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Early voting underway

Charlotte County Interim Registrar Eric Goode said a lot of voters have been taking advantage of early in-person voting.

On Monday afternoon, Goode said there had been a total of 54 in-person votes cast and 490 mail-in votes.

With No Excuse, Early Voting in place this election year, Goode said earlier this month his office had seen an uptick in Vote by Mail applications.

Gov. Ralph Northam introduced legislation earlier this year with the goal to increase voter turnout and decrease congestion at the polls on Election Day.

Goode explained that the No Excuse, Early Voting is new this year. Voters have until Oct. 31 to cast their votes.

“In the forefront this year is No Excuse Early Voting (rather than Absentee Voting) because voters are not required to provide a reason,” Goode said. “The difference being, voters may vote in-person during this 45-day period without completing an application. It allows voters to vote in person without having to complete forms and should negate long lines on Election Day.”

Voters planning to vote in person at the Charlotte County registrar’s office are asked to wear face coverings, although not required.

“No voter can be turned away because he/she fails to wear a mask,” Goode said.

Statewide as of Monday, Sept. 21, the Virginia Department of Elections was reporting that 36,740 people had voted in person. Mail in ballot applications were listed at 864,225.

Mail Ballot Applications represent the number of voters who have applied for mail ballots but who have not yet returned them. In 2016, some 77,433 mail ballots were never returned.

In 2016 the Virginia Department of Elections reported that 615,843 votes were cast during the November presidential election.

There are currently 5.6 million voters in the commonwealth.

For the 5th District 69,967 voters have cast their ballots as of Monday, Sept. 21.

Voters can take advantage of the 45 days of No Excuse Early Voting in Charlotte County for in-person early voting at the registrar’s office Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as well as the Saturday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.