ODU students among voters with problems at the polls

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Some students at Old Dominion University had to vote with provisional ballots Tuesday, when they discovered their registration information had not been recorded properly.

Elections officials told 10 On Your Side that a “handful of students” were affected in the precinct at Larchmont Elementary School. The address on students’ registration cards did not coincide with voter rolls. WAVY News saw long lines at the precinct late Tuesday afternoon.

“It made me kind of mad, I just turned 18 in September,” said ODU freshman Maya Hunter. “I was actually looking forward to voting this year.”

Sherise Sharp, also a freshman, said she can’t understand why people have to go through so many steps to be able to vote.

“I feel that if you’re 18 and you’re a citizen of the U.S., you should be able to vote, period,” Sharp said.

The Virginia Department of Elections said in a statement that it advises “all voters to be knowledgeable about their registration information well ahead of Election Day,” but it’s unclear whether precinct workers had updated information for the students. A department spokeswoman says that will be determined as part of the official canvass of votes.

WAVY News left a message for Norfolk’s Registrar but it was not returned by late Wednesday afternoon.

In Chesapeake, seven voters had to submit provisional ballots after they were told that they had already voted. An elections official told us it was the result of an inexperienced poll worker having misinterpreted voter records.

Police: No reports of voter intimidation at Chesapeake precinct

New congressional maps led to mixups in Norfolk’s Granby precinct. The area is now divided between the second and third congressional districts. Some voters were given ballots with the wrong race. A husband and wife, voting six hours apart, got two different ballots.

Throughout the day Tuesday, election officials say they responded to some isolated voting equipment issues. Voters experienced longer wait times in some precincts, primarily due to high voter turnout. Despite the high turnout, everyone in line by 7:00 p.m. had voted by 8:30 p.m.

Overall however, there were no major problems and no verified instances of voter intimidation.