Some Virginia Voting Equipment Doesn't Meet Requirements

Virginia elections officials say some voting equipment used in the November election doesn't meet state requirements.

State Board of Elections chairman Charles E. Judd said that there should be uniformity in the election process.

“This vast diversity of equipment in the state is problematic,” Judd said. “We should have two kinds of equipment and not 10 or 12 kinds around the state. We should have some uniformity so it applies to the code and it makes it more efficient.”

Judd and other board members discussed the issue Monday during a meeting, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Board secretary Don Palmer said some voting machines can't reject overvotes or undervotes, which would allow these ballots to be inspected manually.

“It concerns me that we have equipment out there that is not able to do what it should do. In this instance, there is no ability to retabulate,” Palmer said.

An undervote would be one in which a selection would be made in at least one race, but not others. Overvotes could include ballots in which two candidates were originally marked for a race but one was crossed out.

Palmer said the state has contacted every vendor that provides voting equipment to the 2,558 precincts across Virginia.

“There may be a solution to this, where a central scanner can retabulate these ballots and provide the results,” Palmer said.

A recount is pending in the attorney general's race, which is the closest statewide contest in modern Virginia political history. Democrat Mark Herring has a 165-vote edge over Republican Mark Obenshain, who petitioned for a recount with Richmond Circuit Court. A recount court is expected to convene in mid-December to settle disputed ballots in the contest.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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