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Huge turnout on Saturday for final day of in-person early voting in Virginia

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More than 111,000 Virginians voted in person on Saturday, the final day for in-person early voting ahead of the Nov. 3 election, which is now two days away.

The Saturday total of 111,839 in-person votes was just off the Friday high of 123,111, pushing the overall tally of votes already cast in the 2020 election in the Commonwealth – including in-person votes and mail-in ballots that have already been received by local voter offices – to 2,732,766, according to data courtesy the Virginia Public Access Project.

That’s a voter turnout of 46.4 percent of all registered voters.

For comparison, the turnout in the 2016 presidential election in Virginia was 72.1 percent of all registered voters, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

When it’s all said and done, it looks like we’ll be just under 3 million early votes cast all told. VPAP reports that there are still 191,509 mail-in ballots still outstanding, though voters who requested mail-in ballots and haven’t returned them still have the option of voting in-person at their local polling precincts on Tuesday.

If you’re in this boat, you may also consider becoming a walk-in voter.

The League of Women Voters of Virginia is joining with the Virginia Civic Engagement Table and the Advancement Project in a last-minute effort to highlight this important early voting information.

The key message: if you requested a mail-in ballot, and haven’t dropped it in the mail yet, it’s time to walk it to your nearest polling place, registrar or drop box.

“With only four days until the Election Day deadline, mail is no longer a reliable option,” said Irene Shin, executive director of Virginia Civic Engagement Table. “Every registrar’s office has a ballot box, and on Election Day, your polling place will have one, too. Make sure your voice is heard and deliver your ballot directly. Your vote matters, and it’s important to go the extra mile to make sure it’s counted.”

“We are recommending voters walk absentee ballots to their nearest polling place, registrar, or drop box as soon as possible,” said Sabrina Khan, deputy director of power and democracy at Advancement Project National Office. “That way, you can be 100 percent sure that their ballots count. It would be a shame to have something as minor as a mail issue prevent Virginians from exercising their fundamental right to vote in this critical election.”

League of Women Voters members will be emailing, texting, and calling more than 5,400 voters who missed the absentee ballot application deadline, to provide information on early in-person voting, and on how to find their polling locations on Election Day, Nov. 3.

“There have been so many changes to election laws this year, plus the challenge of COVID 19, it is no wonder some voters are confused,” said Deb Wake, president of the League of Women Voters of Virginia, who suggests that voters check the League’s nonpartisan website, before voting.

Story by Chris Graham