Record-high voter turnout in Virginia possible, officials say


Voter turnout may have hit a record high in Virginia, according to officials with the state Department of Elections.

Voters in Richmond told us the polls were busy throughout Election Day.

“It was really busy in the morning,” said Abigail Fox, who spent the day helping with last-minute campaigning outside a polling center in downtown Richmond.

Some voters waited quite a while early in the morning to cast their ballots, she added.

“There was a line out the door, down the ramp, and about an hour and a half wait at some points,” Fox said. 

“We have heard from our local election officials all day today that they have had steady lines, steady numbers of voters, said Dena Potter with the Virginia Department of Elections.

Potter said Election Day voting largely went smoothly in Virginia. A few optical scanning machines had to be replaced, she said, and there were long lines in some places like Richmond both in the morning and in the evening. Some ballots there were still being cast at least an hour after the polls had closed by those who were in line by 7 p.m., according to officials.

But with the high turnout, Potter said there were not any more problems than typical for a presidential election.

“Given that we have a record number of registered voters and all the absentee [voters], it’s really no more than we usually see,” she said.

Many voters said the possibility of long lines did not affect their decision to vote.

“It was important because [you should] definitely be involved in your community and your country, and you should have a say in who represents this country,” said Jennifer Alcorn, a voter.

The number of absentee voters hit a record high in Virginia, with more than 615,000 people who successfully applied to vote absentee, Potter said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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