Early Voting Brings Long Lines, Complaints

Complaints about long lines, lack of paper ballots

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Derrick Ward reports on problems with early voting in Washington, DC today as large crowds came out ahead of the storm. (Published Saturday, Oct 27, 2012)

    Workers had to rush extra voting machines to various polling places around the District Saturday after larger-than-expected early voter turnout led to longer-than-expected waits.

    D.C. residents who wished to vote early in Ward 8 found themselves frustrated by long lines and a lack of paper ballots Saturday morning.

    News4's Tom Sherwood dropped by the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center at 703 Mississippi Avenue, Southeast to get a look at the first day of early voting at the satellite location. He found a line of voters frustrated by the fact that only two of the eight machines had been programmed to work on the day. On top of that, no paper ballots were available.

    "Bureaucratic mess," Sherwood tweeted. "People want to vote."

     Saturday was the first day for early voting at seven locations around the city. Early voting officially began this past Monday at the Old Council Chambers and was scheduled to continue until Saturday, November 3. The hours for early voting are between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. All early voting locations are closed on Sunday, October 28.

    Tim Craig of The Washington Post reported similar issues at an early voting location in Columbia Heights. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham tweeted that more voting machines were on the way Saturday afternoon.

    The large crowds weren't limited to the District, either. News4's Seth Lemon reported that the line to vote at the Oxon Hill Public Library wrapped around the building, with at least one person persuaded to vote early by the coming Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to affect the region later this week.

    For a complete list of polling places in the District, you can find the Board of Elections website here.

    Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more as this story develops.