Early in-person voting kicks off, COVID protocols in place at polling locations in Roanoke

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)– Early in-person voting kicked off on Friday for voters looking to cast their ballots before Election Day in Virginia. Early voting is a 45-day period leading up to Nov. 2.

Those who opted into early voting can go to their polling location and show their I.D. Voters who can’t make it to the polls can request an absentee ballot by Saturday, Oct. 2.

Polling places have taken precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The director of elections and general registrar for Roanoke, Andrew Cochran, says they are putting in protocols to keep voters safe.

“For COVID we have the plexiglass screens, we have masks, and we have hand sanitizer. All those things are still in place for this particular election,” said Cochran.

Cochran also addressed the mistrust in mail-in ballots and says they have security measures in place.

“We do have a couple of tools that will help people realize where their ballot is in the process. We have a tool called ballot scout,” said Cochran. ‘There’s a barcode on each of the envelopes that goes through the postal system. Voters can actually track where their ballot is in every step of the process. So that’s a comfort.
And also on the department of elections website, it can tell you when your ballot has been mailed and received.”

Since the polls closed at 5 p.m., Cochran told WFXR News that 158 people have cast their vote on the opening day of early in-person voting. The last day for absentee in-person voting is Saturday, Oct. 30.

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