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Virginia Dept. of Elections: No reports of intimidation or harassment at the polls

David Seidel
Radio IQ

Voting is going smoothly across the state, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. Officials say they haven’t received any reports of voter intimidation or harassment.

There have been a couple reports of electronic poll books not working in Richmond City as well as Chesterfield, Suffolk and Nottoway counties. The impacted precincts have switched to paper poll books, commissioner of elections Susan Beals said in a late-morning briefing.

"They’ve received a new poll book for the first time. This is a new generation of the poll book that they’re using," Beals explained. "And so there’s a little bit of a learning curve for some of our workers at the precincts to get those operating correctly. So that’s what I would attribute most of it to."

Beals says lines might move a bit slower at the impacted precincts, but no one has been prevented from voting.

One precinct in Wythe County had a power outage in the 8 a.m. hour. They had a generator and were back up in running in 10 minutes.

Campaign signs outside Roanoke's Deyerle precinct.
David Seidel
Radio IQ
Campaign signs outside Roanoke's Deyerle precinct.

According to the Virginia Department of Elections the state has hit an all-time high of registered voters— 6.1 million people.

Commissioner Beals says that as of this morning more than 943,000 Virginians have already voted early. “So we are incredibly grateful to our 133 registrars. They have done yeoman’s work over the last several months. We’ve had, you know, 45 days of early voting already. So we’ve almost had 45 election days, already.”

Polls are open until 7:00 p.m.

What happens once polls close?

Almost a million Virginians opted to vote early this year. Those votes have been processed, but not yet counted.

The Department of Elections directed local registrars to hit the button on the machines that do that work when the polls close says election commissioner Susan Beals.

A closer look at the vote counting process. Officials say results won't be immediate.
Mallory Noe-Payne reports from Richmond.

“That is not an immediate process," Beals says. "I know from my experience in Chesterfield last year when we hit the button on the machine, the machine had to think for an hour before it started printing. And then sometimes the tape can take up to an hour to print.” 

Meaning don’t expect immediate results. The same goes for today’s in-person vote.

When the numbers do start coming in, the state Department of Elections will post them online – organized by locality and vote type. That’s new this year.

Results aren’t official though until they’re certified by local electoral boards.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.