Voters unimpressed with new ballot machines, says registrar


Anderson campaign: Signs improperly label her as a TEA Party member 

Voters in Prince William C:ounty went back to using paper voting machines today.

General Registrar Michelle White called voter reception of the new machines “lukewarm.”

“When I’ve been out with the new equipment I’ve heard people come up to me and ask “why are we moving backward instead of forward?” said White.

Paper ballots this year replaced electronic touch-screen voting machines that had been used in Prince William County since 2000. Problems with the machines led to long lines in 2012, and Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that required the return to paper ballots.

“I can understand why the General Assembly made the decision because in the event a paper ballot voting machine goes down you can keep allowing people to vote while creating a paper trail,” added White, who is marking her first General Election Day in Prince William County.

Turnout at precincts across the county has been light as voters decide who send to Richmond for the House of Delegates and Senate, and choose candidates for local offices such as Board of Supervisors, School Board, and Soil and Water Board.

Democrats hope to keep the 29th Senate District being vacated by retiring Charles Colgan, who has held the seat since 1976 and has represented voters from Manassas to Woodbridge. Democrat Jeremy McPike is running against Republican Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish for the seat.

The race between incumbent Paul Ebert and Mike May for Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney is one to watch. Ebert has held the position since 1968 while May chose to step down from his role as Occoquan District Supervisor on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to seek the position.

Ruth Anderson is running against Earnie Porta to replace May on the Board fo Supervisors. This morning, Democrats erected signs charging Anderson — wife of Delegate Richard Anderson, who has served Prince Willaim County residents since he was first elected in 2009 — stating she is a member of the TEA Party.

Anderson’s campaign denies she has any involvement with the TEA Party. So far, the signs have been spotted at Lake Ridge Middle and Rockledge Elementary schools in Lake Ridge, and the First Baptist Church of Woodbridge.

“I don’t have any empirical evidence that she is a member of the TEA Party,” said Prince Willaim County Democratic Committee Chairman Harry Wiggins. “The signs are in response to the vile campaign run by Anderson during the election.”

Wiggins said a move last week by Republicans to discredit Anderson’s Democratic challenger by digging up a lawsuit dating back 15 years was uncalled for.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and will close tonight at 7 o’clock. Poll workers ran into problems early this morning at some locations in Prince William when they were unable to log onto the internet with their poll books — laptop computers poll workers use to check in voters.

The issue was fixed and did not severely delay the voting process, added White.

6 thoughts on “Voters unimpressed with new ballot machines, says registrar

  1. This attitude that Harry Wiggins shows, “You DARE bring up a lawsuit that is in public records against one of my candidates and I’ll make up something against one of your candidates” shows that Wiggins is simply a whine at all costs scumbag.

  2. I wonder what Harry Wiggins’ excuse for the exact same tactics two years ago against Delegate Rich Anderson. Wiggins placed the same type of signs at two precincts that I visited in 2013. I have one left over – it states “Vote TEA Party; Cuccinelli for Governor; Anderson for Delegate” It carries the disclaimer “Authorized and Paid for by the Prince William County Democratic [sic] Committee”
    Prince William County residents probably remember that reprehensible race run by Roy Heddleston. Harry – has a vendetta going there it appears. We remember Harry.

  3. Except that Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Anderson do represent the Tea Party. Mr. Cuccinelli was never shy about that. And speaking of campaign tactics, I remember Mr. Anderson’s first campaign when he sent a negative mailer which prominently displayed the social security number of his opponent (Paul Nichols). Nice guy.

  4. Sure, it may seem old fashioned. However, some people would take a long time at one of the electronic machines causing a long line to form. With paper ballots, that is eliminated as you don’t need as many machines and many people can fill the ballot at the same time.

  5. Davin you are correct but…. Instead of using a pen to fill in the box which is like trying to color and stay in the line, why don’t the use a chisel point marker and make a swipe.
    Just a thought.

  6. I asked about that, Godfather, as I served as a pollworker for one of the candidates, because the same thought occurred to me. Bleedthrough with such a marker is the concern. Makes sense to me.

    As for the return to paper ballots, I also agree with Davin’s assessment. I served as Chairman of the Election Task-Force constituted after the difficulties experienced during the 2012 election, and the electronic machines were very problematic. Not the least of these problems was a lack of a paper trail in a potential recount situation. The creation of such a record — absent the problems created by the Florida system in 2000, with various types of “chads” — is a substantial guarantor of election integrity, particularly in close races. I would strongly hope that it would cut down on various conspiracy theories ubiquitous on the Internet.

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