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Albemarle Co. seeing increase in early voting

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 9:04 AM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Early voting in Virginia has never been easier, and now more people are heading to the polls before Election Day and mailing in ballots.

”Last year was the first year of no-excuse early voting. Before that, you had to have an excuse to vote absentee, whether it was by mail or in person at our office,” Albemarle County General Registrar and Director of Elections Jake Washburne said.

More than 6,500 voters have already cast their in-person ballots early in Albemarle County. Another 7,000 ballots were mailed out.

“It’s a big difference, big change,” Washburne said.

This year, early votes well outpace the last gubernatorial election, where just under 3,000 absentee votes were cast.

Mail issues in the commonwealth aren’t stopping votes either. There are other options if you don’t get your ballot.

“They can come in to the early in-person voting location here at Fifth Street up until next Saturday, October 30, and do an in-person early vote, they just have to fill out a form that says, ‘I applied for and did not receive my mail in ballot,’” Washburne said.

Voters say avoiding the lines on Election Day and the convenience brought them out early.

“We were in the neighborhood, so we thought we’d avoid any crowds on Election Day,” Paul Buxbaum said.

“We just were driving by and said, ‘oh look, we’re here, let’s do it now,’ and it took 30 seconds,” Lynne Billman said.

“I came out because it’s a lot easier than driving out to Meriwether Lewis,” Reo Revak said.

“It just nice to get it out of the way. I kind of wonder why we always just had one day, and why it hasn’t always been this way,” Robin Coe said.

October 30 is the last weekend day to vote early in Albemarle County before Election Day.

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