Election officials report good turnout in first days of early voting

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 3:46 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Early voting is underway in the Shenandoah Valley, and local election officials say they’re seeing good turnout.

Many say they didn’t know what to expect this year since it’s the first governor’s race with no-excuse early voting.

“I think it’s hard to forecast these types of things since no-excuse early voting is still kind of a new thing,” said Mark Finks, Director of Elections for Harrisonburg.

Early voting is expected to bring out some more voters, but some people choose to stay home when there’s no national election.

“Based on the numbers we saw last year during the presidential and forecasting with this being a governor’s race, typically there would be slightly less turnout than a presidential election, I’d say the turnout is right around where we’d expect it to be,” Finks said.

In Rockingham County, they’re planning for 100% turnout, though only 50% of voters came out four years ago, Director of Elections Lisa Gooden says.

“It seems like people have become more engaged in elections, so we’re hopeful that turnout will be higher,” Gooden said.

Staunton election officials say they’re averaging about voters a day. They say there’s been more early voting traffic than in the past.

Voter turnout as of Sept. 29:

  • Rockingham County: 2,500 mail-in ballots requested, 834 early voters
  • Augusta County: 1,472 mail-in ballots requested, 1,190 early voters
  • Staunton: 707 mail-in ballots requested, 494 early voters
  • Waynesboro: 764 mail-in ballots requested, 309 early voters
  • Harrisonburg: 425 mail-in ballots requested, 581 early voters

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