Department of Elections: Vote count to resume Wednesday morning

Commissioner gives update on elections in Virginia.
Commissioner gives update on elections in Virginia.(NBC12)
Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 1:56 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As Virginians headed to the polls Tuesday and absentee votes are processed, the state department of elections says the process is working. The Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner says it will be a unique night and unique week.

The vote count will resume Wednesday morning in the localities that were not able to finish by 11 p.m.

Voter registrars were able to pre-process mail-in votes ahead of the election, but many mail-in ballots still needed to be processed before all races can be called.

The certification of results at the local level is on Nov.10, then the state board of elections will meet on Nov. 16 for the final certification.


Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Christopher Piper said the vote count was going smoothly for the most part.

But, Piper said a majority of the Virginia votes cast in this election were done through early voting to the tune of 2.7 million. Those numbers will all go into a localities central absentee precinct -- also known as CAP and should give us a clearer picture of where the races stand.

“I want to again preach patience. These numbers could change significantly through the night as the CAP numbers are reported. And as I said earlier this morning, we’ve given them a cutoff time of 11 o’clock so we should see absentee numbers coming in after that time," said Piper.

Localities will certify election results on November 10. The State Board of Elections will meet on November 16 for the final vote count certification.


Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Christopher Piper held an second briefing at 4 PM.

Piper said elections in the state are running smoothly. Again, the commissioner said they’ve seen no voter intimidation issues at the polls across the state. There were some technical issues this morning at a few precincts but those were all worked out.

As of Tuesday morning, the state still had about 300,000 mail-in ballots that still need to be pre-processed. But they don’t have any indication of how many absentee ballots could still come in, potentially affecting results in close races.

“At this point, I can’t give you exact totals of what localities have gotten through but they’ve been working hard to get through most of the ballots. Localities will certify their results on November 10 and the state board of elections will meet November 16 for the final certification,” said Piper.

Once polls close, that’s when results can begin to be tabulated from absentee votes to those who showed up to the polls on Election Day.

We expect vote totals to update throughout the night, but the state is stopping the vote count at 11 PM so that all localities can report in numbers and the count will resume Wednesday morning.


During an 11 am briefing, Commissioner Christopher Piper said they have had no reports of voter intimidation at polls across the state. However, there have been some hiccups this morning at various polling precincts including technical issues with machines. But, Piper says things are now running smoothly.

“We’ve seen just an incredible number of votes cast here in Virginia already. I think it’s going to make for a smoother day today,” said Piper. “And in Virginia we are in a position where we’ve been pre-processing absentee ballot by mail but that’s not the case around the county. I think everybody should be prepared for a little bit longer night.”

Piper said the state still has an estimated 300,000 mail-in ballots that still need to be pre-processed. The commissioner says this is the same place they were in four years ago.

Approximately 2.7 million Virginians have so far cast their ballot with nearly 1.8 million of those ballots were cast in-person, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

“This was obviously the first year Virginians didn’t need an excuse to cast an absentee ballot, so we anticipated higher numbers, but the enthusiasm Virginians showed for casting early ballots is unprecedented,” Chris Piper of the Virginia Department of Elections said.

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