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Video: Polling Place Disaster in Prince William County, Virginia

by: lowkell

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 17:28:47 PM EST


Our friends Annabel Park and Eric Byler are up to no good LOTS of good again! :)
Shocking New Footage of the Polling Place Ordeal of the most African-American District in Virginia's Prince William County

Video is part of new Web Series and Documentary Examining the Deep Divisions in the American Electorate:  "Story of America: A Nation Divided"

Washington, DC - Producers of a new web series called "Story of America: A Nation Divided" released today shocking new polling place footage from River Oaks Precinct, the most African American precinct in Virginia's Prince William County.  Filmed in the waning hours of the 2012 Presidential election on November 6, 2012 at Potomac Middle School, the video captures footage and commentary from voters who spent hours in lines with the last vote coming in at 10:45pm, nearly four hours after the polls officially closed.

According to Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, Virginia law requires that one voting machine be assigned per 750 registered voters. By contrast, Maryland law requires one voting machine per 200 registered voters. This polling place did not appear to adhere to Virginia's law, with only six voting machines and over 5,000 registered voters.

lowkell :: Video: Polling Place Disaster in Prince William County, Virginia

Story of America: A Nation Divided is a web series produced by Annabel Park that engages Americans from across the country in a dialogue about the deep divisions that exist in America today and how we can bridge them to achieve greater unity, democracy and prosperity as a nation.

Americans are invited to log on to learn more (http://www.storyofamerica.org) and to share their stories of what it means to be an American today and find solutions to how we can heal the divide in our country.  On instagram and twitter, posters should use #thisismystory.

In the coming weeks and months, the project will explore the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and its relationship to rising economic inequality, the deepening divisions between red states and blue states and between rural and urban regions, and, the fragmentation of America across racial, political and cultural lines. The project will eventually be edited into a feature-length documentary.

About Annabel Park
Story of America is a project of the acclaimed documentary filmmaker and political activist Annabel Park.  Ms. Park studied Philosophy at Boston University and Political Theory at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar.  She is a co-founder of the Coffee Party USA, a grassroots, non-partisan movement that aims to restore the principles and spirit of democracy in America. Her previous work includes "9500 Liberty", an award-winning documentary web series and film that chronicled the eight weeks in American history when the Arizona immigration crackdown was in effect. Produced in partnership with a team of filmmakers including Eric Byler, "9500 Liberty" is the winner of four film festival awards. It was released theatrically in more than 30 cities and picked up by MTV Networks for a Sept. 26, 2010 cable premiere.

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Incompetence by design? (0.00 / 0)
Budgetary considerations notwithstanding, this whole scenario smells.... reminds me of voter suppression in Florida and in Ohio. Was not Pr. Wm. County in violation of the law here? I understand that elections are handled by states, but, given the Voting Rights Act, cannot we have natioal standards for federal elections to begin to rein in such shenanigans?

"Gov. McDonnell Not Concerned About Polling Problems" (0.00 / 0)
Bob McDonnell proves once again he's not a leader, doesn't care about the people, and is a total right-wing partisan hack. Check this out:
Lots of Virginians left polling places frustrated on Tuesday. In some spots, there were reports of four hour long lines. And many locations only had one electronic voting machine; even then some malfunctioned. This has Democrats calling for drastic changes, but Governor McDonnell says they're jumping the gun.

"There are mechanical and human errors that occur, but overall from what I have heard everything has gone as well as it could," says McDonnell.

Absolutely clueless, not to mention callous. #FAIL

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This is sad, but what a testament this is to those who hold dear their rights to vote! (0.00 / 0)
I salute them.

I am SO thankful that these beautiful, wonderful people were so informed and were so willing to fight for their rights by staying the course until the good deed of voting was done!


On election night I posted... (0.00 / 0)
I posted that on WTOP I had heard of the long lines in PW, and that election officials had said they complied with VA law, having 1 machine for every 750 registered voters.

That number seems just absurd.  All other things considered, during presidential years it needs to be 1 machine for every 250 registered voters... or less.

Better yet.  Early voting, full out early voting, not in-person absentee after you supply a urine sample.

They also should give out printouts of the ballot questions while you are in line.  I know when I voted absentee I stood at the machine for 5 minutes reading the questions.  Admittedly I neglected to research the questions before I went to vote, and I'm sure 8 in 10 voters on election day did the same thing, and that didn't help matters.


Does your county Democratic Party supply a sample ballot to voters? (0.00 / 0)
I know that this has been standard practice in Arlington since I can remember, but I also know that producing, mailing, and disseminating it at the polls is very resource intensive, both in financial and volunteer labor terms.

So I don't know whether it is a common practice throughout Virginia.

What I do think, however, is that it is key to success in downballot races, bond issues, and ballot questions.  

This year, like everywhere, we had much longer lines than we were used to.  I can only imagine how much longer they would have been if everyone was confronting the complexities of the constitutional amendments for the first time when they saw them on the screen.    


[ Parent ]
Possibly (0.00 / 0)
You may be right on that.  I voted absentee this year so I didn't receive one and it wouldn't have mattered anyway since there was no line, but they may have been given out on election day.

[ Parent ]
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The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

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