This afternoon, a U.S. District judge in Richmond rejected a lawsuit brought by the Virginia NAACP calling on the state to extend voting hours and allow paper ballots on Election Day.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the NAACP by The Advancement Project, which in a report released in October had found the major battleground state wasn't prepared for an anticipated deluge of voters, especially in African-American precincts:
The Washington, D.C.-based Advancement Project charged that the six cities it examined in Virginia do not have enough voting equipment or poll workers. The project said similar problems exist in several states it studied.

The group said some minority precincts are most vulnerable to having a shortage of machines and workers. It said, for example, that in Virginia Beach, there were 11 percent more voters per machine and per poll worker in districts that were 25 to 50 percent minority than in districts in which minorities numbered less than 25 percent.
The judge allowed the plaintiffs to argue their case, but dismissed the suit without even hearing from the defendants, the State Board of Elections and Gov. Timothy Kaine.

In explaining the dismissal, Judge Richard L. Williams said Virginia had adequate safeguards to ensure African-American voters were not disenfranchised:
U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams said the fact that the state allows people waiting in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. to vote and that it also allows curbside voting will insure that no blacks are denied the right to vote.
Judge Williams also seemed to suggest that long lines were not a voting problem, but a sign of a thriving democracy:
Williams also noted that he had cast an absentee ballot at Richmond's City Hall on Friday and had to wait 2Ω hours.

"It was quite a civics lesson," he said.