November 1, 2011
From new polling places to redistricting, voters can expect a few changes in next week's election.
"What we've done is we've moved and shifted people around so that each precinct is more equitable," said Charlottesville Registrar Sheri Iachetta.
City officials added a ninth precinct - the Buford Precinct at the Boys & Girls Club behind the school - to spread out voters and make voting easier. Additionally, the Johnson School is a new polling place for the precinct of the same name and voters at the Carver Precinct will now vote at the Virginia Institute of Autism.
Iachetta believes officials will be ready to handle the inevitable confusion.
"I feel like we've really equipped our staff with everything they need in order to let people know what they really need to know on election day," she said.
As Charlottesville handles the new precincts, Albemarle County is handling its new districts for both the House of Delegates and the Virginia State Senate races. Nearly 50,000 of the county's 70,000 registered voters are affected by the General Assembly's redistricting plan.
"I'm afraid that no matter what, there will be confusion," said Albemarle Registrar Jake Washburne. "Voters should have a second look at their voter card to make sure they're familiar with the new information, particularly if their voting information has changed."
That's easier said than done, as many people are still missing those new voting cards. Due to redistricting, the Virginia State Board of Elections took on the responsibility of sending out the voter cards, a job typically in the hands of localities.