Rigell: Voting problems now reported at 43 precincts

problems with voting machines at many precincts in Va. Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Officials with Rep. Scott Rigell's (R-2nd D.) campaign said Tuesday afternoon that the number of precincts experiencing problems with voting machines in the 2nd District increased to 43 locations as of 5:30 p.m., more than double the number the campaign reported earlier in the day.

The majority of the problems were in Virginia Beach where Rigell is up for re-election.

Some of the Virginia Beach locations they cite are Alanton, Arrowhead, Bayside, Birneck, Bonney, Cape Henry, Centerville, Chimney Hill, Colonial, Colony, Courthouse, Culver, Dahlia, Great Neck, Homestead, Hunt, Kingston, Lake Christoper, Larkspur, Linkhorn, London Bridge, Lynnhaven, Manor, North Beach, Ocean Lakes, Pleasant Hall, Rock lack, Rosement Forest, Seatack, Shelton Park, Sherry Park, Sigma, Stratford Chase, Tallwood, Upton and Witchduck.

Officials said there was also a problem at the Lafayette precinct in Norfolk.

State Department of Elections spokesman Cameron Sasnett said 32 machines at 25 Virginia Beach precincts had problems Tuesday. There are 820 machines across the city. He believes however, that the problems were identified before votes were cast.

Sasnett says the voting machines are nearly 10 years old the city is in the process of replacing them. He says the state, city and vendors will conduct an investigation into the problems.

On Twitter Tuesday morning, Rigell said there have been "numerous, credible reports of poll machine irregularity at voting precincts in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District."

"Every error is going against my campaign and in favor of my challenger," Rigell said at an 11 a.m. news conference.

Rigell and the state GOP are calling on the Virginia Beach Supervisor of Elections to switch to paper ballots at the precincts where problems have been reported.

RIGELL told 13News Now that if the election is close, his campaign will explore all legal options to ensure there weren't any miscast ballots.

On the WVEC13 Facebook page, voter Dustin Christy Vest wrote, "I was voting at Corporate Landing Middle School & a polling volunteer was on the machine next to me telling other workers that the machine was marking the x in the candidate below the one she was selecting."

Joel McDonald added, "The screens aren't well calibrated. My vote for Warner first registered as Gillespie. It's not a partisan thing. It's tech needing some upkeep."

State Senator Jeff McWaters said in an email, "Specifically, some voting machines have incorrectly recorded votes for the opposite candidate than the voter selected. Specifically, votes cast for Scott Rigell have appeared as votes for Suzanne Patrick, his opponent, in the voter summary."


Virginia Beach General Registrar Donna Patterson said in a news release, "We have received a handful of complaints from voting officials of malfunctioning polling machines. As soon as we learned of these problems, we removed those machines from service. Please be assured that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the election results are fair and accurate. To that end, we have instructed all election officials to remind voters to double-check the final summary page of their ballots, to make absolutely certain that their votes are properly recorded."

According to the state Department of Elections, Virginia Beach and Newport News are experiencing technical difficulties with the calibration of some of the AccuVote TSX Touch Screen voting machines. Voters reported having a different selection appear after making their selection. These technical difficulties are being addressed by voting equipment technicians and the vendor. Meanwhile, the machines are being removed from service.

His campaign was advising voters to double check the summary page before submitting their votes.

Rigell is facing retired U.S. Naval Reserve Commander and Democratic candidate Suzanne Patrick.

Patrick's campaign issued a statement around 12:15 p.m.: "Virginia has elections every year and we trust that the Department of Elections is doing everything it can to ensure accuracy during the voting process," said campaign manager Michelle Gajewski. "We will, of course, work with election officials to ensure this accuracy. Our campaign has gotten a very low and limited number of reports about difficulties casting ballots today. In all cases, the problem was resolved quickly and the voter walked away satisfied that each had cast his or her ballot successfully. If voters experience any voting irregularities, they should call the Virginia Department of Elections at 804-864-8901."

The Republican Party of Virginia wrote a letter to the Virginia State Board of Elections, reporting issues with voting machines in Arlington, Prince William and Spotsylvania counties, noting that voters are having difficulty selecting the candidate of their choice using the touch screen because the screen's touch sensor is not properly aligned with the text that appears on the screen.

The campaign was asking 2nd District voters to report any problems to his office at 757-425-0680 or send an email to Esmel@scottrigell.com.

The 2nd District encompasses all of Accomack and Northampton counties and the City of Virginia Beach and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton

No matter where you live in Virginia, if you believe that your rights have been violated or you have a complaint about your registration or voting experience, you can report it to the State Board of Elections via its Website.


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