Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Absentee, early in-person voting in the Historic Triangle — and what’s going on so far this Election Day

Early voters at the James City County Recreation Center on Friday, Oct. 30. (WYDaily/Gabrielle Rente)

Well, this is it: Election Day is here.

But wait — many Virginia voters opted to vote in-person early or avail of absentee voting because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Early in-person voting ended Saturday — and those who haven’t voted have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to cast their ballots in the Historic Triangle.

The official presidential election results for the nation will not be available until later this week as the registrar offices tally the absentee voters.

While Virginia has been processing mailed-in absentee ballots prior to Election Day, there may be a delay in tallying the ballots since absentee ballots postmarked Nov. 3 can arrive later in the week.

However, voters in the Historic Triangle can see the local results for the House and Senate seats and how each locality voted in the presidential election on Tuesday night.

11 a.m. update, Nov. 3

“As of last night, there were 5.9 million registered voters in the commonwealth,” said Christopher “Chris” Piper, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections.

Since Saturday:

  • 2,745,134 voters have cast their ballots in Virginia.
  • 1.8 million people voted early in-person
  • 956,000 people voted absentee by mail

“As a result, we’ve had a quiet morning, while there have been minor issues, nothing we didn’t anticipate,” Piper said.

The minor issues Piper referred to were machines “not operating at the start” but he noted the department has not had “any indication” voters were turned away or could not cast their ballots.

So far, the movement at the polling stations has been “swift” with no long lines and the department has not heard of any reports about voter intimidation at the polls.

In 2016, Piper said 560,000 people cast their ballots prior to Election Day and 3.5 million voted on Election Day.

When asked what he would say to voters, Piper encouraged people to vote, noting “every ballot counts” and to be prepared for a “unique night and unique week.”

“It’s more important that you get it accurate and right than you get it fast and that’s what we are going to do in Virginia,” he said.

James City County

(As of 10:23 a.m.)

“As of right now, we don’t have any in line,” said Dianna Moorman, director of elections for the voter registration & elections. “And as of mid morning, things are running smoothly.”

This year 61,521 people have registered to vote compared to 45,762 registered voters in 2016, Moorman said.

As of Tuesday at 9 a.m. in James City County, 41,187 cast their ballots, which includes the county’s central absentee precinct but not the recent mail, Moorman added.

She noted in 2016, the county had 36,298 people cast their ballots.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, which sources their information from the Virginia Department of Elections, 61.33% of registered voters in James City County, have cast their ballots in person or by mail as of Nov. 1.

Williamsburg

(As of 11:21 a.m.)

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, 53.42% of registered voters in Williamsburg voted early both in person and by mail.

Early voting brought in 3,710 voters. Of those votes, 1,842 mail ballots were received at the city office as of Saturday, said Haley Snapp, assistant registrar.

“In 2016, we were still absentee voting in person with a reason code for why the voter would have been away from their polling location during Election Day voting. This change has raised the influx of voters in our office (prior to Election Day) significantly,” Snapp wrote in an email.

In past presidential elections, Williamsburg has seen a voter turnout of about 75%. Snapp said the city may see voter turnout closer to 80% this time.

“With over half of the total registered voters in Williamsburg City already voted, our polling places may see a decline in how many voters come to vote today,” she said.

The Central Absentee Precinct is already pre-processing mail-in ballots, and the city expects to have official results by Friday after noon.

Snapp said any ballot postmarked Tuesday, received in their office before noon Friday, Nov. 6, with correct information will be counted and included in the final official results.

As of 11 a.m. today, 691 votes have been cast.

York County

The York County Registrar’s Office reports that 49,034 people are registered to vote as of Election Day in the county. In 2016 the number of registered voters was 45,799.

Out of the 49,034 registered voters in the county, 28,877 voted early in person or applied for a mail in ballot.

As of Tuesday morning, York County reports 1,048 ballots have not been returned.

Know your rights

The ACLU created a Know Your Voting Rights guide just in case there is an issue at the polling station:

What are my general rights on Election Day?

  • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
  • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.
  • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline:

WYDaily reporters Gabrielle Rente, Annie Gallo and Julia Marsigliano contributed to this report.

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Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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