Polling Place Problems in Pittsylvania Co.
Danville, VA - Some voters on the Southside feel they were cheated out of an opportunity to vote for President
Many are complaining they did not see the Presidential candidates' section on the electronic ballot-- blaming everything from poor placement to fine print.
As the registrar's offices continue to canvas Wednesday, it's hard to tell just how many people were confused by the electronic ballots. But the number is certainly in the dozens.
Charles Turner was one of a number of angry voters in Pittsylvania County who completely overlooked the Presidential section of the ballot and were not given the chance to go back and fix it.
"As the screen closed, I asked the lady, 'When do I get the chance to vote for the President?' and she said, 'Well, you did,' and I said, 'No I didn't. I never saw a category for President,'" he said.
"We don't have any control over the way the ballot is set up. That is determined by the state board of elections. I didn't realize it was a problem until we started absentee voting," said Jenny Lee Sanders, who works at the general registrar in Pittsylvania County.
A screen shot of the ballot shows the Presidential nominees right on the left, but it contains more words and lines of information, possibly causing confusion for voters.
Pittsylvania County Registrar Jenny Lee Sanders says it's hard to figure out. The ballot used in this election is the same as the ballot from 2008.
"We did not see this level of confusion four years ago. I don't know how to explain what happened this time," said Peggy Petty from the Danville Registrar's Office.
Similar complaints were rolling into the Danville Registrar's office late into the evening. Many precincts allowed them to fill out provisional ballots, but those votes were not counted.
Electoral board members voted to throw out hand written ballots that came as a result of human error.
"They also knew of the issue, but we also have to follow the law. We want to follow the code and the code is: one person, one vote," said Petty.
Now people like Turner are left to feel like this time around, their voices were not heard.
"To me it feels like it violates my right to cast my vote and there should be some provisions made," said Turner.
Turner's suggestion to election officials is to use a separate electronic page for each section on the ballot. Registrars say they plan to submit recommendations to the state electoral board on the layout of the ballot for the next election.