Counties see impressive turnout for early voting

Published 10:46 am Monday, November 6, 2023

Early voting is a convenient way for residents to cast a ballot on their own schedule and not have to worry about it on Election Day. How many residents actually took part in it this year? The answer this year is a lot. 

During weekdays and select Saturdays starting at the end of September, residents could go ahead and cast their votes early. Even though it started in some localities years before, the pandemic really made early voting more widespread as it allowed for smaller crowds on election day. The last day of early voting was Saturday, Nov. 4, giving those who work weekdays a chance to vote. 

The total of early voters was 1,037 in Buckingham, 711 in Cumberland and 1,003 in Prince Edward Counties. Many of these votes came in over the weekend as Buckingham and Prince Edward ended Thursday in the middle 800s. 

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According to Ginger Chiesa, Buckingham registrar, it’s hard to compare these numbers with past elections as the general election doesn’t always pull the same number of voters as a presidential election. However, Buckingham had a 10% turnout which she was satisfied with as 15% is the ideal target. 

“I’d say it’s been pretty normal for Cumberland,” said Marlene Watson, Cumberland registrar. 

More early voting options

These are the in-person numbers. Along with going to the polls early, voters can also mail in absentee ballots which will be counted as long as they are postmarked by election day and arrive by 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13 to be counted. According to Lynette Wright, the registrar at Prince Edward County, none of the absentees have been rejected yet, as a few are usually every year due to not being filled out correctly. Since there’s still time, the ballots are waiting to be counted and reviewed once all of them are in on Monday. Fortunately from what Wright has seen so far almost all the voters have done well filling out the new envelopes. 

“So far everyone has done just fine with the new envelopes,” she said. “I’ve really been impressed.”

Now all that’s standing in between candidates and their victories is the actual election day on Tuesday, Nov. 7. With a good amount of residents already having their vote in, the local registrars are hoping for a smooth and successful day.