Over a third of county’s registered voters have already voted

Over a third of county’s registered voters have already voted

Already over a third of Pulaski County’s registered voters have cast ballots in this year’s election as voters have taken advantage of early in-person and absentee mail voting in a big way.

With less than a week to go until Election Day, already over 33 percent of the county’s 23,150 registered voters have voted either by mail or in person.

Of the 7,735 who have already voted, 4,975 have done so in person at the county’s registrar’s office, which voters found to be a simple, quick and smooth process.

Once arriving at the registrar’s office, voters are directed to go next door to the county’s EOC/Information Training Room. Once there they are sent to a check-in station, then to a second station to receive their ballot and a disposable ink pen to use to fill out their ballot. From there they are directed to one of several private voting stands, and finally to the voting machine where they insert their ballot to be scanned and counted.

All-in-all the process takes about five minutes.

“The setup for early voting has worked very nicely,” said Kathy Webb, the county’s Director of Elections. “We have been able to move people through very easily and quickly while practicing social distancing guidelines.”

The fear of COVID-19 and the desire to avoid what are expected to be long lines at the county’s 12 polling stations on Election Day are credited for the amount of early in-person and mail voting.

Those who wish to vote early at the Registrar’s Office can still do so through Saturday (Oct. 31).

Webb said her office will be open today (Friday) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then again on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday is the last day for early voting, she reminded.

Also, ballot drop boxes will be located at each of the county’s polling sites and at the Registrar’s Office on Election Day in which voters may deposit their mail absentee ballots.

“We will receive and count all mail postmarked by Nov. 3 that is received by Friday (Nov. 6) at noon. We will also be processing absentee drop box returns from the polling sites through Friday (Nov. 6).

Once all these votes have been processed, Webb said they will be added to the absentee vote totals from Election Day.

So, on election night, voting results won’t be final until the following Friday when these votes are processed and counted. And even then, a canvas of the votes must occur before the final results are certified.

Based on the number of people voting early across the country, most people are expecting a heavy turnout for the election, but Webb wouldn’t make any predictions locally.

“I am not one to predict,” she said. “I prepare every election for the possibility of a large turnout.”

Polling places in Pulaski County remain the same as in the last election. A list of polling places in Pulaski and Wythe counties and Radford city are included in this week’s edition.

There is also a sample ballot in this week’s issue for Pulaski County voters.

Don’t forget to bring a photo ID to the polls on Tuesday, and remember to wear a face covering. Social distancing guidelines will be in effect.

Anyone with questions should contact Webb at the Registrar’s Office at 87 Commerce Street in Pulaski or by phone at 540-980-2111.

Tuesday’s election is about more than just the presidential race.

There is also a race for Commonwealth’s Attorney with Democrat incumbent Justin L. Griffith on the ballot. As reported elsewhere in this issue, there also is now an organized write-in effort in support of Dublin attorney Angi Simpkins.

Incumbent 9th District Rep. Morgan Griffith, R is unopposed in seeking another term in the House of Representatives.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D is seeking re-election to a third term and is opposed by Daniel Gade, R.

And there are two Constitutional Amendments.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot