Early voting surges in Central Virginia with less than two weeks to the election

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 8:11 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In Virginia, more than 1.5 million voters have already voted; expanded early voting has proven to be extremely popular across the Commonwealth.

In the City of Richmond, starting Saturday you’ll have two more options where you can vote early. You’ll be able to vote early at City Hall and the Hickory Hill Community Center.

This is the first year Virginians can vote early without an excuse in a 45-day period.

“Everyone is loving this way to vote. It’s great, it’s easy, there’s no waiting, and people are really taking advantage of the curbside voting as well,” said Teri Smithson, Director, Hanover’s Board of Elections.

In Chesterfield, close to 50,000 people have voted in person so far, another 50,000 have requested absentee ballots and nearly half have been returned.

In the City of Richmond, earlier this week, about 25,000 residents had voted early and around 10,000 absentee ballots had been returned.

In Hanover County, so far about 18,000 residents have voted early and more than 12,000 people have requested an absentee ballot.

“We’ve had over 30,000, whether it’s vote by mail or in-person voting - 30,000 absentee voters. So that makes our county at a 37% turnout rate already and we still have a few days of voting to go,” said Smithson.

If you compare Hanover County’s numbers to 2016, the overall voter turnout was around 85%. In 2016, the county had just 2,500 early voters, and another 2,500 requested absentee ballots.

The voter registration office in the Wickham Building will be open the next two Saturdays to handle the influx of early voters.

Chesterfield also just opened up four satellite locations for early voters.

The last day to vote early, in-person is Oct. 31. You have until Friday to request an absentee/mail-in ballot.

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