Queen City voters make their voices heard

He said about 19% of registered voters have early voted.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:05 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Early voting wrapped up Saturday, Nov. 5, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Many localities dealt with a large number of new registrations or changes to registrations early last week, and it left registrar’s offices cleaning up that mess. Tom Long, Staunton’s Electoral Board Chair, said it was an issue with the state getting new registrations and changes to the localities.

“In Staunton, I think it totaled around 800 updates that had to be made and that’s kind of a manual process so our deputy registrar spent several days getting all of that updated,” said Long. “It’s over with now. It’s all updated and done, but it was a good bit of extra burden at a busy time of the year for the registrar’s office.”

Staunton voters are making their voices heard, Long said. He said about 19% of registered voters have early voted, and more than 800 mail-in ballots have been returned to them, with more set to arrive soon.

“I think this is a little better than normal, especially for a midterm election. We have city council and school board races that have generated some interest in the city, and that may be driving some of the early voting,” he said.

Since many Queen City voters have already cast their ballots, they may be wondering when they can expect to see results.

“We will have unofficial results tomorrow night,” said Long. “I would think by 9:00 or so we’ll have a pretty good idea in Staunton.”

Those results are unofficial because mail-in ballots will continue to roll in throughout the week and because the Election Board still has to meet.

“The election the electoral board gets together in what’s called a canvas, and we verify all the numbers and all the tapes that come out of our voter tabulators, and we verify all those numbers,” said Long.

Mistakes happen, but that meeting is meant to catch those mistakes.

“Occasionally, someone writes something down wrong that night, so those numbers have to get corrected. Official results will be a week from [Monday, Nov. 7],” Long said.

Long also addressed claims of voter fraud.

“I was just reading an article about folks who think our machines are connected to the internet and our poll books are connected to the internet. Nothing we have out in the polling places are connected to the internet. The machines are not connected to the internet. The machines aren’t connected to the internet. It is very secure, very safe and very accurate,” Long said.

Polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. If you’re not registered to vote, you can do that at your assigned polling location. If you need to make a change to your registration, you can do that too. Your ballot will be provisional until the Board can verify the information.