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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mistakes on voter cards led to confusion at the polls

We warned you that there might be problems on Election Day, and there were—a lot more than usual, according to a poll watcher. More than 2,200 people countywide received voter cards from the Fairfax County Office of Elections with errors—such as the wrong precinct or polling place. Many of the mistakes failed to account for changes due to redistricting.

The incorrect voter cards, which were mailed to voters in advance of Election Day, were just the tip of the iceberg; there were many more mistakes that weren’t even reported.

For example, in the Mason District, about 200 voters from the Barcroft precinct were turned away when they showed up to vote at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School. They were told that they’d been moved to the Ravenwood precinct and were supposed to vote at JEB Stuart High School. But when they got there, their names weren’t in the Ravenwood polling book.

It could be even worse next year, if these problems aren’t fixed, because 2012 is a presidential election year. A lot more people are expected to vote, including many who haven’t voted since 2008.

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