Henrico resident heads to the polls, only to be told she’s already voted

Virginia Elections

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One woman was confused to learn that a vote had already been cast in Henrico County in her name when she went to her polling place on Election Day.

Caroline O’Keefe told 8News that she went to the precinct at Varina High School to cast her ballot first thing in the morning. However, when she arrived, the poll workers told her that she had already voted.

“They still told me that I had already voted — I had voted on October 29. But I was out of town on October 29,” O’Keefe said. “After I spoke to the person that was trying to check me in, he had to go get his coordinator. I spoke to the coordinator for a little bit and just confirmed all of my information.”

O’Keefe said that she had previously voted at the Varina High School precinct in the 2020 presidential election and never had any issues like this.

This Election Day, after providing additional information to confirm her identity, O’Keefe said that she was given a provisional ballot to fill out.

“Who did they vote for with my name? I don’t know who they voted for, and even if my vote does get counted, is this other vote still going to get counted?” O’Keefe said. “Is this going to keep happening? The next time I go vote, is this something that I have to be wary about?”

8News got in touch with Henrico County General Registrar Mark Coakley to try to answer some of those questions. He said that an error could have occurred if someone with a similar name went to vote early and in-person on Oct. 29. Coakley told 8News that while it is too soon to determine whether that ballot will be counted, O’Keefe’s provisional ballot has been verified that it will count.

O’Keefe credited the poll workers at Varina High School for assisting her, and said this occurrence seemed like a highly unusual one, even to them.

“The coordinator that I was first handed off to by the person that I was checking in with, she was who I was speaking with most of the time, and you could tell that this wasn’t something — fortunately, something that doesn’t happen very often,” O’Keefe said. “She was reading through the instructions herself and making sure that everything was being filled out correctly.”

Anyone who experiences issues at the polls can click here for more information.

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