Virginia Makes Voting Faster

Apr 30, 2018

A new report gives high marks to Virginia when it comes to serving voters. The wait to cast a ballot is shorter than it used to be. 

Virginians had shorter waits in 2016 than in 2012 thanks to new voting machines and more people voting early.
Credit AP Photo/Ben Finley

The Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington checked up on 88 parts of the country to see how long voters were forced to wait.  Seventeen counties in Virginia took part in the study, and the project’s associate director, Matthew Weil, says the Commonwealth is making progress.

“Virginia has, in the past, struggled with some of the longest lines in the country.  In 2012 I think they were in the top five states for longest lines.  In 2016 they are much improved over that and certainly far outside the top ten,” he says.

One possible reason – many areas bought new voting machines between 2012 and 2016.  Another reason is that more of us are voting early or absentee.

“Typically there is something that a voter will qualify for that will allow them to vote an absentee ballot – whether in person or by mail,” says  Fairfax Registrar Cameron Sasnett.

The study also showed the busiest time to vote is the morning, and Sasnett says that should prompt officials to hire more people to handle the early rush.