Va's biggest, costliest election in voters' hands

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 9:46 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012
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In Prince William County, officials expected some precincts to remain open until nearly 11 p.m. to accommodate voters who had taken their spots in line by 7 p.m.

The state's new voter ID law was not a factor. The law required people who lacked proper identification to vote a provisional ballot that would count only if local registrars receive proof of identity by noon Friday. But the SBE had received fewer than 500 provisional ballots by 10 p.m. The law was passed by Republicans in the name of preventing fraud but decried by critics as a bid to suppress the votes of Democratic constituencies such as minorities, the poor, elderly and disabled.

In a heavily Democratic, mostly black area near downtown Richmond, chief election officer Susan Woodson said that by midafternoon, more than 1,500 of the precinct's 3,000 registered voters had cast ballots, and only five required provisional ballots because of the new law.

In the campaign's final week, both presidential candidates and their A-list surrogates have blanketed Virginia, which for 40 years was a reliably Republican afterthought in presidential politics.

Romney made six stops in Virginia in the past week, about the same number as his running mate, Paul Ryan.

Obama headlined one late-night rally Saturday with more than 25,000 people at an outdoor amphitheater in northern Virginia with former President Bill Clinton and rocker Dave Matthews. Vice President Joe Biden spent Sunday and Monday crisscrossing Virginia, making four stops, one of them with musician John Mellencamp.

___(equals)

Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat in Prince William County, Va., and Brock Vergakis in Richmond contributed to this report.

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