Roanoke City Election Task Force Listens to Voters' Concerns - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke City Election Task Force Listens to Voters' Concerns

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Brenda Hale witnessed the long lines on Election Day. At the Villa Heights precinct, more than 2,500 active registered voters wrapped the building for more than three hours, many staying late into the evening. 

"It was shocking," Hale says. "There was a lack of enough equipment, lack of poll workers."

The election task force is working together with the community to cut down on wait times and the long lines. One proposal on the table is reducing or realigning the number of precincts from 32 to 19. For some like Councilman Sherman Lea, the plan doesn't make sense.  

"Thirty-two to 19 would not solve the problem.," Lea says. "You would have a similar situation."

Dan Crawford didn't wait in line very long on election day, but worries about the impact the plan would have on him. 

"Fewer precincts means less voting machines and longer lines," Crawford says.

Melvin Williams with the registrar's office says the proposal would allow them to distribute the 64 poll books, and put more at some of the larger precincts like Villa Heights and Peters Creek.

Another proposal would break up some areas like the Peters Creek area into three separate precincts, putting fewer people at one place. Williams also adds the registrar's office has requested in their budget for 12 more poll books to help register folks quicker. But no matter what plan is picked, Crawford hopes nothing is sacrificed.    

"My concern is we will be distracted by saving $2,000 and fail to protect the most precious right," Crawford says.