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Elections Commissioner Updates Board on Early Voting, Registrations

Richmond office
Large numbers of Virginians have already voted in person, including in Richmond, at a new Registrar's office. (Photo: Craig Carper/VPM News)

Early voting comes to a close in Virginia on Halloween, Oct. 31. Today, Commissioner Chris Piper told the Board of Elections that despite a few hiccups, the early voting process has been successful in Virginia. 

Early Voting Brings in Swaths of Virginians

As of Monday night, over 800,000 Virginians had voted early in-person, and over 600,000 had voted by mail. Roughly 1.4 million Virginians had voted early, either by mail or in-person. 

“Or 34.3% of our total turnout in 2016. That is remarkable,” Piper said.

Data from the Virginia Public Access Project shows that 68% of those people are first-time early voters. So far, almost half of voters have been 61 or older.

Piper also said that the wait for mail-in results will be shorter in Virginia than many other states - localities must have their results finalized within a week of Election Day.

Mail in ballots will be counted if they are received by noon on Friday, Nov. 6, and state law requires that all localities open early voting sites this Saturday and next.

Registration Deadline Extended, Thousands Sign Up

An inadvertently slashed cable caused outages and halted online voter registration last Tuesday - the original deadline for applications.

A federal judge ordered that the Department of Elections keep registration open for an additional two days, until Thursday, Oct. 15. 

“In looking at the numbers, we had over 24,000 applications come in during that time,” Piper said.

Local registrars were also affected, but were still able to record early in-person votes with provisional ballots during the outage.

Almost 6 million Virginians are registered to vote in this year’s election - up from about 5.5 million in 2016.

 

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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