Crowds steady on first day of early voting in many parts of central, southwest, and southside Virginia

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Early voting has been steady in most locations, registrars across Virginia told WFXR News on Friday, the first day of early voting in Virginia.

In Roanoke City, 450 ballots had been cast by mid-day and more than 9,000 mail-in ballots requested, the registrar’s office said. Over in Roanoke County, General Registrar Anna Cloeter said 415 had showed up to vote by 1:30 p.m. and more than 10,000 requests had been made for absentee ballots by mail.

“The line is out the door,” she said.

In Lynchburg, numbers were a bit lower than in Roanoke but still steady. Director of Elections and General Registrar Christine Gibbons said 148 had shown up to vote by 12:30 p.m. and approximately 6,200 ballots had been mailed.

Gibbons said for people who requested an absentee ballot but decide instead of vote in person (whether early or on November 3), you should bring your mail-in ballot with you in order to prevent two votes from being cast. Without your absentee ballot, you will have to vote provisionally, she said.

Campbell County Registrar Kelly Martin said today’s opening of early voting was the “busiest we’ve been.”

“We’ve already surpassed the last presidential election,” Martin said of absentee ballot requests, which total nearly 3,000.

Botetourt County recorded 73 early voters by noon but mailed 2,031 ballots early in the day. The county election office was recently renovated to accommodate more early voting. The renovations were completed Thursday at 5 p.m., according to General Registrar Traci Clark. She adds that staff has been moving into the renovated space since last night while preparing for the election.

Bedford County’s registrar said 50 voters passed through her office in the first hour doors were open Friday.

Floyd County said it had served about 34 voters in the office by lunch and mailed out 2,031. Registrar Amy Ingram said her office set up tents outside and six to seven election staff would be outside each day to serve residents curbside. So far, 50 voters had used the curbside service.

Mail-in ballot requests are up 175% in Montgomery County with 9,100 absentee ballots requested as of Friday. In 2016, the last presidential election year, only 3,300 absentee ballots were requested.

In Pittsylvania County, 60 people had voted by 10 a.m. and about 3,500 absentee ballots were mailed while Henry County had 115 early voters by mid-day and 2,700 absentee ballots sent out Friday. Martinsville only served 18 early voters by mid-day Friday and mailed 1,048 ballots. Curbside voting in Martinsville is by appointment only.

Local election offices have different hours depending on the city or county. Get the contact information for your local registrar by visiting the Virginia Department of Elections website.

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