Virginia’s election officials say they have a lot of work to do before the presidential primary in a few months. Members of the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) met in Richmond Monday to discuss issues that came up during the recent elections: there were problems with some voting machines, as well as the commonwealth’s voter identification policy. Officials said, overall, things went smoothly earlier this month. However, they are concerned that more voters will likely come out to the polls for the March 1 primary, and issues must be addressed before then. “These machines are going to go down, and if you think it was a problem in this election, great balls of fire, what is going to happen if they go down on presidential, or even in the primary?” SBE Vice Chair Clara Belle Wheeler said.
The board had banned thousands of touch-screen voting machines after widely-reported issues. In response, many precincts went back to the old-fashioned paper ballots.
However, other touch-screens still in use – like one in Greene County – created troubles. “In Greene County, we had an Edge machine that had to be taken offline during the day,” said Gary Fox with the Virginia Department of Elections.
Fortunately, votes were recovered from the machine in Greene County. But it wasn’t just that machine: calibration issues popped up in Norfolk, Halifax, Amherst, and elsewhere. “The votes were being flipped when the voter would press the candidate of their choice,” Fox said.