Richmond-area voter registrars share early voting numbers

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 12:53 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Early voting became a lot easier in Virginia due to the pandemic, so it’s hard to compare the numbers with past gubernatorial races. But, compared to last year’s presidential election, early vote totals are significantly down in Chesterfield, Richmond and Henrico.

As of Thursday, in Chesterfield, the early vote total stood at 26,160 compared to 77,138 at the same time in 2020. In Richmond, that number stands at 7,971 now but was 19,229 in 2020. Henrico’s early vote total stands at 25,994 but was 58,823 at this point in 2020.

“They don’t reveal very much. I’ve looked at all the different interpretations. The problem is Virginia doesn’t register by political party and so you cannot characterize these voters who have decided to vote early by party. It’s just not possible to do that,” said Larry Sabato, UVa Center for Politics.

Polls have the race for governor tight with a slight lean toward Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Next Saturday, former President Barack Obama will campaign with McAuliffe in Richmond. Sabato says that’s part of an effort to get out the Black vote McAuliffe needs to win.

“Without a good solid black turnout, there’s no way McAuliffe wins. There’s no way any Democrat wins in Virginia,” said Sabato.

Meanwhile, Republican Glenn Youngkin will campaign with former governor Bob McDonnell this weekend.

“On the Republican side I’m not sure that Youngkin can bring much of anybody in who would make an impact on the election,” said Sabato.

The former president’s presence is looming over this state. He’s endorsed Youngkin and phoned into a rally in Henrico this week. But, Sabato says Trump could just decide to show up on his own.

“The person that Youngkin wants to avoid if he can is Donald Trump,” said Sabato. “But it’s impossible to do.”

The last day of in-person early voting is Saturday, Oct. 30.

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