Virginia saw more than 25,000 ballots cast via same-day registration in law’s first year
The extra convenience for voters meant extra work for local election officials
More than 25,000 Virginians tried to cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections under same-day registration rules, a new process that had the most impact in college towns, according to statewide data obtained by The Virginia Mercury.
A total of 25,353 ballots were cast via same-day registration in its first year of implementation, found a post-election report that state officials presented Tuesday. Of that amount, 24,297, or 96%, were counted as legitimate votes.
Locality-specific data shows Williamsburg, Charlottesville/Albemarle County, Harrisonburg and Lynchburg saw the highest usage when measured as a percentage of total votes cast. Those localities are home to William & Mary, the University of Virginia, James Madison University and Liberty University, respectively.
The city of Richmond, home to Virginia Commonwealth University, and Montgomery County, which contains the town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech, also saw strong same-day registration numbers.
In recent interviews, several local election officials said same-day registration, which took effect last fall after Democrats approved it in 2020, seemed particularly popular on college campuses that are often hubs of student organizing and get-out-the-vote outreach.
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