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Red Tape

From Hampton to Williamsburg

  • Nov. 4th, 2008 at 2:49 PM
After a brief nap, I went out to get my free Krispy Kreme donut. Perhaps not so surprisngly, it was really crowded in the little store that is usually fairly empty. It becomes very surprising when I learned that I was one of 4 people in line who knew about the free donut. I happily spread the word about the other free celebratory items in the area.

At this point the rain had let up to a light drizzle with an occassional pick up, so of course, there was no line of people waiting to vote. Those questioning whether the rain would deter voters, I think this would be the answer - no. In fact it seems to have only made people more determined to come out and vote.

While there was no line over where I vote, while in line for donuts, I heard tales of lines lasting two hours still, despite being in the middle of the day when most people are at work.

Driving around, things seemed pretty calm in Newport News and York County, at least at the polling places I knew of. Downtown Williamsburg is still going pretty steady as well, as I just came from there and reporting from the library across the street. It was wonerful to learn that students from William and Mary were coming in constantly, after fighting to be allowed to register to vote after choosing to move down by the college.

Apparently the lines there have never been drastically long, but they haven't been incredibly short either, with the line out the building constantly. It was also wonderful to see all the student volunteers helping to get people out to vote who would have trouble making it their themselves. The Williamsburg residents that were not college students have been very grateful for thier help thus far.

I haven't heard many complaints of trouble voting in my area, from friends, or on the news. The biggest problem seems to be parking and traffic patterns. At my own polling place, the school has changed the traffic pattern in and out of the parking lot, and for those of us who are only there once a year, it was incredibly confusing, and most of the cars ignored the one way signs and reverted back to the traffic pattern we remebered from last years local election.

In Williamsburg too, there seems to be some confusion. Traffic patterns haven't changed here, but with limited parking in Downtown Williamsburg (by Merchant's Square and Colonial Williamsburg) getting in and out of the library parking a lot across the street has been a challenge as once again, one way signs are ignored or forgotten, and traffic is as dense as it is at the height of tourist season, but with more pedestrians out and about.

Pollsters don't seem to be a problem, as they aren't allowed within a certain distance of the lines. More seem to have woken up and gotten out to the polls now. This morning, a small group of Democrats showed up at 6 to hand out sample ballots, but they were fairly quiet and subdued. The Republicans looked to have shown up when I last drove by, so there seems to be fairly even representation again.

It's just hit 3 PM here, and I'll probably hit the road again soon to see how things pick up as people get off work while I make my way back down to Hampton to watch the results.


( Comment )
jaboobyville wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
MSNBC is reporting some problems with voting in Virginia. Have you heard or seen any of this?

calchandler wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Not down on the Penninsula of Hampton Roads. There was a slight glitch getting the machine on at my polling place, but it was resolved before the polls actually opened. It may have caused the two hour lines this afternoon that I mentioned above, but I didn't get a chance to really find out if it was just long lines or other delays that caused such a long wait to vote.

The last time a machine broke down, no one was turned away, a lock box was brought in and the ballots were placed into that to be added to the machine once it was working again, and we were given the option of waiting around until it was.
dedqgirl wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
My parents live in Hampton, actually, so this was a pretty cool post to read. They managed to get out of the rain quickly, because I guess another line formed for the end of the alphabet, but most everyone was in good spirits. My mom says they were out of there in under an hour. She tried to get a picture of the line, but they said she wasn't supposed to. They had to let voters out the back door cause they couldn't even get through the front!
calchandler wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
That's pretty cool. The end of the alphabet and the beginning of the alphabet were the busiest at my place in Hampton.
( Comment )