HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Voters were lining up and ready to go at Providence Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach one hour before polls opened in the 2016 General Election.
WAVY’s Lex Gray reported at least a dozen voters lined up at the church before the time read 5:30 a.m. Some residents even shows up in the cold earlier than that.
“It’s been rough on both parties, and we’re just ready for it to be done, the results in … and it’s a brand new day tomorrow,” said Virginia Beach resident Lynn Brazie.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. across the state, and will close at 7 p.m. Only Chopper 10 was high above Hampton Roads Tuesday morning, capturing images of the throngs of voters.
Lines grew longer in Virginia Beach — as well as several other precincts — after polling opened. Some voters told 10 On Your Side they were excited to vote in the election, while others said they wanted to just get the election over with.
Some residents in the lines said they were not excited about the presidential candidates, but were voting anyway.
Residents began showing up to Watkins Early Childhood Center in Newport News early Tuesday morning, with the lines growing leading up to 6 a.m.
Voter Mary Brown in Newport News said she tried to vote a 6 a.m., but could not even get close to the building. She returned a few hours later, and told 10 On Your Side’s Rico Bush the voting process went smoothly.
“The line was out through the parking lot when I arrived, but it went through quickly,” Brown said.
Virginia Beach resident William Lafferty voted for the first time on Tuesday, after spending most of his adult life in prison. Lafferty had recently had his voting rights restored.
A former ODU student told 10 On Your Side’s Kara Dixon that university students were being turned away because the city of Norfolk never updated their voter information. She also says that students turned away were given provisional ballots.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been working to restore the rights of convicted felons who have since been released from prisons. The governor has said that he’s restored rights for 60,000 felons since he took office.
Voters will decide Tuesday who will succeed President Barack Obama as commander in chief of the United States.
The presidential election has come down to a race between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump — even with a number of independents on the ballot. This election cycle seems to have been one defined by divisiveness among the candidates, and even voters.
Numerous issues have been raised during the campaign season — ranging from Hillary Clinton’s emails to Donald Trump’s qualifications as a candidate.
Brown says the most important issue to her in this election is corrupt government.
“I feel like there’s too much behind-the-scenes deals, wheeling and dealing, and I feel like they need to remember that we are the ones they’re working for,” Brown said.
Locally, the ballot in Virginia Beach features a referendum on extending light rail from Norfolk to Town Center. There are also several local senate, house and mayoral races across Hampton Roads.
WAVY-TV 10 will have complete team coverage of Election Day 2016 on air and online.