In 2016, Alexandria’s Office of Voter Registrations and Elections sent out 1,668 absentee ballots by mail in September. This year, there are 18,498 applicants already signed up.
“We have definitely seen a large increase in absentee by mail ballot requests,” said Angie Maniglia Turner, Alexandria’s new General Registrar. “[As of] this morning we’ve had 18,498 applications processed and they’re coming in every moment. This year is going to be very unique.”
Alexandria is closing in on 20,000 voters who have applied for absentee ballots by mail. Four years ago we had 20K TOTAL absentee voters (in-person/mail).
In-person voting will begin a month from now (when ballots are mailed out).
Apply online today! https://t.co/p2QqzboPKG
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) August 18, 2020
Turner said the main question her office has received so far has been voters wondering where their ballots are. Turner said that the first round isn’t sent out until mid-September. The deadline to register for an absentee ballot is Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. That’s when the registration has to be physically received by the Office of Voter Registrations and Elections, so Turner advised those hoping to vote absentee to send in their request as soon as possible.
While there have been concerns about how long it could take for absentee votes to be tallied, Turner said that Virginia law allows election offices to do something called pre-processing.
“That means we can process absentee ballots and do everything we’d do on election day except tallying,” Turner said. “That allows us an opportunity to ensure we can get all of these processed in time.”
The state is also currently reviewing whether dropbox voting will be allowed, though no decision has been made yet.