Overall, voting in Roanoke City went smoothly last night as 30 of 32 precincts reported no major problems.
And Doris Young said, "Come hell or high water I'm voting." She had been in line for 90 minutes, and had about 45 more to go.
"I've been voting for 54 years and this is the worst I've ever seen it. They only have two people up here to register you to vote. We've been here already an hour and a half," Young said.
Young voted at the Peters Creek Precinct at the old William Ruffner Middle School off Ferncliff Road in Roanoke. The line there got up to two and a half hours. People of all ages had to wait it out. Some people did eventually leave. One woman we spoke with said she came for the third time to stick it out.
The other precinct in Roanoke with a wait that long was at Forest Park in the Villa Heights Precinct. There, waits were just as long and tension was just as high.
There were several reasons for the long waits. First, the voter turnout was very high. Around 60 percent of all the people who live in Roanoke City voted in Tuesday's election. Another reason: just two poll books at each precinct, regardless of size. Elections officials with Roanoke City say the lack of poll books was the biggest problems. Some precincts have 1,000 registered voters and some have 4,500, but all of those precincts had two poll books.
Other issues were budgetary and staff issues. The elections board says it can be tough to secure the necessary funding because it's hard to budget for a big election that happens once every four years.
Things ran smoothly overall, but it can be tough to properly train people to run these polls.
City Councilman Sherman Lea stopped by the Peters Creek Precinct to apologize to voters for the long waits. He also says this could be a race issue, "I feel that there is a black-white issue. My concern is, look at the issue you're having at this precinct, which is a large, not all minority, but a majority of minority voters."
But the Elections Board is appointed by the City Council, and the Elections Board is also in the process of re-allocating the precincts to make all of them closer to having 2,000 registered voters.
In all, some precincts were just bigger than others yesterday but also busier.