ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Election offices across Virginia are busy preparing polling places for Tuesday’s election.
More than half a million Virginia voters cast their ballots early this year, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Election officials in Roanoke said early voting, including absentee ballots, has reached roughly 4,400 ,which exceeds the last two presidential elections.
On Monday, staff at the Registrar’s Office in Roanoke delivered secured containers with paper ballots and other Election Day equipment to the various polling places. Officials said they are prepared for a high voter turnout.
“One of the things we are implementing and it’s the first time for this election is a line manager position,” said Andrew Cochran, Roanoke City Director of Elections. “Voters will be screened while they are waiting in line to be sure they are in the right precinct.”
Roanoke City precincts were realigned last year, reducing the number of precincts from 32 to 21. With the precinct realignment, 18 voting sites were closed and 7 news ones were opened said Cochran. The voting site for voters who have not voted in an election in 2016 may have changed since the last time they voted. Earlier this year, the city sent out 60,000 voter notices informing residents about the precinct changes. Cochran said 10,000 notice came back as undeliverable. He said it is important for voters to know where they are registered to vote because by law, voters can only vote in the precinct where they are registered.
“We had 32 precincts before. The disparity in size was anywhere from 1,000 voters to 4,500, so the precinct realignment accomplished kind of equalizing the number of registered voter in each polling location which allowed us to distribute our officers of election evenly to assist voters,” he said.
Staff has spent months preparing for Tuesday’s election. They are reminding voters to come prepared and have the proper identification.
“A valid photo ID is required to vote,” said Cochran. “If voters do not have a valid photo ID they can come to our office free of charge to anyone who needs that”.
The polls in Virginia open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Click here to find your polling place.