Voters “seem to be taking quite a bit longer with the ballot than in the past,” he said.
Otherwise, Tatum said, technical issues have been minor, such as paper jams and some touch-screen machines that could not immediately be powered on. By midday, he said, all precincts had operating equipment. A some polls, he added, police had to be called to handle overzealous electioneering.
Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said that he would call on the D.C. Council to investigate the reasons for the long lines at the polls.
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Besides the presidential race, District voters will elect six members of the D.C. Council and a chairman who will finish the term vacated by Kwame R. Brown, who resigned in June. Phil Mendelson (D) is seeking to remain in the latter post against Calvin H. Gurley, also a Democrat.
Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) are unopposed. Incumbent Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) is being challenged by Republican Ron Moten, while Barry is facing Jauhar Abraham, an independent.
Voters may choose two of seven at-large candidates. Incumbents Michael A. Brown (I) and Vincent Orange (D) are seeking to remain in office. The challengers are: David Grosso (I), Mary Brooks Beatty (R), Leon J. Swain Jr. (I), Ann C. Wilcox (Statehood Green) and A.J. Cooper (I) .
Voters will also vote up or down on three charter amendments. One would establish for the first time a mechanism for expelling members of the council. The others would make a mayor or council member convicted of a felony while in office ineligible to hold that office.
Also on the ballot are nonpartisan posts, including five State Board of Education seats — an at-large post sought by Mary Lord (Ward 2) and Marvin Tucker (Ward 5), and four ward posts — as well as seats on 37 advisory neighborhood commissions.
At Smothers Elementary in Ward 7, nearly 400 had voted by 11 a.m., leading to the shortages of the “I Voted” stickers and provisional ballot forms.
“We got a little bit of stuff, but we got a lot of people coming,” said precinct captain Doretha Leftwood.
Outside, retiree Ann Hazel said she voted for President Barack Obama and Alexander, saying she did not consider her challenger, Republican Ron Moten. “I’ve been a Democrat for 76 years,” she said.
Linda Winston, a social worker, said she was most excited about reelecting Obama. “Even with [President George W.] Bush, he needed two terms,” she said. “He needed that additional time to go in and accomplish what he needed to accomplish. That’s what I’m seeing right here.”