The Republican congressman in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District said voters at nearly 40 polling places have reported being unable to cast a vote for him.
Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), first elected in 2010, represents the heavily military district including Norfolk, Hampton and Virginia Beach. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve.
His opponent, Democrat Suzanne Patrick, is a former undersecretary of Defense and a retired Navy commander.
The race has been rated “safe GOP” by Real Clear Politics.
Rigell’s campaign reported soon after polls opened this morning that “received numerous, credible reports of poll machine irregularity at voting precincts in Virginia’s Second Congressional District.”
“This is very troubling. It is critical that every voter verifies the final summary page before pushing the ‘cast ballot’ option,” read the email to supporters.
Five hours later, the Rigell campaign sent out another email saying “this disenfranchisement of voters strikes at the very heart of our republic.”
“You may have heard on the news about the massive amounts of voting irregularities occurring in the Second District,” said the message from Rigell. “Because of a machine malfunction, we have had reports of nearly 40 different polling locations in which voters are attempting to vote for me, and it comes up as our opponent.”
The campaign released video it says was shot at a polling station in Virginia Beach. In the video, the voter has voted for Republican Ed Gillespie for Senate, but when he touches Rigell’s name the box fills in for Patrick.
“The voting machine cast a ballot for the Democrat when I was touching Republican. I notified the poll worker and he said it’s a calibration issue. Funny thing is, it did not happen on the next page with other ballots,” wrote the voter who posted the YouTube video. “He said, ‘that’s because you’re hitting the center of the box. You need to touch the top of the box.’ Well imagine that! Who knew that I should be hitting anywhere OTHER than the center of the box?!?!?”
Rigell encouraged voters having issues to contact his office or the Virginia Beach Registrar’s Office.