Richmond, Chesterfield see hundreds turnout on first day of early voting in Virginia

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 2:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 2:27 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - From mail-in ballots to curbside voting, the pandemic is changing how elections unfold here in Virginia. Outside Richmond’s Department of Elections, Viola White is happy she got her vote in.

“It’s important because people died and suffered for voting and get their rights. And if they don’t vote, they don’t got a right to complain,” said Viola White, City of Richmond voter.

She’s one of the hundreds across the metro-Richmond area who are already casting a ballot in this November’s election, mainly at local voter registrar offices. Early voting got underway Friday.

“What that’s telling me is that people are getting more and more comfortable with early voting. So, with early voting, it absolutely enhances people’s ability to be able to vote,” said Keith Balmer, Richmond General Registrar/Director of Elections.

Voters are electing a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, among others depending on where you live.

If you’re showing up in person, all voters must bring identification. But early voting covers a variety of options. You can also request a ballot to mail in, which requires a witness signature, and some places also offer curbside voting.

“The protocols are still there. We’re making sure we’re taking care of people, thinking about people’s health and safety first,” said Balmer.

Here are a few important deadlines on the horizon if you do want to vote: The last day to register to vote or update your registration is Oct. 12. Absentee ballots must be requested by Oct. 22.

“If those voters change their minds and they don’t want to vote those ballots, they need to bring them with them if they want to vote early or even on Election Day,” said Constance Hargrove, Chesterfield Co. Voter Registrar.

Early voting ends on Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. After that, you have to wait until the general election on Nov. 2.

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