Looking to Make Election Reforms

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A number of problems at the polls this past election has Attorney General Bob McDonnell asking to make some important changes to try and make the election process easier for all of us.

McDonnell recognized two problems at the polls on November 4: long lines and overworked election officials. One of his main concerns is working with local election offices statewide to create more voting precincts.

He says, "We're going to recommend that they reduce the standards down to 3,500 registered voters to a be able to make up a precinct. The fewer voters you have at a precinct, the less likelihood you have for lengthy lines."

McDonnell also wants to help out election workers that work long hours by providing closing officials at the end of the day.

He adds, "By the time the counting is to start at 7 or 7:30 that night, they have worked an extremely long day. What that means is you are increasing the potential for human error."

Staunton resident and voter, Bryan Flavin, says he likes the idea of having more precincts.

Flavin says, "It would be a great idea, because the line we went to was fast. The other line was out to the parking lot, so yeah."

He thinks having closing officials would help also.

Flavin adds, "Just the extra layer of security, extra layer of, you know, checks and balances."

While she isn't against the changes, Staunton Registrar Amanda DiMeo says she does have some concerns, including funding.

DiMeo says, "If we were to increase the number of precincts, we would have to get more machines as far as the accessibility requirement."

She also has some reservations about using closing officials.

"You might have issues that come up when you're adding up that don't make sense and if you weren't there in the morning to know what was going on, how would you remedy that problem," asks DiMeo.

McDonnell is also proposing to allow voters to wear political clothing and campaign-related items to the polls.