Roanoke City precinct rolls through despite statewide power outage

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Tuesday was a busier day than normal for election officials in the City of Roanoke.

Virginia’s online voter registration system, as well as other state agency websites, were down for the majority of the day Tuesday, Oct. 13, because of statewide outages resulting from a fiber cut.

Tuesday was also the last day of registration for this year’s presidential election.

“Today being the last day to register vote and update your registration. That caused little anxiety for us,” said J. Andrew Cochran, Director of Elections and General Registrar for Roanoke City.

Like many localities throughout the state, the polling precinct was unable to use its voting machines. Instead, election officials had to give voters provisional ballots.

“We’ve been very productive because we’ve had a lot of other things to do, but voters have been very gracious and understanding,” said Cochran.

Anntwine Lee came out to the precinct to make sure her vote counted. She says after decades of voting, she’s never seen so much chaos.

“Other times, it’s just been smooth sailing, but why all of a sudden we have all these issues?” Lee asked.

Despite the online system outage, the Roanoke City precinct has seen the number of active voters jump from 85% to 95% compared to the 2016 presidential election.

“That’s a very good thing that we have fewer inactive voters,” Cochran said.

As of Monday, Oct. 12, 64,150 people have registered within their system. Election officials say those numbers give them hope, especially as the vote-by-mail deadline draws near.

Virginia voters have until midnight on Tuesday to register to vote online.

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