Early voting in Virginia’s legislative elections has been underway since Sept. 22, and over 570,000 ballots have already been cast. Additionally, over 170,000 plan to vote by mail.
Early voting in the commonwealth is convenient and simple, but it was not always so, and Virginians are taking advantage of it for just the third year.
The ability to vote in the 45 days before Election Day has only been available for three years, and this is the first time voters have been able to cast these early ballots for members of the House of Delegates and the state Senate.
According to data provided by the Virginia Public Access Project, 570,562 voters cast early ballots between Sept. 22 and Oct. 29 – 372,199 in person and 198,363 by mail. Significant percentages of those votes have been cast in some of the commonwealth’s most competitive House and Senate districts in northern Virginia, the Richmond suburbs, and Hampton Roads.
Virginians have until Saturday, Nov. 4, at 5 p.m. to vote early in person. Ballots requested by mail may be returned either in person or by mail through 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7.
How You Can Vote Early
In Virginia, “early voting” is a term that refers to what is technically absentee voting – either in-person or by mail.
You have several options to vote early:
Go by your local registrar/elections office and cast your vote in-person, much like you’d do at your regular polling place. You can do so during your office’s regular business hours—typically Monday through Friday from 8 or 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., but the days and times these offices are open vary by locality, so be sure to check with your county’s own office.
Some of Virginia’s larger counties have satellite voting locations available during this period, as well, where you can also vote in-person. You can check here to find out if yours is one of them—you might have one closer to you than your registrar office or the hours might be more convenient.
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