Fairfax County elections officials are bracing for confusion at the polls on Election Day, in part because glitches in Virginia’s voter database could lead some voters to the wrong polling place. County officials said Monday that they discovered about 2,200 cases in which a state-run computer program assigned voters to incorrect precincts.
Voters were sent new voter ID cards as soon as the errors were discovered, for the most part in September. But at least one error was discovered as recently as last week. New cards were sent by two-day or overnight mail in some cases to make sure they arrived in time.
The problems, which have not been detected in other Northern Virginia jurisdictions, had Fairfax officials worried on the eve of a high-stakes Election Day. Local School Board races have been especially hot, and Republicans need to pick up just two seats to take control of the state Senate.
Elections officials say they think the problems occurred in Fairfax and not elsewhere because the county, with its population density and highly prized swing voters, was sliced and diced more than most during redistricting.
“We’ll see how things go tomorrow, but we do have some serious issues,” said Sharon Bulova (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “They’ve had people call up and say: ‘Hey, wait a minute. I got this voting card, but I know where I’m supposed to be. I’m getting campaign literature from these candidates, but my voter card is saying otherwise.’ ”