Primary Day: Curbside ballots and contact-free voting in the era of COVID-19

2020 Election

VIRGINIA (WRIC) — 8News visited several local precincts throughout the day to see what changes were made to help safeguard the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Virginia Department of Health recommended the following guidelines for people voting in person:

  • Vote at off-peak times
  • Wear a face mask
  • Stay 6-ft away from poll workers and voters
  • Wash or sanitize your hands before and after
  • Don’t touch your face or face mask

1:37 p.m. — Voter turnout at one Henrico polling precinct has been “impressive,” according to Chief Election Officer Wayne Carter.

Carter said that he wanted voters at John Rolfe Middle School to feel safe while they were at the polls. The precinct made adjustments with voter safety in mind.

“We wanna make sure people feel comfortable coming in to vote. So we’ve done all we could to make sure the area is sanitized,” he said.

“All of the workers have face shields, masks. We have gloves, we have hand sanitizer. They [voters] actually pick up a ballot along with an ink pen. And once they use the pen to cast their ballot, they take the pen with them and there’s no contact.”

11:22 a.m. — The Bon Air Community Center in North Chesterfield is offering curbside-only voting. The only people going inside the location are the polling staff – voters are met at their vehicles.

  • Curbside voting
  • Voting location 2020
  • Disinfection at polling locations
  • Polling location in Chesterfield
  • JR Tucker High School
  • Richmond voting

9 a.m. — It’s off to a slow start in Chesterfield County. 8News was at the Beulah United Methodist Church (Precinct 2020) and they’ve only had 23 people show up to vote in nearly three hours. The poll workers told 8News that many people have been voting using absentee ballots.

At this polling location, ballots are touched only by the voter. No folders or pens are used in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Curbside voting is also available.

Seven people so far have turned around after seeing it was only a Republic-only primary location. The precinct is located in Virginia’s 7th congressional district and Democrat Abigail Spanberger is her party’s candidate for the November election. The Virginia GOP has yet to announce the Republican candidate who will run against her for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

8News met Cazel Levine’s sister, Frances, this morning at the polls. She shared with us what it means for her to vote for her sister.

6 a.m. — Virginians are getting ready to head to the polls today. If you need a candidate refresher head to our ‘Local Election HQ Voter Guide.’

If you have not returned your absentee ballot, the Virginia Department of Elections tweeted that you can take your unmarked absentee ballot with you to the polls.

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