Election officials say that almost 800 Virginia voters cast provisional ballots on the Nov. 4 elections because they lacked valid identification under the state’s new photo ID law. “Localities are still entering provisional ballot information into the system, but so far, about half of these ballots were accepted and half rejected,” Edgardo Cortés, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, said at a meeting of the State Board of Elections in Richmond on Monday. Cortés also called for a full review of the status of voting equipment in the state, following reports of malfunctions on Election Day in almost a dozen localities statewide. In Virginia Beach, several touch-screen voting machines were taken out of service after recording votes intended for Rep. Scott Rigell, R-2nd, as votes for his Democratic opponent Suzanne Patrick. Cortés said Monday that foul play was an unlikely cause for the malfunctions.
“We have absolutely no reason to believe that this was purposeful, but we want to make sure to conduct a full review so there is no question at the end,” he said in an interview following the board meeting. Election officials believe the malfunctions are the result of aging voting equipment.
“It all seemed to be related to end-of-life issues for the equipment that’s out there. We have to move forward and figure out what do we do with the 2016 elections looming with a much greater turnout than this year, and what can we do to hopefully avoid some of the issues we had this election,” Cortés told the board.