Five months after an Election Day on which some frustrated Northern Virginia voters waited for hours in line before they could cast their ballots, a bipartisan Fairfax County commission released a report Tuesday aimed at ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself.
The report of the Bipartisan Election Process Improvement Commission largely confirmed what local officials said soon after the 2012 results were in: More voters than expected showed up, and there were not enough voting machines and poll workers on hand to keep the lines moving. Fixing the problems will require better technology, better training and better polling places, it said.
The commission, which was chaired by former Fairfax County supervisors Katherine Hanley (D) and Stuart Mendelsohn (R), was the brainchild of Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D). She praised the commission Tuesday for identifying “a variety of improvements and efficiencies” in the voting process.
Turnout is always high in presidential-election years, but officials were still surprised by the final tallies, the report found. Ballots were cast by 81 percent of Fairfax voters in November, compared with 32 percent for 2011’s state and local elections and 49 percent for 2010’s congressional contests.