Virginia Election Plagued with Ballot Irregularities, Some Voters Turned Away

Virginia voters head to the polls at Nottingham Elementary School November 5, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. All 140 seats in the General Assembly are on the ballot today as Virginia holds its statewide election for the state legislature with national political parties closely watching the results as a potential indicator …
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Election Day on Tuesday in the Commonwealth of Virginia was filled with ballot problems and some voters were told they could not vote, according to media reports in the state.

Local radio station WTOP reported on some of the problems:

In Prince William County, several hundreds ballots were misprinted and contained only one side, election officials confirmed to WTOP. Earlier in the day, another problem emerged in Stafford County, where for the second straight Virginia House of Delegates election, some voters there cast ballots in the wrong races Tuesday, state elections officials said.

Prince William County confirmed ballot issues at three voting locations Tuesday morning. After getting calls from two listeners who said they had trouble voting in the morning, WTOP got in touch with registrar Michelle White, who confirmed the problem.

White said several hundred ballots were misprinted Tuesday morning at three voting locations in Woodbridge. The printers mistakenly printed the front of the ballot instead of the front and back.

White told WTOP that the sheriff’s department drove reprinted ballots to Rippon Middle School, River Oakes Elementary School, and Leesylvania Elementary School.

WTOP talked to one man, the caretaker for a disabled Virginia voter, who said that she and others were turned away.

“Instead of telling them, ‘Hey, you need to wait,’ they were telling them, ‘You can’t vote,’” Paul Merrit told the radio station. “That’s the wording they were using … That you can’t vote today.”

“It’s unclear how many voters were turned away or whether any voters unknowingly cast their votes on the defective ballots,” WTOP reported.

CBS affiliate WUSA9 posted the headline, “Verify: Here are all the confirmed voting problems in Virginia.”

“Virginia Department of Elections confirmed that six precincts in Stafford were given the wrong ballots, and that they’re investigating what happened,” WUSA9 reported.

The media outlet reported that it asked election officials three questions: 

• Were voters in Stafford, Virginia, given the wrong ballot?

• Did a precinct in Richmond not get enough ballots?

• Did a poll station in Woodbridge turn voters away because the ballot was printed wrong?

The answer to all three questions was “Yes.”

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