Jefferson County looking into solutions for long voter lines

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 3:23 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The day after, Alabama election officials are tired, but they are looking ahead to eliminate long voter lines. This after some folks waited in line for several hours Tuesday to vote.

Jefferson County Probate Judge James Naftel didn’t get much sleep last night. Naftel said there were issues of long lines around the area - especially in Trussville and the Horizon Church in Vestavia Hills.

Naftel said he hopes to find ways to cut those lines for the next big election.

"I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t anybody should have to loop around a building two times to get their vote in,” said one voter.

Judge Naftel votes at the Horizon Church location. His wife was caught up in the voting delay Tuesday.

“I don’t quite know without going back and doing some forensics on why it was so bad yesterday. I don’t think it was any particular person’s fault. I don’t think it was any equipment failure,” Naftel said.

Naftel does believe they could have allocated more poll pads to the precinct which had only three assigned to it to handle some 3,700 voters. Naftel said they may also look at a bigger facility.

“Is there a facility that is closer. That is open and is willing to do it - as you know, that is not always easy to find,” Naftel said.

Naftel said he expects he and other election officials will get together to look at those issues across the county and make decisions on what needs to be done in the future.

Naftel credits poll workers for their work and long hours and to voters willing to stick it out to cast those votes. The next big election will be the governor’s race in 2022 and other statewide races on the ballot.

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