Week one into Virginia early voting numbers indicate strong interest in midterms

Overall, more than 57,000 people have cast a ballot for the November General Election in Virginia.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 3:31 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Overall, more than 57,000 people have cast a ballot for the November General Election in Virginia. Compared to the numbers in 2018, which was the last midterm election, 344,594 people voted.

Voting rules were also different then. This fall, everyone in the state will at least have to vote on a congressional race.

“Things have been going great. There’s been enthusiasm. I would say we’ve had 600 voters come out this week which is about normal,” said Keith Balmer, Richmond Office of Elections Director.

Chesterfield County has the earliest votes so far in the area: 2,807. Henrico County is hovering at 1,750 so far. In Richmond, 1,173 people have voted, along with 988 early votes in Hanover County.

“So we’ll see. Again this is not a presidential by any means, but it’s really slow on the pickup compared to last year’s election where there was much more drive to get out and vote early,” said Teri Smithson, Hanover County Director of Elections.

In the end, Larry Sabato, the University of Virginia Center for Politics Executive Director, says overall turnout will vary depending on the race. Still, he expects to match or exceed 2018 numbers.

“What it tells me is this is going to be kind of a regular year where if you have a competitive race, people are going to show up, maybe a little more than usual simply because of all the conditions prevailing and the tough issues we see on the table,” said Sabato.

According to election data, congressional races drawing the most attention from voters appear to be the first, fifth and seventh district face-offs.

“A lot of folks love the convenience of coming out and voting when they want to and the ability to vote curbside at the early voting centers,” said Smithson.

Early voting continues until Nov. 5. Election Day is Nov. 8.