PORTSMOUTH, Va. — During last year's presidential election, a record-breaking number of people voted early, and that early-voting trend is continuing this year.
Portsmouth’s General Registrar Elections Director Alexandra Reid said they're seeing high turnout.
“So far, as of yesterday October 25th, we’ve had over 5,000 voters," she said.
Reid noted that's not as high as the presidential election but it is higher than the last race for governor.
“More than the 2017 gubernatorial race where combined total, we had 1,151 voters," she said.
Reid said the majority of the ballots they’re seeing now are from people voting by mail.
For voters like John Simon, voting early is about convenience.
“Yeah, avoid the lines and you know, I’m a busy man, so I have stuff I have to do so it’s best for me to get it over with," he explained. "It’s a very easy process. Come down here early, you get it out the way, you ain’t got to wait in line, and it’s real quick.”
The last day to vote early is Saturday, October 30. Reid said If you want to cast a ballot, it’s a simple process.
“Show up with your ID. It’s no longer just photo ID, you can have your utility bill, your voter registration card, military can use their card, your passport," she said.
And if you don’t have your ID, there’s still a way you can vote.
“We have something called the ID confirmation statement that you could complete in order to still vote on the machine like normal," Reid explained.
When it comes to poll workers, Reid said 190 people signed up to work the polls, but that’s 34 people short of their goal of 224.
“But not horrible! 34 officers, I’m not going to cry about," Reid said.
And of course, that’s assuming no one sleeps through their alarm, next Tuesday.
“These people still have to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and get there at 5 o’clock. They have to show up," she joked.
But Reid said this small shortage in poll workers, isn’t a big problem, because more people are voting early. That means fewer people on Election Day.
Although more people are voting early, she said the need for poll workers never goes away. And you never know where that can take you.
“In 2010, I was an Officer of Election and now 11 years later, I am General Registrar and Director of Elections," Reid said.