Local registrar offices prepare for surge of early in-person voting on final day

Local registrar offices prepare for surge of early in-person voting on final day

HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - Saturday is the deadline for early in-person voting across Virginia and local registrar offices are preparing for a turnout.

In Peterburg, General Registrar Dawn Wilmoth said more staffing is coming in to handle the line processing.

“Curbside and parking lot attendees are a Platoon from Fort Lee who have offered their civic assistance as well,” she added. “This has definitely been an Election unlike any other.”

Meanwhile, Chesterfield and Henrico Counties also saw lines on the second to last day for early in-person voting.

“It’s human nature to procrastinate, don’t you think?” said Joy Laurence, of Henrico.

Laurence was one of hundreds of voters who stood in line from one side of the Henrico west end government complex to the other for more than an hour.

“It was intimidating at first, but really it’s worth it,” she said.

“I’m happy to stay here two hours, three hours, no problems,” said Moussa Abdulshafee, of Henrico.

While that may be a challenge for some people, for Abdulshafee, voting Friday meant everything.

“Today is the first day in my life to vote,” he said.

Abdulshafee left his home country of Sudan in 2015 to find a better life. Now five years later he is thankful to have been given this chance.

“For my future, my kids' future and my American future,” he said.

“The voters are loving it,” said Chesterfield General Registrar Constance Hargrove. “They absolutely love the early voting opportunity.”

While Chesterfield County has already surpassed more than 130,000 ballots cast in-person and mail-in absentee, Hargrove is prepared for the final day of early voting.

“I’m expecting it to pick up here, yes,” she said. “I think some folks are going to say, ‘it’s the last day, I need to go vote’. But there’s so much misinformation out there about polling places being closed on Election Day which is absolutely not true.”

Polls will be open on Election day in Virginia from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

However, all absentee voters who may have been mailed a ballot and have not yet returned it, you are able to take that ballot with you to the polls and surrender it to vote as normal on the voting machine.

“Or they will have to do a provisional ballot which entails paperwork and will not go into the voting machine at that time,” Wilmoth said. “It will be held until the Provisional hearing during the Localities Canvass after the Election for processing.”

Again, the final day to vote early in person is Saturday, Oct. 31. Most doors will close at 5 p.m. (check with your locality), but if you are in line by that time, you will still be able to cast your ballot.

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