BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – Super Tuesday is only one week away and the rate at which absentee and mail-in primary ballots are trickling in has officials expecting a low voter turnout in Bedford County.
“That’s usually a pretty good indication of how election day will go as well. So, we are not expecting it to be an extremely busy election turnout, unfortunately,” says Barbara Gunter, General Registrar and Director of Elections for Bedford County.
As of Monday, Feb. 24, 37 residents have submitted their completed ballot in-person and 50 residents have returned theirs by mail. Out of 57,300 Bedford County registered voters, this amounts to less than 1% of eligible voters submitting absentee ballots.
Barbara says one contributing factor to the slow response so far: the fact many Bedford County residents tend to lean toward Republican Party candidates.
Nevertheless, election preparations go on as usual. About 250 poll workers are trained to serve across the county’s precincts. Through multiple classes, volunteers are trained on how to handle voting machines and electronic poll books.
Along with preparing materials needed on Super Tuesday, election officials have also been coordinating with local churches, civic organizations, and county facilities that are used as polling locations.
“Elections are not flexible. There is no wiggle room. We have timetables that we work with to make sure we stay on schedule and are ready for voters when they come in at 6 a.m.,” says Gunter.
Gunter says the biggest things you should know before you cast your ballot on March 3 includes looking at a sample ballot before arriving at your designated precinct and having your identification ready to make the lines move along.
“I hope people have enough interest to come out and let their opinions be known,” says Gunter.
Feb. 25 is the last day to request an absentee ballot by mail. The request must be received by your local registrar by 5 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, the Bedford County Voter Registrar’s Office, which is located on 321 North Bridge St in Bedford, Va. will be open for in-person absentee voting from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
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