Despite early voting, state law could see Election Day results delayed

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While Election Day is two weeks away, the Virginia Department of Elections says locals may have to wait several days to learn of the official winners.

Absentee ballots are already being collected and processed in Virginia. 8News spoke with political analyst Rich Meagher Tuesday. He said Virginia’s ability to process absentee ballot as they come in should help with voting results.

“Virginia elections might have a little more clarity than some elections in other states might have on Election Night,” he said.

If absentee ballots are postmarked on Election Day or before it, a new state law allows election officials to collect those ballots until Friday.

According to Meagher, that matters the most in close races, such as what’s expected in the 7th Congressional District between Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper).

“So some of those congressional races could come down to, you know, a thousand votes here and a thousand votes there. And in this year, in which we have so many absentee, mail in ballots, that could make a difference,” Meagher said. On election night, individual precincts will still be reporting unofficial results as they come in.

The Virginia Department of Election adds that they won’t predict when the state will have final, official voting results.

“Early on in this election cycle, it seemed like we weren’t going to know anything,” Meagher said. “I think we will know a bit more now. I think some of the folks in Virginia particularly are feeling a bit more confident about the ability of registrars to keep up with the flow of mail-in ballots, to be able to handle in-person voting. We’ll see how it goes.”

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