When long lines forced some Fairfax voters to wait until 10:30 p.m. to cast their ballots on Election Day, county elections chief Cameron Quinn said the delays arose partly because she had had huge problems recruiting poll workers. That explanation enraged some Fairfax Democrats. They complained that they’d proposed appointments of hundreds of elections officials whom Quinn and others in the Republican-controlled Fairfax elections apparatus had failed to approve in time. It might be a coincidence. Hans von Spakovsky, the GOP-appointed vice chairman of the Fairfax Electoral Board, said the board approved “every single individual” who filled out the necessary paperwork.
But, sad to say, it’s also possible the GOP appointees laid the groundwork for such delays to occur. They might have hoped the long lines would discourage voting in the county that is the Democrats’ most important electoral bastion, by far, in a major swing state.
It didn’t make any difference, of course. President Obama carried Virginia and the electoral college by sufficiently wide margins that hardly anyone was bothering afterward about whether the elections procedures were pure.
We might not be so lucky next time. That’s why Fairfax needs to do a thorough review of why so many people had to wait hours to vote, and figure out how to prevent such problems from recurring.