Expect long lines, traffic delays at polling stations

Posted at 5:59 PM, Nov 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-05 22:12:34-05

Expected high turnout for tomorrow's presidential election may mean long lines for voters at  polling places.

During the 2008 presidential election, 74.5% of registered Virginia voters cast ballots.

Dr. Jesse Richman, a political science professor at Old Dominion University, thinks there will likely be numbers like that in Virginia again this year.

"I'm expecting Virginia to have a heavy turnout," Richman commented "I think there's a pretty good chance it will be heavier than last time."

Part of the reason for a high turn out  in Virginia is that the state is crucial to both Democrats and Republicans.

"Virginia appears to be from most of the polls extremely close. Consequently the turnout is likely to be really quite critical," explained Dr. Richman.

Chesapeake Voter Registrar Al Spradlin expects there to be three periods of heavy turnout and long lines on Tuesday.

The first will be in the early morning when polls open at 6am and will last until roughly 9am.
The next rush will happen midday during traditional lunch breaks.

Lines are expected to pick back up again around 5pm and stay long during the evening rush hour until polls close.

"If you can vote during the day when a lot of people are working and can't vote- go during a break or something - probably lines won't be too bad then," Dr. Richman explained.

Voters who are in line to vote when the polls close at 7pm will still be allowed to cast their ballots.

VDOT also announced Monday that it will be keeping a careful eye on traffic congestion near polling places.

It will pay special attention to interstate ramps that are within a half mile of a polling location.
That includes the East Little Creek Road exit off 64 and the Ballentine, Lynnhaven and Birdneck exits off 264.