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Virginia board of supervisors election begins with ballots too wide for voting scanners to process

Ballots were printed on site at precincts before new ballots were delivered.

Published: February 21, 2023 12:35pm

Updated: February 21, 2023 1:29pm

A special election in a northern Virginia board of supervisors race began Tuesday with ballots that were too large for scanners to accept before the election officials issued new ones.

The election for supervisor of the Gainesville District on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors began at 6 a.m. with all ballots being 1/16th-of-an-inch too wide, according to local newspaper Bristow Beat reported.

County Director of Elections/General Registrar Eric Olsen said poll workers still accepted the ballots that were too large and that they will be counted by hand at the end of the day.

"I'm not sure what happened with the cut of these particular ballots," he said. "They are just a tiny bit too wide."

Poll workers began printing new ballots on site at the precincts while the county elections offices printed more ballots to be delivered to the polling locations, according to the Potomac Local News

Olsen said early turnout was higher than usual, with two precincts each having had over 100 voters by mid-morning, though turnout at other precincts was slower.

He also said voter turnout is expected to be fewer than 10% of registered voters in the Gainesville District, which is typical for a special election.

The polls are open until 7 p.m.

The special election is for a news supervisor to finish the last nine months of the term vacated by former Supervisor Peter Candland, a Republican who resigned in December over concerns about conflict of interest, according to the Times.

The key issue in the race is whether to develop rural land for more data centers.

Republican Bob Weir is against the development while Democrat Kerensa Sumers is for it. Candland had resigned after he and his wife signed a contract to sell their property to one of the data centers.

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