HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In-person voting is often pictured with long lines and long waits at local precincts where people carve out time to vote on Election Day.
But in Virginia, early voting is an option for those wanting to skip the lines on November 3.
And although early voting has always been an option in the Commonwealth, many citizens still don’t know how the early-voting process works — you’ll vote the same as you would on Election Day, with one exception. Early-voting takes place at the county registrar’s office instead of your assigned precinct.
Kirk Showalter, Richmond’s general registrar, says that “Virginia has clearly embraced no excuse voting.”
The Virginia Department of Elections wanted to make sure all Virginia voters knew about their access to early voting earlier this month by announcing their ‘Free to Be Absentee‘ campaign designed to educate voters about absentee and early voting to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
You do need to ensure that you’re registered to vote in Virginia. And if you’re not, all you need to do is register to vote online. You can sign up online using your Driver’s license or state ID and Social Security Number.
And that is it all you need to do before going to your local registrar’s office to vote during their hours of operation:
- Henrico County: 4305 E Parham Rd, Richmond, VA 23228
- Chesterfield County: 9848 Lori Road, Chesterfield, VA 23832
- Hanover County: 7497 County Complex Road, Hanover, VA 23069
- City of Richmond: 2134 West Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23227
- City of Petersburg: 229 N. Market St., Petersburg, VA 23803
- Goochland County: 1876 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland, VA 23063
Be sure to bring that license or ID with you to be able to collect your ballot.
For those wanting to know the physical differences between voting early and voting November 3 — there aren’t any. Face masks are required at polling locations and physical distance markers are lined up leading up into the building. Each voting booth is cleaned and sanitized between each voter and you submit your ballot the same way into the machine like you would on Election Day.
A few voters at the Henrico County registrar’s office danced as they left the building after voting — some even saying, “that was so easy” before getting in their vehicles to leave.
And don’t forget that when you vote, you may get lucky and get a sticker.