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Canvass process begins in Virginia following general election

virginiaThe Virginia Department of Elections commended its local election partners Wednesday following the general election as each of Virginia’s 133 local electoral boards began the process of canvassing their precinct results.

“I applaud our local election officials and Department staff for the time they invested to ensure the 2016 general election went well and that our voters not only had a good experience at the polls, but also that they left confident their votes were counted accurately,” said Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortés. “I also want to commend our local, state and federal law enforcement partners who worked long hours on Election Day to ensure the safety of our voters and election officers.”

Throughout the day Tuesday, election officials responded to a handful of isolated voting equipment issues. Voters experienced longer wait times in some precincts, primarily due to high voter turnout. Polls closed at 7 p.m., but any voters in line at that time were allowed to cast their ballots.  Despite the high turnout, all individuals had voted by 8:30 p.m.

Virginia had a record 5.6 million registered voters, and unofficial turnout numbers showed more than 3.86 million votes cast for President, nearing the record of 3.89 million votes cast in the 2012 presidential election. A record number of Virginians voted absentee, with more than 616,000 absentee applications submitted ahead of the deadline. Final absentee and turnout numbers will be available as results are certified.

During the canvass, each locality will review and verify the accuracy of the results reported on Tuesday evening and determine the status of provisional ballots. Localities have until Tuesday, November 15, to complete the canvass process and submit the Abstracts of Votes to the Department of Elections. Any adjusted numbers reported by localities will be incorporated daily into the results page of

Included in each locality’s Abstract of Votes will be any accepted provisional ballot votes. Localities initially reported that 13,033 Virginia voters were issued a provisional ballot on Election Day. Of the reported provisional ballots, 4,483 were issued due to questions regarding registration status; 1,918 were issued because the voter did not provide an acceptable photo ID; and the remaining 6,632 were for a variety of other qualification questions. Local electoral boards research each provisional voter’s circumstances prior to accepting or denying the provisional ballot. Voters who did not have an acceptable photo ID have until noon on Monday, November 14, to submit a copy of their photo ID or apply for a free Virginia Voter Photo ID card at their local voter registration office. More than 1,400 requests for a free Virginia Voter Photo ID card were submitted on Election Day. A full summary of provisional ballots cast in each locality is available on the results page of

The State Board of Elections will meet to certify the final vote counts of the election at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 21 in the General Assembly Building, House Room C. The 2016 Virginia Electoral College will be held at noon on December 19, 2016 in the Virginia Capitol, Senate Chambers. For more information about this ticketed event, visit

For more information about the Virginia Department of Elections or the Virginia State Board of Elections, visit