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Virginia Mail-in Ballot Applications Near Half A Million

Chart showing mail-in ballot requests
Mail-in ballot requests have exceeded 2019 levels, over a month before the deadline. (Graph: Virginia Public Access Project)

*Patrick Larsen reported this story

New data from the Virginia Department of Elections shows that requests for mail-in ballots are skyrocketing, with almost 440,000 Virginians making requests by Sunday, August 23rd.

The number of ballot applications in the Commonwealth has already exceeded the total for 2016’s general election - by almost two times. The area of northern Virginia bordering Washington D.C. alone has seen over 75,000 ballot applications, over twice as many as the total in 2016.

The data, assembled by the Virginia Public Access Project, confirms anticipation among officials that mail-in ballots would be popular due to the coronavirus.

The deadline for applications almost two months away with ballot applications still coming in. Elections officials plan to use federal CARES Act funding to support localities.

In a June press release, officials said the money will go to local election offices to fund PPE purchases and staffing for in-person voting, and increased mail costs for absentee. That includes printing, prepaid postage and staff to count the votes.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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