Coronavirus

Virginians must decide: vote by mail or risk COVID-19 by voting in person

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WASHINGTON (WFXR) — Election Day 2020 is approaching and for the first time ever, Virginians are starting to think how they are going to vote.

Devante Mosley, of Radford, said he is going to cast his ballot early.

“We have to utilize the mail in/absentee ballot,” Mosely said.

Mosley recognizes some of the risks that comes with mailing in your ballot.

“You start to have to deal with sanitation. How many hands touched a certain ballot,” Mosely said.

Mosley knows some voters are scared due to COVID-19, but he says don’t let that stop you from voting.

“This year it is very important to vote and get in the ballots. Whether that be mail in or in person. So hopefully, they can subside their fear for a bit even though it is a real fear and vote because it is important. If they want to do mail ins then utilize that because we need 100%,” Mosely said.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said the Commonwealth is adjusting with the new normal.

“Virginia law has made it much easier in order to vote by mail,” Warner said, adding that he supports early voting.

“My hope would be that we would see upwards of 40% of Virginians deciding to vote before Election Day. That is going to be frankly safest for everyone whether you choose to vote on Election Day or early.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

The Virginia senator wants his constituents to know three things.

“I hope Virginians will take advantages to the changes in the law. Vote by mail. Vote early starting September 19th. Or if you choose to vote on Election Day, you can actually vote at the curbside,” Warner said.

5th district congressman Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), who has expressed concerns about voter fraud, said there has to be a way for everyone.

“My preference would be in person voting but certainly there has to be some type of mitigation for those that have preexisting conditions and those who might be fearful of COVID,” Riggleman said.

The congressman said voters will be looking for progress this November.

“People are going to be looking at what’s going on with the pandemic, is the economy coming back but what they are going to look for is are we on a forward trajectory. That’s what voters will be looking for,” Riggleman said.

Riggleman also shared what’s next for him after losing the 5th District Republican convention to Bob Good.

“I’m keeping my options open. Things are sort of moving forward. I’m still doing great things in congress I still have to run through the tape. If I was to do anything in a more directed way, we would be looking at a statewide run sometime in the future.”

Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-Va.)

In an interview with Bloomberg’s SoundOn podcast, Riggleman said he is considering a run for governor as an independent.

Norman Ornstein, of the American Enterprise Institute, said he’s scared.

“’I’m really afraid we might have a real mess on our hands,” Ornstein said.

But, he added, voter fraud stemming from absentee ballots should not concern Virginians.

“We know the evidence of voter fraud of individuals misusing vote by mail is almost nonexistent,” Ornstein said.

Ornstein said that Virginia election officials are on the right track and are making good progress.

“The election officials in Virginia have been pretty good about maintaining the integrity of the elections,” Ornstein said.

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