Voters experience long line at Powhatan County’s drive-thru option

Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For those choosing to vote early, in-person, it’s been pretty smooth, but some places are seeing long lines. For instance, Powhatan County’s drive-thru voting line stretched for hours today.

The average wait time for voters in line was about two hours, but that was before the wind forced the drive-thru voting to move inside, slowing down the process.

“The first voter in line this morning, when I spoke to him, he said he got here at 4 am because he wanted to make sure that he got to vote today,” said Karen Alexander, Director of Elections, Powhatan County.

Alexander says since Columbus Day, the drive-thru line has been incredibly long. Voters pull up, fill out their ballots in their car, and then can either put it in the machine themselves, or have a poll worker help.

“As of 7 o’clock last night, we had finally finished up our line of voters that closed at 5 o’clock, we had 36% of all registered voters had already voted. And we’re going to have another record number today, probably tomorrow and Saturday as well,” she said.

Alexander estimates after Saturday, about 40 to 50% of the county’s registered voters will have cast a ballot. If you compare that to 2016, Powhatan County had an overall turnout of about 86%. So because so many have cast their ballots already, she’s expecting shorter lines on Election Day.

“I’m recommending that everybody do what they feel comfortable doing. I just want them to be prepared to wait if they do arrive early and I want them to know that all the polls are still open regular hours, regular precincts on Election Day, so if you’re trying to go early to avoid the line, that is going to backfire on you,” Alexander said.

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