Md., Va., Aim to Improve 2012 Voting Lines - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md., Va., Aim to Improve 2012 Voting Lines

Posted:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland and Virginia were among the worst-performing states when it came to delays in the 2012 elections, with some voters forced to wait for four hours in the cold to cast their ballots, according to a recently released federal report.

Election officials in both states are hoping to avoid a repeat of the problem for the elections being held on Nov. 4. They've bought new equipment, carved out smaller, more manageable precincts, and trained volunteers to better manage long lines, according to The Washington Post, (http://wapo.st/1sVszOM ).

The new effort comes after the Government Accountability Office found that Maryland, Virginia and Florida were the nation's three worst-performing states in terms of delays during the 2012 elections.

About 12 percent of voters in both Maryland and Virginia had to wait for more than an hour to vote, sometimes outdoors in the cold, the report found.

And though voting delays often stem from mundane issues, such as faulty equipment, they can be perceived as suspicious, especially in jurisdictions that have a history of voter discrimination

In Prince William County in 2012, for example, mostly African American voters who showed up to vote at River Oaks Elementary School were forced to wait outside for as long as four hours.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, a Virginia Democrat who pushed for the GAO report after community meetings, said he doesn't believe longer waits for minorities are by design, "but it was nonetheless the effect."

"It was minority communities that were mostly affected, and that has the effect of discouraging voter participation in the community," Connolly said. "That is what we want to make sure does not happen again."

The GAO report was based on a survey of the nation's 10,500 local elections offices, with specific questions addressed to Prince William County and four other municipalities where voters experienced lengthy waits. Delays were caused by overly long ballots, outdated equipment and poor management inside voting precincts, the report found.

Connolly and other lawmakers have pushed for legislation that would award grants to states based on how well they meet several criteria, including cutting wait times at polling places, boosting training for poll workers, and expanding early voting and registration opportunities.

"The franchise is sacred," Connolly said. "We've got to make sure we do everything possible so that everyone who wants to cast a vote is able to cast that vote."





  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 8:00 PM EDT2017-05-26 00:00:18 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Arrest Warrants Issued for Man Accused of Punching Man with Cerebral Palsy

    Arrest Warrants Issued for Man Accused of Punching Man with Cerebral Palsy

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:30 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:30:35 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:33:47 GMT
    Barry BakerBarry Baker

    Pennsylvania authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Barry Baker, the man accused of sucker punching a man with cerebral palsy at a West Chester Pennsylvania 7-11 earlier this month. 

    More

    Pennsylvania authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Barry Baker, the man accused of sucker punching a man with cerebral palsy at a West Chester Pennsylvania 7-11 earlier this month. 

    More
  • Rehoboth Beach Outfall Project Moving Forward

    Rehoboth Beach Outfall Project Moving Forward

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:10 PM EDT2017-05-25 18:10:09 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:10 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:10:40 GMT

    DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin on Thursday gave approval to construction of an outfall that will discharge Rehoboth Beach's treated wastewater into the Atlantic Ocean, eliminating the largest remaining point source discharge into Delaware’s inland bays. 

    More

    DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin on Thursday gave approval to construction of an outfall that will discharge Rehoboth Beach's treated wastewater into the Atlantic Ocean, eliminating the largest remaining point source discharge into Delaware’s inland bays. 

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices