Poll: How Long Did it Take to Vote Today?

by ARLnow.com November 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm 16,043 223 Comments

Arlington residents are reporting very long lines at polling stations around the county.

One to two hour lines and longer are still being reported at polling places like Walter Reed Community Center, RiverHouse in Pentagon City, Arlington Central Library, Key Elementary, Glebe Elementary, Crystal Plaza, Barcroft Sport and Fitness Center, Barrett Elementary, Aurora Hills, George Mason University, Madison Activity Center, Drew Elementary, Patrick Henry School, Clarendon Education Center, Lyon Village, 1320 N Court House Road, Gunston Elementary, Tuckahoe Elementary and Wilson School.

Some say lines are being held up due to too few voting booths. Others say voters are taking extra time in the booths to read and understand the proposed amendments to the Virginia constitution.

If you voted today, how long did it take you?

Photo courtesy Arlington Public Library

  • Brian Spence

    It took us three freaking hours at the central library. Why in the world do they only have 5 booths in such a densely populated area?? Ridiculous.

    • drax

      Hmm. Each precinct should be about the same population.

      • Wayne Kubicki

        Arlington precincts are not all the same size – some are much larger than others.

        • drax

          Seems dumb.

          • Alan

            Thinking that they have the same number of people? Yes, kind of dumb.

    • TimeIsNotOnMySide

      Ridiculous! It shouldn’t take that long. Gives people a reason NOT to vote. Took 20 mins last Thursday. But I had to lie about why I was voting early. Why can’t i just vote without having to make up a reason?

      @ARLNow what about an I already voted choice?

      • Charles

        I voted three weeks ago at Courthouse “early voting” on a warm sunny morning with no waiting line whatsoever. It wasn’t rocket science to guess that it could be cold AND BUSY on Election Day.

    • P.D.

      I think it can depend on how many people (whether volunteers or paid) are available to work the polling place.

      • BoredHouseWife

        they are paid

    • Mack

      It’s to discourage people from voting more than once.

      • Brian

        …or at all

    • Ballston Resident

      It took us over 2-1/2 hours today to vote at W&L high school. Only 4 voting machines! Line was huge, probably over 300 people in line.

      Why so few voting booths at W&L and central library as reported by Brian Spence?

      • NPGMBR

        My polling place is the Carver Community Center. I was in line at 7:42 and didn’t cast my vote until 9:33. Luckily, everyone was in good spirits and chatting with each other so it made the wait not seem so bad.

        Everyone just seemed to be excited that there was such a large turnout despite the fact that some of us had Democratic sample ballots and some had Republican.

    • Frozen

      Agreed! Massive fail this morning!

    • D.King

      The 5 booths wasn’t the problem, it was having only two people checking you in that was the giant bottleneck! Why there were two checkers and four people verifying them, I don’t understand

      Didn’t really help that one of the checkers was older than my grandmother and didn’t seem too techno-friendly. Really slowed things down a lot

    • Bender

      I was in and out in less than five minutes.

      Of course, if you go when everyone else goes, you have to expect a wait. Even so, the average wait time sounds to be far less than the time one must wait in traffic trying to go only a few miles.

  • hour and a half at GMU this morning… was shocked to see how few voting booths they had for that…. also shocked at how the building/booths weren’t wolf accessible…

    • WeiQiang

      … the effing squirrel lobbyists.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      Was a Scooby Snack provided after your vote?

  • JamesE

    W&L only had four machines

    • T

      It had five electronic and four paper, actually

      • John Fontain

        Yeah, but the fifth machine was a HOT lane and I sure as heck ain’t paying to vote.

        • WeiQiang

          elitist voters

        • speonjosh

          Credit where credit is due – that was funny.

        • LolaMINI

          They were seriously charging to jump ahead in line?

          • drax

            Yes. It wasn’t a joke at all.

          • John Fontain

            Yes, and one poll worker said only whites were allowed to use the HOT lane.

          • SomeGuy

            I hope they clear this up before tomorrow, when the Obama voters are schedule to cast ballots.

          • John Fontain

            I thought we weren’t supposed to vote until next Tuesday. A dude named Grover Nordist or something like that came to my house asking me how I planned to vote. When I said Obama, he told me that that voting takes place on next Tuesday so that there won’t be too long of a line at the polling place today.

          • SomeGuy

            I could be wrong about which day the Obama people are supposed to vote. I just heard that it’s not today. If you give it a try tomorrow, please report back and let us know how it works out.

          • drax

            I’m sure Project Veritas is working to expose this kind of voter suppression as we speak.

          • WeiQiang

            well, i’m wearing a scarf, just in case.

      • Ballston Resident


        You are wrong. There were only 4 electronic voting machines at W&L high school. There were four paper voting stands, but very few wanted to use them. Don’t know why.

        • Allie

          Yeah, thought that was weird. I voted at W&L using paper ballot — at least I shaved 10 minutes off my time after waiting in line for more than 2 hours.

  • Andy

    We went to Yorktown at just after 5.30am to beat the rush – sixth in line; once they let us in (two minutes late!) it was very quick.

    I think a few more machines were called for personally.

  • Amused

    Just finished at Walter Reed in Westover. Took a hair under an hour. The line moved fast.

    • Forgive Me

      Forgive my ignorance – but what and where is “Walter Reed in Westover.”?

      • Alan

        Probably meant Swanson.

        • Correction

          Actually they probably meant the Reed School in Westover – next door to the Westover library.

          • Thank you

            Both make more sense than what I was thinking…

          • Alan

            That is part of Highland Park – Overlee Knolls. Common mistake.

        • Future

          Actually, that area has a lot of polling locations: Reed School, Swanson and Lee Center. It’s kind of overkill, but I was in and out at my location in under 30 minutes.

          • Alan

            Is McKinley one too?

  • KRS

    No line at Arlington Arts Center at 11:45a. There were 4 electronic machines and 4-non electronic booths.

  • Austin

    Asked a poll worker at W-L about the dearth of machines; she said there was some law passed in VA that restricted them from buying new ones for some reason. Don’t know the details.

    • SteveP

      A friend of mine in Fairfax pointed out that on the Fairfax County Government Facebook page they have the following:
      “Re: long line complaints: voting machines dictated by Virginia State Board of Elections at each precinct, 1 per 425 registered voters. Due to VA legislature concern re: verified audit trail, only optical (paper ballot) scanner purchase allowed under law. Purchase of more DRE/touch screen electronic voting machines not permitted under current state law”

      For those who haven’t voted yet, I just spent about 20 minutes (Barcroft ES) and the line has gotten shorter.

    • Loocy

      They are phasing out the old machines but are not quite ready to bring the new machines in, so broken machines can’t be replaced yet. In most places, the line to submit the machine-readable paper ballot is shorter. Those are tallied on the spot and will be reported along with the touchscreen votes, so use that if it shortens your wait.

  • AT

    Arlington Arts Center was a breeze this morning (got in line at 5:45 with about 20+ people ahead of me, voted at about 6:10). Only issue was most people chose to vote electronically and there are four booths for that while the four seats for paper balloting were empty. About 2-3 people chose the paper route. No issues with machines and workers were very good about keeping the line moving and telling people to please have their minds made up when they step into a booth.

    • T S

      I had the exact same experience at McKinley Elementary this morning. Was in line by 5:45 am, finished voting at 6:20. There were people waiting for electronic and all the paper stations were open. I took paper and then a few others followed.

  • Matty

    Rosslyn Firehouse was brutal. 2.5 hours – and that was with voting with a paper ballot instead of waiting for a machine!

  • KBE

    Took just over 3 hours at Riverhouse in Pentagon City. Five machines there, plus four booths for paper ballots.

    • Julia Q.

      It took me the same – I arrived at 8:15 and voted around 11:30. One of the poll workers said the delay was verifying addresses, not the equipment. They had processed 600 people in four hours. When I voted there was a small line inside the polls for the machines and several empty booths for the paper ballots.

  • Taco

    Hint: The lines will be shortest between 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and even with the evening rush, they will be much shorter than the morning. If you walked away without voting this morning, go back this afternoon and you’ll see a big difference. And if you’re on line before 7, they have to let you vote.

    • 5555624

      NNNNoooo!!! Don’t tell people this secret! Long lines is one reason I never vote in the morning. (The main reason is the polls open late.) It took less than 20 minutes at 2:30 p.m. and I the line for paper ballots was even shorter.

      • BoredHouseWife

        it wasnt true this time around. the lines were just as bad

        • 5555624

          The line I encountered at 2:30 p.m. was not long at all and a lot shorter than in the morning. From the time I walked in the door until I walked out, it was 20 minutes.

  • SMR

    TJ Middle School only had 4 electronic voting machines but they offered paper ballots which are immediately fed and read by a optical reader so as soon as I inserted my paper and it “read” my responses, my vote was cast.

  • NIMBY The Chicken

    Will the same democrats that call the election a fraud because Bain Capital owns the voting terminals be crying foul that there weren’t enough? That would make me slap my knee laughing.

    • drax

      Yeah, that makes sense.

    • Not Me

      You should definitely slap yourself either way.

      • nor me


  • KalashniKEV

    Just under 2.5 hours.

  • Paul

    Just under 30 minutes at Arlington Forest around 9 am. It was much, much faster if you requested a paper ballot.

    • SamW

      Voters at Walter Reed CC weren’t given option for paper ballots until the end, after we’d already waited 2.5 hours. I heard of other districts (Ffx Co) that offered them upfront.

      • speonjosh


      • FrenchyB

        True, but when I went through there this afternoon, the delay was at the check-in, and not at the machines. Took me 1 hour & 55 minutes.

  • elsie

    Voted at the Wilson School, got in line at 7:20 and took a little over an hour. Part of the line was inside which was nice. We could see the much longer line at the firehouse which was all outside. We had maybe 6 machines and 4 paper ballot booths. I think it was worth every minute of waiting.

    • speonjosh


    • speonjosh

      Actually, on that point – why can’t the entire line be inside at the polling places that are schools? The school is closed – have us wind up and down the hallways? I talked to a colleague who voted at a school in Maryland and she said that’s what they did there….

      • Elsie

        I don’t know about other schools but the Wilson school is extremely small, I don’t think the entire line would have fit. The entrance is right by the gym, where the voting machines are set up. It may be just be logistics, there’s no good place for people to enter to get to the end of the line without going through the beginning of the line.

        • GreatRosslynDriver

          I also voted at Wilson School (a bit over an hour arriving at 10:40 am). Unless the line wended its way up and down the stairs it wouldn’t have fit inside. Mostly what I didn’t like was having to wait next to the media truck spewing exhaust at me for 20 minutes.

      • Loocy

        At Yorktown this morning, they opened up the school door and let people line up down the hallway even before the cafeteria doors were unlocked for voting at 7 am. The line was inside even during the worst early morning crowd.

        • speonjosh

          OK, so it was on a school by school basis. Fine. I wonder if the teachers there for teacher work day got to vote whether or not to allow the masses indoors……

  • The Gov..

    Voted this morning around 9:30 at Dawson Terrace and it took little over an hour. I think they had 4 electronic machines. Drove past Lyon Village Community Center at Lee Hwy and Highland St and the line had to be 300+ people, it was really long. Saw on FB that library in Ballston was bad as well.

    • dirty biker

      Yup, nearly 2 hours long at 6:45 am and collllddd. Only the last 15′ of the line was inside.

      Anyone selling hot coffee would have made a killing (are you listening Java Shack? I want to see a cart down there in 2016!)

  • supernova

    Two hours and twenty minutes at Barcroft Sports Center. Four voting machines and one check-in computer (the other one was down). Machines were empty as voters were checked in by typing in their information. What are the barcodes on the voter cards for?

    • drax

      Verifying the info by a human is probably required by law, barcode or not.

      • dirty biker

        Sure, but why can’t they use the code to pre-populate the info and then double check? Entering it all by hand added at least a minute per voter. It really felt like everything was designed to be as inefficient as possible… which maybe it was… sigh

        2008 I voted early, 2016 I will again.

        • speonjosh

          It’s all in the mind, dirty biker. It’s all in the mind.

          I didn’t find it inefficient at all.

          Also, have you heard about the guy who reverse-engineered the bar code on his airplane boarding pass? And was then able to create a valid boarding pass for any flight?

        • drax

          There’s a balance between efficiency and making sure there are no screwups.

          Notice that we’re going back to paper ballots.

  • Drunk_IrishChick

    About as long as it takes to use the bathroom at Osullivans on a busy night!!

    • spoiled ballot

      I hope you didn’t get up to any of that in the polling booth!

  • Taco

    P.S.– The big delay is due to people reading, for the first time, the proposed state constitutional amendments and bond referenda.

    If they had known how they would vote on those ahead of time, things would have moved much, much faster. It ain’t just president and Senate on the ballot.

    Know before you go: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/VoterRegistration/VoterRegistrationElectionInformation.aspx

    • B22201

      and considering that most of us don’t know how to read, it could be a while.

      But definitely, if it were just for President, it would take no time at all. . . throw in things about how to spend money on parks, or some random school board member, and then it gets confusing.

    • SamW

      The sample ballots being handed out while waiting in line listed each of those amendments. The info was there, but people didn’t take advantage of it.

      • Rachael M.

        This practice pisses me off. The “Sample ballots” were all marked with selections of a certain party’s affiliation.

        This practice of handing out pre-selected ballets originates from a time in the South where political parties (both of them) would try to take advantage of poor iliterate electorates. If you get handed one of these you should take offense for 1) Someone has assumed you are too stupid to read the amendments/candidate names on the ballet and make a choice 2) Someone HOPES you are too stupid to make a choice.

        It’s a practice that has very offensive roots, but for some reason campaigns still use without question.

        • Rachael M.

          and before the snark starts, illiterate* Too angry to even type correctly. There was nothing to “take advantage” of with sample ballets, they’re meant to take advantage of you.

        • drax

          You could have simply said “no thank you” like most people.

        • BoredHouseWife

          they put a sample ballot on the wall without the markings

        • Loocy

          People seek out those sample ballots. I was one of the people handing them out, and I had several people come up to me and specifically ask for it. I was standing next to people handing out the other one. Some people took both, presumably to compare and contrast while waiting in line. People walk in knowing how they are going to vote at the top of the ballot, but sometimes the local information isn’t as clear.

          My own votes didn’t reflect everything on that sample ballot. It’s just more information — people want to know the recommendations of the party leadership. Then, armed with that information, you make your own decision. It’s just more data.

  • billj

    Took my wife and I about 5 minutes.. helps when your precinct consists of two buildings, The Jefferson retirement building and The Continental condo building.

    • barryballston


    • Greg

      I’m guessing my precinct consists of 10x that much.

  • Fillmore

    Just got through the Clarendon Education Center in 45 minutes. The line was actually getting shorter.

    • Swag

      Was 40 mins for me. By the time I voted, the line was gone (12:40).

  • FamilyShow

    3 minutes @ Ashlawn @ 9:30am. Four electronic booths. We were the 400th+ voters for the day.

    • It look just under an hour at Ashlawn at 6:30 a.m. Pre-work rush.

  • Just lurking

    An hour at Swanson this morning at 7:30. They were having some trouble with a couple of the five electronic voting machines.

  • gerry

    any report from patrick henry school?

    • speonjosh

      Got in line at 7:30 or so, voted around 9:00. I didn’t count electronic voting booths – maybe 6 or so? They also had five seats for voting by paper. The line for the machines was waaaay longer (of course that’s after you check in). Easily 8 or 9 people choosing electronic for every one choosing paper.

      The line outside looked shorter when I left, but it was still long.

      • Christine

        I believe there were only 4 electronic booths. I voted paper because why does it matter? Got there at 6:30am and voted about 8am. The line was not really any much shorter when I left for work at 9am.

        • LolaMINI

          Got there (PHE) at 6:15am, voted by paper and out by 7:20am. Lots of volume of people but the staff checking us in did so efficiently. There was a long line for the voting machines so paper was quicker.

        • Marc

          I chose paper as well. It does matter because paper is more secure. Also, you can’t recount electronic votes, so if the election is close enough it come down to the paper ballots.

    • Resident

      Just got back from there… took about an hour. Line shorter now than earlier.

  • A little over 1.5 hrs at Arlington Traditional School.

  • Just Me

    I think I will vote on paper.

  • Rosslyn

    Just over 3 hours at the Rosslyn Firehouse this morning starting at 8 am. Freezing cold, and a long wait outside.

  • PT

    Got in line at 7:30, left the voting booth at 10:25.

    At Walter Reed Community Center. They only had 5 booths at the time I voted, and rumor has it there were only 4 prior to that.

    Pretty ridiculous, back in NJ I would be in and out in 10 minutes.

    • drax

      Yet here you are.

    • NJ

      Back in NJ, you’d be underwater with no power. Too soon?

      • speonjosh

        No, I think waiting until after noon definitely helped…..

      • PT

        Nice, keep it classy guys.

  • Dear Arlington Voters: Arlington has the maximum number of voting machines deployed that we are allowed to under State law. We also have paper ballots available. Our ballot this year is a long one, and it takes a bit longer to get through it. We thank you for your patience, and for hanging in there to vote. — Mary Curtius, spokesperson for Arlington County Govt.

    • other side of the river

      Thanks, Mary.

    • KLO

      Did the Commonwealth also require that Arlington County select sites for polling stations that force people to stand outside in the cold for hours on end while waiting to vote? Very poorly run operation.

      • bb

        Harumph! Harumph!

        I for one suggest we vote on moving the polling stations to a warmer location. Hawaii anyone?

      • speonjosh

        This has got to be trolling.

        • KLO

          Why am I the troll and not the county spokeswoman feeding incorrect information about how the county deployed the maximum number of voting stations allowed under state law. There is no maximum allowed under state law.

          • drax

            (See county spokeslady’s reply to that below).

    • P.D.

      At my polling place, the problem wasn’t the ballots or voting machines, but rather that there were only two stations for people checking IDs. Once I actually got checked in and got to the voting machine, I was at a machine right away, voted, and was out in under two minutes. Getting to the check-in station took an hour and twenty-five minutes.

      • speonjosh

        Should there be one check in person for each polling booth?

      • drax

        Well, that’s probably because the voting booth comes right after the check-in station, don’t you think? Unless there were empty voting booths, the check-in wasn’t the hold up – the simple fact that alot of people wanted to vote and showed up before you did was the hold up.

        • P.D.

          No, really, it took twice as long to check in than it did to vote.

        • BoredHouseWife

          it is the check in. it is always the check in. at least they don’t use the thick books anymore.

  • Layne

    1 hour total starting at 6:20 am Virginia Square precinct.

  • INF

    Got to Kenmore at 0700. Left at 0800. Exactly an hour.

    I don’t understand why only have four machines and four paper ballot booths! We’re a big enough county. I would think we can afford more!

    • speonjosh

      See comment above, left two minutes before yours. (maybe you were typing….)

  • elG

    Less than 30 minute wait at the Clarendon Methodist Church today around 11 AM. There were 5 electronic stations and 4 or 5 paper voting booths. It seems like the back up is the process of checking people in? Seems like technology designed to fight a nonexistent problem (voter fraud) is causing the back-ups.

  • Rick

    Took me just under 30 minutes at 8am at Yorktown. By at the end of 30 mintes the line was shorter then when I started.

    Oh and taking time to read what was on the Bill — people need to read before they vote — that is what is wrong with people in the county as they don’t understand the issues – – They hit the yes vote then they complain when the county increases taxes.

    • drax

      There’s a tax increase on the ballot?

      • Wayne Kubicki

        For what the County is projecting for revenue growth – actually, yes, by voting for the Parks bond in particular (most of which is the aquatics center), you are most probably voting for a tax rate increase.

        • drax

          So if you support any spending for any particular project, it means you support raising taxes to fund it?

          I don’t think so.

          Did you vote against all four? Because the parks one isn’t the only one, you know. If not, does that mean you support tax increases?

        • speonjosh

          Yeah, there is little logic to singling out one bond measure versus the others as being the one that would lead to tax rate increases.

          Also, the ballot measure simply authorizes the county to issue the bonds. They don’t run out and do it tomorrow. Contrary to what the know-it-alls on this board might believe, there is a reason that Arlington is one of the very few jurisdictions in the country to still have AAA ratings from all credit rating agencies. If the county was seen to have to raise taxes dramatically in order to afford paying off bonds, I don’t think we’d have AAA ratings for long.

          • John Fontain

            You are embarrassing yourself with such a naive comment. Trust me, Wayne is 1000 percent more knowledgable about this stuff than you, drax, or me.

          • speonjosh

            What did I say that was wrong?

        • John Fontain

          Wayne, you raise a very insightful point about these effectively being referenda on tax increases. I wonder how people would vote if the question was asked as “Should we increase taxes to pay for a bond issue for parks…”

          • drax

            When and if it actually says that on the question, let us know.

            My question to Wayne remains unanswered – did you vote against all four bond issues? If not, does that mean you voted for a tax increase?

  • Deadite

    Took almost two hours at Courthouse this morning. Arrived at 8 AM. Having only 5 machines is simply ludicrous.

  • KARLington

    Arrived Reed School 5:30, out by 6:15. 5 machines, paper ballots not being used at the time. Definitely noticed people taking time to read bonds/constitutional issues…wonder if there is a difference in who knows ahead of time between newspaper readers and non-paper readers? Feel like I saw info on these for last few weeks in the Post and Sun Weekly so I knew my opinion ahead of time. If you passively consume digital news only, might be easy to miss.

    • As someone who moved to VA last year, I’m shocked that the state doesn’t send out voter information packets. I don’t get my news from TV or newspapers. I was in the dark and had to find my own voter’s guide.

      • drax

        You don’t read newspapers and you’re complaining that the government didn’t spoon feed you a voter’s guide?

      • @jinushaun

        Don’t vote please if it’s too much work to inform yourself.

      • GMo

        Get involved in your community civics. Don’t rely on the state to feed you the information. Own your vote!

      • speonjosh

        The state may not have, but the county made an effort – they explained the proposed bonds in some detail in their Community newspaper that was mailed out to everyone recently.

        Also, there were pamphlets available at my voting station this morning, passed out by volunteers to us while we waited in line. They appeared to have been printed by the state. Of course, they only gave the facts – no analysis.

        All that said, I do remember fondly getting the 100 page booklet in the mail from the state in California, explaining all the propositions. I think they even printed one or two pages from organizations on each side, providing reasons for and against.

        • darsasx

          “the county made an effort” – Yes, the reprehensible robo-calling Mary Hynes made to Arlington voters to ask them to please vote ‘YES’ for all the bonds.

    • P.D.

      It depends more on the effort one makes than on the medium involved, I think. I, for one, don’t read the paper and generally get my news digitally, but I care enough about this stuff that I did my reading well ahead of time by checking out the “What’s on my ballot?” part of the SBE website a few weeks ago.

  • anonymouse

    It took over 3 hours – 2 hrs 45 mins waiting outside in the cold this morning. They could have easily snaked that line some more inside. It’s unnecessary to make people wait in the cold when there is a lot of space that could be used inside.

    • LolaMINI


    • Zimmy

      That may have been at the discretion of the poll workers. I was at GMU Law this morning and the election officials were doing their best to snake people through different rooms and hallways to get as many people inside as possible.

  • anonymouse

    I should have stated that I voted at Central library.

  • J

    Arrived at Abingdon Elementary around 6:10. Cast my ballot at 7:15.

  • KLO

    1.5 hours at 1320 N. Courthouse starting from 6:30 am. There were five machines. Paper ballot use was non-existent and would not have sped the process up much, because the entire line was outside of the closet-sized polling station.

  • South Awwlington

    About 30 mins in out this AM at Kenmore at 10 am.

    • SoArl

      I went to Kenmore at 2:30 this afternoon and there was no line at all. I used the paper ballot, just because I kind of liked the novelty of it.

      • drax

        Kinda weird that a paper ballot is a novelty, huh?

  • Matt (Colonial Village)

    It was a 2 hours plus wait for me at Key Elementary…

  • SamsonTheCat

    In at 6:15 in Crystal City. Took 2 hours. At 8:15 the line had doubled so that people getting in probably had about 4 hours. 4 or 5 workers in the room with 4 or 5 machines and a table of paper ballots plus a corner of about 6 observers scowling with clipboards.

  • barelyelite

    About 45 minutes at Clarendon United Methodist Church at 8am. Maybe 5 minutes more for a voting machine over a paper ballot, but they’re both going to the same place. 5 or 6 machines and 5 or 6 paper voting stations. Line moved pretty quick in my mind… just high turnout.

  • Carl

    Order some more voting machines next time.

  • Courthouse Yinzer

    A little over two hours at Key elementary. Saved about 20 minutes by using paper ballot.

  • Resident

    Not complaining … a right that others are overcoming much harsher conditions than my wait in beautiful sunlight to exercise.


    • ShirliMan

      I agree. Not sure what all the complaining is about. It was not all that cold outside. It was actually a beautiful morning and I actually appreciated being outside to enjoy it. Anyone going to vote should have anticipated they would be in line outside and dressed appropriately. I’m not sure what these whiners will do when it really does get cold.

  • Really?

    both sample ballots have all issues listed.

  • SteveB

    The delay in my precinct in Lyon Village was at the registration check in table verifying ID and address. They only had two people doing it. There were 5-8 of the paper ballot booths that were mostly empty with the 5 DRE machines fully utilized.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    an average of 90 minutes for me; 1 hour the first time I voted and 2 hours for the second time I voted today.

    • WindyCrescentCity

      Hey CC – did you grow up in Chicago or Louisiana?

  • DCBuff

    Just finished at Clarendon Methodist. 5 electronic, 4 or 5 paper. No wait if voting paper, otherwise probably 5-10 minutes. Don’t understand why people wanted to wait for the touch screen–I guess it is our iPad society.

    • NotVeryTechno

      I lumped the paper ballot in my mind with an absentee ballot, and was afraid my vote wouldn’t be counted last night. Turns out the paper ballot was faster, easier, and counted immediately. Poll workers could have spread the word better.

  • Frozen

    It took my husband and me 3.5 hours this morning at the Arlington Central Library. The lines inside the library HAD to be a fire hazard!

    • Brian

      Yes, massive fail for the central library. The two people checking IDs were so slow. One was just really old, and the other felt it was some worthy exercise to slowly and LOUDLY (to everyone) read your name and address to the hall. Also, they weren’t clear that you had the option to use a paper ballot. Would’ve freed up time at the polls for sure, if there were more options.

      • Paul

        I’m pretty sure the “reading aloud” is a requirement of state law. It allows the poll-watchers to check the voter off their lists.

      • drax

        First time voting in Virginia, Brian? They always read it out, loudly, so the other poll workers can verify it.

  • Right of Center

    Suspiciously there were very loooong lines at polling stations where Patrick Moran was reported being sighted wearing a fashionable scarf.

  • brodies

    I voted at the Lyon Park Community Center–in line at 7:20 AM and voted at 9:30. The line stretched around the block, hitting three sides of the park. It was a little shorter when I finished, taking up only two full sides of the block, but still a 90+ minute wait. I think I’m still cold.

  • Steve-o

    Tried to vote at Courthouse Rd location at 10:30, but line was too long. Went back at 2pm and there was no line, in and out in 5 minutes!

  • ffl

    Went at 10am to the location across the street from Wholefoods in Courthouse/Clarendon. Like Steve-o, the line was too long, went back at 230 and there was one person in front of me.

  • Becoming indifferent

    Lyon Park was 30-40 minute wait at 12:30; would have been shorter if not for the two morons who didn’t believe the election officer when she told them they were at the wrong precinct and they decided to argue. The information was right on their voter registration cards.

    • NotVeryTechno

      Loved the NY (and NJ?) move to let folks vote anywhere in the state. Neighborhood assignments don’t ease any pain. Election workers use the same voter database to check registrations. For those of us lucky enough to live and work in Arlington, choice of voting location would be excellent. I work in S.Arl, drove home at noon to vote in Cherrydale. silly.

  • Bella Luna

    Any word on lines at Lyon Park Community Center now?

    • John Fontain


      • Bella Luna

        Is it long right now?

        • John Fontain

          Well, the wait is about 5$#@aljf….I think my connection is breaking up….. long, so it depends on if you think that is too long.

  • Tre

    No wait and Clarendon Education Center

    • Tre

      and = at

  • CORRECTION: Arlington has deployed far more voting machines than required by state law for today’s election. State law requires one voting machine for every 750 registered voters. In Arlington, all 52 precincts have one machine per 220 registered voters. (We earlier stated, incorrectly, that the County had deployed the maximum number of machines allowed under State law – there is no maximum set under state law). We regret the error. — Mary Curtius, Arlington County Govt. spokesperson.

    • Greg

      How do you get something like that wrong in the first place?

  • CG

    In and out of George Mason at about 1:15 with no wait. Good advice for those with flexibility to hit the afternoon shift.

  • Cori

    As long as the line was as Aurora Hills Community Center (2+ hours), the poll workers accurately set your expectations and others had coffee, donut holes and someone brought a huge bag of candy they passed up and down the line. If it hadn’t been so chilly it would have been downright enjoyable for 2 hours & 20 minutes.

  • Roytonio

    I was at the Lyon Park Community Center around 2PM and the line had maybe 50 or 60 people deep. It took maybe 30 minutes to get to the front and you had a choice of either electronic or paper. Vast majority of people in line had the Democrat ballot sheets.

  • MyHood

    RiverHouse was 2 hours 20 minutes. Got on line at 11:15 am. People were handing out granola bars, grapes, leftover Haloween candy, and as I was leaving, pizza! Yes, I took food from strangers.

    • Say it Ain’t So

      I love the comment section of Arlnow….. 🙂

  • Jay

    < 1 minute

  • JR

    The line at Lyon Village Community House has gone down since this morning. I got in line at 2:00 PM and was out by 2:30 PM.

  • CJ

    Just voted at W-L and there was no wait.

  • BettyBoop

    Took about 2 hours-arrived noon-left 2:00pm at Columbia Precinct located at the Walter Reed Community Center in South Arlington not far from Columbia Pike. The line was about half as long when I left than when I arrived. So, I suspect if you went soon the time would be shorter. There were also 5 electronic booths which per above seems all that are allowed as well as a few paper booths. The election staff were focused and attentive and I have to say to the credit of my fellow Arlingtonians people were quiet and patient either reading something in hard cover or fusing with their hand-held whatevers. In sum, it was more time consuming than I would have liked but it was not chaotic. Also, Community Center Staff snaked line inside through vacant rooms so no one waited outside. VOTE.

    • i got to walter reed comm center at 10:50am and was done at 1:20pm (2.5 hours). i work in northeast dc, so i generally try to go as late as i can to miss as much of the morning rush as possible. i used to vote after work, but traffic is unpredictable and i usually don’t get out until 6 or 6:30. we waited outside for about 45 minutes, the rest of the wait was inside. luckily by late morning, it was chilly but nice outside. the line took a long time, obviously, but similar to the above experience most of the people were chatting in line, reading, etc. i heard very little complaints. 65+ had the option to get out of line (to vote “curbside”) but i heard someone actually politely decline in order to wait!

      there were only 2 people checking voters in, which may have led to more delays but there were only 5 touch screen machines. there didn’t seem to be a line for the paper ballots, although there may have been at other times. there were only 3 people in front of me for the electronic voting booths, so i figured it had already been so long, 3 more people is nothing!

      my brother voted in fairfax county, and he said they had separate lines from the beginning that split voters first alphabetically to check in, then by paper or electronic ballot, and he said most people were choosing paper and getting in and out in 30-45 minutes. not sure how many electronic machines they had there, though.

      all in all, while the waiting was long, it was actually pretty exciting that so many people came out to vote. even in presidential elections, i don’t remember it being like this. i’m curious to see if this comes close to a record turnout, especially in “swing states” like here, and ohio, florida, etc.

  • LolaMINI

    Just read an email that said there’s no wait at TJ.

  • Barcroft

    If its at all possible, go in the early afternoon. It took me less than 15 minutes. But, it may also be that my precinct is less populous or something (Peyton Randolph School)

  • Just the Facts

    About 45 mins at Barcroft Comm Center at 1245. Most of the wait was to check in then another line for the computerized machines- I opted for the paper ballot and saved at least 10 mins.

  • ArlingtonParent

    14:46 from joining the line to walking out the door at Taylor Elementary at 2:45 pm. 5 machines and about the same paper booths. The poll monitors though are creepy….

  • Loocy

    Arrived at Yorktown at 2 pm. Was out by 2:10.

    Again, when you have the flexibility, avoid the early mornings, when people who must vote before going to work are there and the lines can get quite long. I was told that 2 pm was the best and it was indeed pretty empty.

  • 5555624

    I was in and out in less than 20 minutes.

    On the way inside, I was offered a sample Republican ballot. Once I had voted and was outside leaving, I was offered a sample Democratic ballot.

    • Loocy

      Where did you vote, 5555624? Someone wasn’t doing their job.

  • Mark

    Aurora Hills had no line a little after 3:15

    • Wa hoo

      In and out within 5 minutes at Oakridge after 3 pm. 🙂

      Thanks, poll workers!

  • Taco

    Less than 30 minute wait at Central Library and that’s inside where it’s warm.

  • B22201

    Wilson School was fast this afternoon. . . the Firehouse didn’t look that great.

  • BoredHouseWife

    Claremont took 1 45 minutes

    • BoredHouseWife

      just got back. and the line is longer. It will be a two hour wait. Dress warm and bring reading material

  • JohnB2

    Took me 12 minutes to vote at W&L at 5 pm. 2 min wait for paper but I decided to wait for the computer.

  • southsider

    2 hours and 15 minutes at the Walter Reed Community Center (10:30am-12:45pm), but they did a good job with arranging the line to get as many people indoors as possible.

    They said the line was around the building before voting opened this morning…


    Just voted at Kenmore middle school around 6:00pm and it took less than 5 minutes.

  • NorthHighland

    It was less than a 10 min wait at Dawson Terrace at noon. I guess short lines are the bonus for living in the yuppie ghetto.

  • Arlingtonian

    Buckingham precinct: Barrett Elementary school. Arrived aound 10:45 am. Stood in line for nearly 2 hours. Voted around 12:30 p.m.

    Only four voting machines. 15-30 minute wait to use machines at 10:45, diminishing to 5 minutes at 12:30. People who did not want to wait for machines could vote by paper ballot, with no line.

    However, only two poll workers were checking IDs. Therefore, even when voting machines were available or when voters used paper ballots, lines were long.

    During the presidential elections in 2004, the same thing happened at the Buckingham precinct at the same time of day. However, things improved greatly in the the 2008 elections when the wait time was only 10 minutes during the same time period.

    The recurrence of the 2004 debacle in 2012 was inexcusable. I work in Montgomery County, Maryland. Everyone that I spoke to at work who voted in Montgomery County informed me that their waiting time was only 10 minutes, even during morning commuting times.
    Arlington is supposed to be a “world class” city. However, people probably had to wait longer to vote in Arlington than they had to wait during recent elections in Baghdad, Iraq, and in Cairo, Egypt. They certainly had to wait longer today than did people in Montgomery County, Maryland.

    The people who supervise Arlington’s elections deserve to be replaced by more competent ones. Unfortunately, citizens can’t vote them out of office, as somebody appoints them to their positions.

  • Say it Ain’t So

    Artisphere polling – no one in line…. in and out in 5 minutes! Go figure?!

    • Artisphere Black Hole

      Can’t even get a crowd in a storm !!

  • gnushell

    I see the same folks working the polls at Swanson Middle and every year that keep the lines moving. I had the flexibility (laid off) to go at 3:30 and it took me about a half hour plus.

    • gnushell

      That’s “they keep the lines…”.

  • SouthArlington

    Got to Walter Reed Community Center at 3:00. Was told line would take 90 minutes to get through. Went back to work and came back at 6:45. Took just over 2 hours to vote. Ugh. I hope they can buy more voting machines after this.

  • Jake

    Paper ballot saved me 10-20 minutes at Drew. I agree… why only 5 machines?! And why not explain to people that they have two options. I had to ask!

  • Lisa

    TJ Thomas Jefferson Middle School / Community Center. Done in 20 minutes. Arrived at 5:25 PM; Done by 5:45 PM. Used touch-screen. There were 4 touch-screen and 6 paper stations set-up.

  • NotVeryTechno

    Couple of thoughts after reading all the comments. I’m very glad to see someone from the elections board was using social media to find out about voter experiences. Voting is a community process – it is a disservice to complain about personal traits of the poll workers, they are doing the best they can with what they have. A little patience and kindness goes a long way.

  • ArlLawyer

    It took less than 5 minutes. I voted “In person absentee” about two weeks early. The system worked great. I will do this every time as I can honestly say that I will be in Alexandria on every voting day simply by driving down 395 since a few hundred feet of 395 by Shirlington is actually in Alexandria.


Subscribe to our mailing list