The Washington Post

VIDEO: Long lines at Prince William polling place in Dumfries create unrest, outrage

UPDATE, Nov. 9: Borden reports that the county electoral board retracted a request of $350,000 to assist the anticipated higher turnout, but the money would not have gone to additional voting machines. So it’s still unclear whether this could have been avoided.

ORIGINAL POST: Regardless of your political persuasion, you should watch and be troubled by this very well composed video of the situation Tuesday at Potomac Middle School in Dumfries, where voters waited three to five hours to vote.

Prince William Supervisor Frank Principi (D) says in the video that the registrar requested funds to handle a large turnout, and Prince William County staff “nixed the budget.” The Post’s Jeremy Borden is looking into that.

The video was produced by Story of America: A Nation Divided, a Web series of videos that the filmmakers intend to turn into a full-length documentary. They started in Virginia shortly before the election, and say they intend to expand their scope to a national dialogue on the increasing fragmentation of America. Annabel Park, a documentary filmmaker and political activist, is leading the project.

Other notes about Tuesday night: The River Oaks precinct in Dumfries, where Potomac Middle is located, is reported to be one of the highest minority precincts in Prince William. Borden reported that there were six voting machines for 5,100 registered voters, and that Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) and other Democrats showed up there Tuesday night urging voters not to let the long lines deter them.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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