The end of the day in the Precinct 101 polling location at Hugh Mercer Elementary School finished more smoothly than it began.
Election officials discovered before the polls opened Tuesday the tabulator machine was not working. "Two election board members came immediately," Scott Vezina, chief election officer at the location, said.
While a new part was installed on the machine, voters were allowed to complete the paper ballot -- the same one used by all voters in Fredericksburg. "They submitted their ballots but were not able to put them through the tabulator," Vezina said.
At 6:35 a.m. -- Vezina has it recorded in his notes -- the tabulator was working. "I fed the ballots one-by-one through the tabulator. The assistant chief -- we each represent a different party -- watched, as did the two Election Board members. All counts were verified with the books." It took about 30 minutes to complete the process.
The rest of the day went smoothly. "It was very steady all day," Vezina said. By 6:30 p.m. 32 percent of the precinct's 4,214 active voters had cast a ballot.
Each of Fredericksburg's polling places reported steady turnout throughout the day. Susan Tyler, chief election officer at Dorothy Hart Community Center (Precinct 201), said she noticed a lot of interest in the local elections for city sheriff and treasurer.