VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach voting officials were dealing with an issue with the city’s electronic voting machines in Tuesday’s primary election.
According to city officials, the problem was with the electronic pollbooks. These are the computers poll workers use to verify that voters are registered and at the correct polling location.
Donna Patterson with the Virginia Beach Registrar’s Office says the issue began when polls opened at 6 a.m. and it’s believed to have affected all polling places in Virginia Beach.
At 10 a.m., The Virginia Beach Registrar’s Office said electric polling was working at some locations, but not all.
“We’ve deployed 14 teams to address the issue and we expect them to be back up and running in an hour or two,” said Patterson. “In the meantime, voters are being checked in and verified by hand. While some polling locations were only allowing provisional ballots while the pollbooks were being updated, the Electoral Board has since directed poll workers at each location to enable voters to submit regular ballots.”
She added that they would update the electronic pollbooks as soon as they are back online.
Polls close at 7 p.m.
They weren’t turning voters away, but rather were using provisional ballots while they resolved the issue.
Patterson didn’t have additional details and said they are not sure what caused the issue.
Virginia Beach is voting for which Republican candidate will face Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria this November.
“Our phones and our messages have been ringing off the hook with people that are understandably concerned about their vote, if it’s going to get counted or not,” explained Republican congressional candidate Scott Taylor. “They haven’t done a provisional ballot before. They’re uncomfortable with it. I just hope Virginia Beach gets their act together and gets it back up and running.”
According to Donna Patterson, the provisional ballots won’t be counted before the polls close at 7 p.m. She said they likely won’t be counted for a few days.
It’s still unknown how many voters were affected by the electronic issue this morning. Poll workers at the Witchduck precinct estimate they had about 170 voters use provisional ballots at their location.
“It’s a small percentage of the overall 11-hour day so I think we’ll be alright,” said Republican congressional candidate Ben Loyola.
Also, there are 11 temporary polling location changes in Virginia Beach for the primary. Those who were affected should have received notice by mail. To check your polling location, click here.
To view the list of candidates, click here.
For more information on today’s primary elections, click here.
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