Richmond precinct runs out of ballots: ‘You should never tell people to come back later’

Posted at 10:49 AM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 14:54:41-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- About 30 voters were told to leave and come back later after a ballot shortage was reported at First Presbyterian Church on Cary Street in western Richmond.

James Nachman, who chairs the City of Richmond Electoral Board, said they were short on ballots for about 30 minutes.

Nachman said the situation has since been corrected and admitted the situation should have been handled differently.

"You should never tell people to come back later," Nachman said. "There’s ways to allow them to vote and evidently some of the workers here didn’t quite understand that correctly."

Some of the voters who were initially turned away did come back and cast a vote while CBS 6 News crews were on scene.

A Virginia Department of Elections official said First Presbyterian Church sits in a split precinct with another location where less voters were expected due to an uncontested race. The ballots for the precinct with the less predicted turnout were mistakenly sent to First Presbyterian.

Voters at First Presbyterian Church were voting in:

Senate District 09 (McClellan v. Lewis)
Senate District 10 (Sturtevant v. Hashmi)
House District 68 (Coward v. Adams)
House District 73 (Kastelberg v. Willett)

The polls, which opened at 6 a.m., close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters at First Presbyterian Church were encouraged to return to the precinct before 7 p.m.

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