RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With one week to go until Election Day, state data shows nearly 350,000 voters have not returned their absentee ballots in Virginia.
Generally, the United States Postal Service says voters should mail their ballots in at least one week before their state’s deadline. Virginians can track the status of their ballot online using the state’s citizen portal.
Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Chris Piper said that deadline has been pushed back to accommodate record numbers of mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. Piper said ballots still have to be postmarked by Election Day but they will be accepted until noon on Friday, November 6th.
“I anticipate that ballots will be coming in after Friday at noon. I just hope not that many,” Piper said.
In 2018, Piper said more than 3,000 ballots were rejected in Virginia because they arrived too late. To avoid that risk completely, Piper said voters who have yet to drop their ballots in the mail should use a drop box instead.
After a last-minute authorization by the General Assembly, Piper said drop boxes are required for the first time at every registrar’s office and satellite polling location. That means voters can skip the mail as well as the line and hand deliver their ballot in a matter of minutes. Voters can do so on or before Election Day.
After some state Republicans raised concern about the security of drop boxes, the Virginia Department of Elections crafted regulations for every locality to follow. Whether the box is inside or outside, Piper said the underlying security standards are the same. He said election staff needs to watch it at all times and—when that’s not possible—security cameras have to monitor it around the clock.
Piper said the boxes are emptied each day, either by two election officers from opposing parties or by two members of registrar’s staff, to ensure each one is counted.
“If you’re just not sure and you have any concern, I encourage you to just go ahead and put your ballot in the drop box at your drop box location and then you have that peace of mind and that security of knowing that it has arrived,” Piper said.
2020 ELECTION COVERAGE
- Trump ally, former NJ governor Chris Christie: president's election fraud claims are a 'national embarrassment'In an interview on Sunday, former New Jersey Governor and frequent Trump aide Christie condemned the Trump team's challenges against the victory of president-elect Joe Biden as "a national embarrassment."
- President Donald Trump’s campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race, a day after state officials certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state.
- Georgia’s top elections official on Friday certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state after a hand tally stemming from a mandatory audit affirmed the Democrat’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
- Fighting to challenge an election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden, Trump has launched a barrage of lawsuits across the country. Top Republicans have stood behind him and said they will wait for those cases to be resolved before officially recognizing the winner, a standard that has no modern precedent.
- WILMINGTON, Del. (NEXSTAR/AP)- President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held a news conference Thursday afternoon after meeting with the National Governor Association's leadership team. The National Governor Association's leadership team is comprised of five Republicans and four Democrats. According to the Associated Press, all of the Democrats and a majority of the Republicans […]
- Democratic Party officials in Virginia sent a letter Thursday to Richmond's Electoral Board calling for the resignation of the city's general registrar, J. Kirk Showalter, or for the board to dismiss Showalter over her handling of the 2020 election.
- A divide has begun to emerge among Democrats between the progressive and moderate wings of the party, stemming from a disappointing election performance.
- SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — When Gov. Brian Kemp won election two years ago, he pushed back forcefully against an outcry from Democrats who accused him of suppressing voter turnout to improve his odds of winning. “Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone,” Kemp, who oversaw that election […]
- Virginia's election results were certified Wednesday during a brief state Board of Elections meeting, two days after they were initially scheduled to be finalized.
- In normal times, the certification of election results is a routine process that doesn’t get much attention. But these are not normal times. As part of an ongoing series of attacks on the integrity of the election, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are trying to stop the formal certification of results in some […]