Voter Patrol: News 4 I-Team Tracks DMV Polling Place Complaints, Concerns

To keep track of possible problems at polling places, the News 4 I-Team has been on Voter Patrol, checking out the complaints and concerns viewers have sent in through our special tip line


Three-hour lines are the longest reported so far. A D.C. Board of Elections spokeswoman confirmed a three-hour line at McKinley Technology High School Tuesday morning because of a large number of people who needed "special" or provisional ballots, but it cleared up by midday. 

The D.C. Board of Elections also confirmed a "small number of voters" were not updated in the District's database, because they registered within the last 8-10 weeks. A viewer in Ward 6 complained she had to fill out a special ballot, because they couldn't find her name. But the Board of Elections told the I-Team anyone with a voter card or proof of residency should be allowed to use a regular ballot.

Problems with Virginia's ID law constitute the largest number of complaints, especially in Fairfax County. The general registrar said new "poll books" can scan driver's licenses but cannot scan other forms of legal ID, including passports, military and work IDs. The registrar said some poll workers asked for driver's licenses in an effort to speed up the process Tuesday morning but have since been told they may not ask for a second form of ID.

Voters in Alexandria who use paper ballots that must be scanned told the I-Team they were very concerned about their privacy. The Alexandria general registrar told the I-Team there ought to be a "five foot zone of privacy" marked around the scanners, and no one should approach a voter unless there's a paper jam or the voter asks for help. She also said voters can flip their ballots over if they want to further protect their privacy.

Compared to previous elections, there have been a smaller number of complaints coming from Maryland. Most are concerned with privacy and how voters must remove their completed paper ballots from a manila envelope before scanning it. The Maryland Board of Elections told the I-Team "privacy is a common complaint," but it's received fewer complaints this election when compared to the primary. A spokeswoman said poll workers have been reminded "to respect" and "to be careful" of voter privacy.


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There have also been few problems with voting machines. A spokeswoman told the I-Team seven to eight machines, out of 2,900 statewide, had to be pulled for issues.

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