In the District, there were technical glitches with equipment at polling places. In Montgomery County, budget constraints led to about 1,000 fewer election judges than during the previous presidential election. But there’s no question about it: Some precincts in Northern Virginia held the dubious distinction of having the most brutally long lines for voters in the Washington region on Tuesday. In Prince William and Fairfax counties, hundreds waited for more than three hours — and long after polls were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. The problems were blamed on high voter turnout, unusually long ballots, a shortage of poll workers and a limited number of touch-screen machines.
“It was outrageous,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who tried unsuccessfully to get additional machines delivered to a Dumfries voting location. The lines, he said, were “guaranteed to discourage a lot of voters who just can’t wait.”
In comparison, reports of lengthy wait times in the District and Maryland were isolated and far shorter.
Both the District and Maryland appeared to get some relief Tuesday because of robust early voting programs. Unlike in Virginia, voters in the District and Maryland are not required to provide identification. And in Maryland, state law requires local election officials to offer voters significantly more electronic voting machines than in Virginia, where in 2007 the General Assembly passed a law to phase out the machines.