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Early in-person voting starts in Virginia

Jacobs and Otis outside informing voters of the ballot process as they walk inside the Rockingham County Administrators Building.
Jacobs and Otis outside informing voters of the ballot process as they walk inside the Rockingham County Administrators Building.(whsv)
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 12:10 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Friday is the first day Virginians can begin to vote early in-person for November’s election, and there are two new changes to the ballot process.

Virginians will no longer need to show a photo ID to poll workers when going in to vote, and you no longer need an excuse to vote absentee.

In Rockingham County, the first voter on Friday morning was able to perform his civic duty and get a birthday wish at the same time.

For 59-year-old John Jacobs, Jr. of Rockingham County, this was the first time his birthday fell on a voting day that he could remember.

As a gift to himself, he was hoping to be the first person in the county to cast their vote. Jacobs has helped with local elections in the Valley for the past two years, mainly working at the Broadway polling location.

Jacobs said that as a veteran, making sure your vote is counted is something you cannot take for granted.

“The right to vote is very important in the United States each one of us has a reason for who we want to vote for and that’s great and we have choices,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs described the new process as very smooth — you walk into the county administrators building, you check-in one at a time, grab your ballot, head to a voting booth, cast it in a machine... and then you’re done.

“After you get checked in to make sure you get the right ballot, you’ll then go into an area that you can sit or stand and fill out your ballot and then put it into a machine,” Jacobs said.

Poll workers are all wearing masks and plexiglass shields have been put in place to protect staff and voters. Staff at the polling location were also putting together ballots for mail-in absentee voters on Friday.

In Rockingham County, you can vote in-person at the county administrators building Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 30.

Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 will be extra days where voters can come in on a Saturday to vote from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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