As absentee voting underway, students train to volunteer at Fairfax Co. polls

VIRGINIA — In-person absentee voting in Virginia is in full swing, and as voters head to the 10 polling locations across Fairfax County, students are preparing to help out at the polls on Nov. 6th.

“I’m going to be old enough to vote in the 2020 presidential election,” said Carson Miller, a 17-year-old James Madison High School student.

Miller attended a training program at the Fairfax County Government Center as part of the 635 students who will serve as volunteers at the polls. Just across the hall, Fairfax County residents filled out absentee ballots.

“It was kind of cool to see what everyone has to do to set it up and how long it takes,” said Miller.

Beth Methfessel, coordinator of High School Student Election Participation Program, or the Page Program, has been overseeing the program for 18 years.

“We have placed high school students in 240 of our 243 precincts, so almost 100 percent coverage in the county,” said Methfessel.

By the end of training, students will know how to handle voting equipment and count unmarked ballets.

Students were also among those who came out to vote.

Joseph Walter is one of the 26,000 Fairfax County residents who have already cast their absentee ballots. He’s 19 years old, and this is his first time voting.

“As someone who’s never been able to vote before, I haven’t really had any kind of say,” said Walter.

Walter’s mom, Sherri Walter, said it’s important that he has a voice.

“It’s really important in particular to get out and make sure that we’re electing people that represent our values,” she said.

There are 10 locations throughout the county where voters can cast their absentee ballots. Nov. 3 is the last day for in-person absentee voting for the general election.

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