News Column

Some Wait 4 Hours to Cast Ballots in Virginia

Nov. 6, 2012

Clay Barbour, The Virginian-Pilot

Tempers began to flare at the Clarence V. Cuffee Community Center in South Norfolk, Va., Tuesday as the wait to vote pushed past the four-hour mark.

"This is just horrible," said Rashell Hobbs, a 19-year-old first-time voter. "There is no reason it should take this long."

Hobbs was one of more than 700 people in a line that filled the center's auditorium, snaked down the halls and stretched into the parking lot.

"A lot of us have been in line since 6:30," said Edwina Griffin, her voice filled with frustration. "But we are not leaving."

Officials confirmed the center had been on a three-hour wait most of the day. The polling center had 11 booths open, but backups with the ID checkers seemed to leave more than half the machines open at any given time.

"This is just wrong," said Deborah Gomes. "Who has four hours to vote? I know this could have been handled better."

The polling place made national news in the 2008 presidential election when electronic poll books used to look up voter information failed. People waited six to seven hours to vote then.

Source: (c)2012 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) Distributed by MCT Information Services