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Virginia Politics
Posted at 06:09 PM ET, 11/08/2012

Fairfax chairman wants answers on long Election Day lines

The chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors said Thursday that she wants the county to set up a commission to study why many voters had to wait in long lines to cast ballots on Election Day.

“I think it would be beneficial to examine what lessons we can learn from the 2012 election,” Sharon Bulova (D) said in a statement. “I plan to … suggest the formation of a bi-partisan commission to identify ways to reduce lines, decrease wait times and streamline our election process.”

Bulova said the commission’s mandate would be to make recommendations that the county could implement before the next election. She’ll formally call for the commission at the next supervisor’s meeting on Nov. 20, she said.

While many Fairfax County voters didn’t have to wait at all Tuesday — Bulova said she waited a reasonable 20 minutes — others endured hours-long lines that snaked around buildings. Some who didn’t have the time left without casting a ballot.

It was not unusual for voters to have to wait over an hour, Bulova said, adding that the last vote in the county was cast at 10:30 p.m. at the Skyline precinct in Bailey’s Crossroads. Lines closed at 7 p.m., which means some voters waited three and a half hours.

Among other things, elections officials have blamed a shortage of poll workers, not enough touch-screen voting machines and a high turnout of 80.5 percent, compared with 78.7 percent in the last presidential election.

While waiting problems were worse elsewhere, notably in Prince William County, Bulova said she thinks Fairfax can do better next time.

By  |  06:09 PM ET, 11/08/2012

 
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