The Washington Times - November 4, 2008, 12:33PM

The Virginia State Board of Elections says polling places are experiencing “no widespread problems” but minor issues have occurred in some areas of the state.

Officials said voters with hands and clothes dampened by rainfall have caused problems with optical scanning machines at some precincts.

Paper ballots are being used at the Godwin Math and Science Center in Henrico County because of a machine issue, and one wrong machine was delievered to Walnut Hill Elementary School in Petersburg. The board also said only three out of 2,349 precincts opened late this morning, not including central absentee precincts. 

However, the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition said they have received hundreds of voter calls reporting problems like “massive machine failures,” more than two dozen precincts opening late, voters turned away from the polls and voter intimidation.

The coalition said it is requesting that voting hours in the state be extended by two hours, mirroring similar, unmet requests by the Virginia State Conference NAACP and Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder.

The elections board call center also has been experiencing “unprecedented” call volume and has had problems with voter calls being dropped. Officials said they were working to use caller ID to ring voters back, but also encouraged residents to
use the board’s Web site ( to locate information such as registration status and polling information.

Voters also can can call their local registrars for assistance.

— Gary Emerling reporter, The Washington Times