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Early voting in Virginia starts Friday

Virginia Beach General Registrar Donna Patterson said thousands of voters have already requested ballots by mail for the general election.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It's time to make your voice heard and there are several ways to do it from now until Election Day.

Friday, September 17 marks the first day of in-person early voting. You can vote early at your local election office.

You also can vote absentee this Friday too. Virginia Beach General Registrar Donna Patterson said voters are requesting absentee ballots already.

"We're getting ready to mail about 7,000 and those are continuing to come in hundreds a day," Patterson said.

Patterson wants you to also be aware of these dates:

  • The deadline to register to vote or update your registration is October 12. 
  • If you want a ballot mailed to you, you must request one at your local election office by October 22.
  • October 30 is the last day for early in-person voting.
  • The general election date is Tuesday, November 2.

Patterson said there's a different deadline to send in your absentee ballot.

"As long as it's postmarked by Election Day and we receive it by noon, the Friday after the election, it meets the qualifications to be counted," Patterson said.

In terms of how many people will vote in the election, Patterson hoped to see nearly half of registered turn out ahead of time or at the polls.

"We're predicting -- in the past, it was about 40% turnout for governor's race -- but we figure it's probably going to be higher than that," Patterson said.

Patterson said voter turnout for a general election is the second-highest turnout for an election. We see the highest voter turnout in a presidential election.