By Carol Vaughn —
The last day to vote early in person in Virginia is Saturday, Oct. 31, and thousands of Eastern Shore voters already have cast their ballots, either by mail or in person at the voter registrar offices in Eastville and Accomac.
As of Oct. 25, 7,111 voters in Accomack County had cast early ballots or applied for an absentee ballot by mail, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. That’s compared to a total of 1,557 absentee ballots cast in the 2016 election, of 15,999 total ballots cast.
In Northampton County, 3,878 voters have cast early ballots or applied for an absentee ballot, compared to 829 absentee ballots in 2016 of 6,208 total ballots cast.
In some Eastern Shore precincts, more than 40% of registered voters already have cast their ballots, according to VPAP. In 2016, voter turnout was 65% in Accomack and 67% in Northampton.
Precincts with the highest early voter turnout include precinct 1 in Northampton County, with 45.3% turnout as of Oct. 25; Northampton’s precinct 4, with 44% turnout; and Accomack’s Nandua precinct, with 41% turnout.
In the remaining precincts in Northampton County, more than 30% of registered voters have voted absentee or early.
Precinct 2 has had 34.9%; precinct 3 has had 34.8%; and precinct 5 has had 32.8%.
In the remaining Accomack County precincts, early and absentee voting by precinct is as follows: Wachapreague, 23.5%; Painter, 31.9%; Bobtown, 31%; Melfa, 28%; Accomac, 32%; Rue, 34%; Parksley, 20.5%; Mappsville, 29%; Bloxom, 15.6%; Saxis, 9.2%; Atlantic, 18.6%; New Church, 25%; Greenbackville, 21.1%; Chincoteague, 26%; and Tangier, 6.1%.
The percentages are calculated as follows: absentee ballots returned, both those cast by mail and in-person, plus the number of outstanding mail ballot applications, divided by the total number of registered voters in each precinct.
The Accomack Voter Registration office is where to go to vote early in person for Accomack County residents. Located at the entrance to Sawmill Park, 24387 Joynes Neck Road in Accomac, hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and the office also will be open this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Northampton County voters may come to the Voter Registration Office at 16404 Courthouse Road in Eastville to vote early. Hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and this Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election has passed, as has the deadline to request an absentee ballot, but absentee ballots already requested may be returned by mail, postmarked by Nov. 3 and received no later than Nov. 6 by noon, or may be returned in person by Nov. 3 by 7 p.m.
Additionally, all polling places will be open for in-person voting on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling locations have not changed since the last election.
If unsure of the polling location, call the Accomack County Voter Registration office at 757-787-2935 or 757-824-0525 or check online at www.elections.virginia.gov
Northampton County voters can call 757-678-0480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
For more information on VPAP’s early voting analysis, go to https://www.vpap.org/visuals/2020-early-voting/