p.m. update on the Virginia Department of Elections’ Facebook page.