Confusion in Prince William Co. over new polling locations

WASHINGTON — There is confusion among some Virginia primary voters in Prince William County after a change in polling locations.

Back in 2014, the county reorganized its voter precincts, which meant a change to where many people vote. It seems some people didn’t know where to cast a ballot.

“I spent 40 minutes and made five stops before I got the right location,” said Allen Sayler, a Woodbridge resident who left a message with WTOP Tuesday.

Due to the county’s reorganized precincts, the caller said he didn’t know where to vote.

“One would think I didn’t go prepared. I spent a half-hour on the board’s website. There’s lots of info about 2015 elections but I believe this is 2016,” Sayler said.

Michelle Brown with the county elections office admits its website is not voter friendly, asking visitors to enter their voter registration ID, which many people don’t know.

“The website we have is not the best. We do direct voters to the Virginia Department of Elections website,” she said.

It’s the best workaround because voters can enter their address to find out where to cast a ballot.

The county sent out information to those affected by the 14 precincts added in 2014, but that was a while ago, Brown said.

“It is something I’m going to address in anticipation of the presidential election,” Brown said.

As for the confusion, she accepts responsibility but says voters also need to do their due diligence.

“It’s partly voter responsibility and partly us getting the word out,” she says.

Virginia joins 11 other states holding primaries and caucuses Tuesday.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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