Loose Lips

Five Things that Make Voters Mad

There's a hotline that D.C. voters who feel they've been horribly wronged can call during today's election. It's run by Election Protection, "a nonpartisan voter protection coalition." Below are some of the complaints the organization received from fuming voters today.

Ward 3, Precinct 50 (Chevy Chase Community Center)
Poll workers were not accepting Comcast bills as identification. In certain circumstances D.C. does not require photo IDs, for example, in some cases a bill showing the person’s name and current address will be sufficient. The D.C. Board of Elections was contacted and the problem was resolved.

Ward 4, Precinct 62 (Shepherd Elementary School)
Polling place opened late because voting machines were not working (poll workers did not have machine activation codes). Polling place eventually opened. Voters initially were able to vote by paper ballot. By 7:40 voting machines were operating.

Ward 8, Precinct 126 (W.B. Patterson Elementary School)
Voter cards inserted into machines allowed voters to choose wards 2, 4 or 7.  However Precinct 126 is in Ward 8. This problem persisted until 8:30 a.m.

Ward 7, Precinct 103 (Plummer Elementary School)
Voting machines inoperable.

Ward 2, Precinct 141 (Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center)
Front desk security guard required a photo ID for building entrance, however a photo ID is not always required to vote in D.C. This polling place is located inside the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center. The D.C. Board of Elections was contacted and the problem was resolved.

Problems like these have led Vincent Gray to send a letter to the Board of Elections and Ethics demanding they extend voting hours. In the letter, Gray claims to have received  120 complaints from voters. The BOEE hasn't said whether it will keep polling places open late.

  • Truth Hurts

    I just stopped to chat with some Fenty volunteers I saw outside a polling place in Ward 3 (on Connecticut Ave near Military Rd -- didn't pay attention to the name of the school). A woman who had voted for Fenty approached and said the voting machine wouldn't accept her ballot when she (twice) attempted to insert it face up. An election judge tried to help her and reinserted it face down. The machine apparently accepted it, but the woman now is concerned that her vote may not have been counted.

    I post this only to point out that glitches occur everywhere. It's not right, and today it's happening in predominantly Fenty wards too. Having done election protection poll monitoring in the '04 and '08 presidential elections, I had to deal with these issues quite a lot.

    It's not the plan of Fenty or Gray to rig the election. Let's not go there.

  • LOL

    Truth is telling the truth. There is no rig going on. Just crappy machinery. Voting is the way to keep your credibility when you post on pages like this. Regardless of your choice, vote.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvjantzen/ Michael

    I voted in the Reeves Center. I didn't have to show an ID (this was at 7:15pm), but I did have to put my stuff through a scanner, which i find offensive for voting. When I walked through the magnometer it beeped, but they just waved me through.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ Michael: At least you didn't shoot anyone!

    I'm joking. This is something that ought not to happen (both the scanner and whatever beeped). Please follow up with the responsible agencies.

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