Early voting numbers spike in Virginia

WASHINGTON — Early, absentee voting numbers in Virginia are dramatically higher compared with the 2012 general election.

Whether it’s the candidates, the coverage or the fact more people know of the commonwealth’s option for some residents to vote early, 22 percent more people across the state have already cast a ballot compared the election four years ago. The data measures the early votes received 25 days before the elections.

“In-person absentee is significantly higher. It’s actually over 50 percent of what we were seeing in 2012 at this time,” said Cameron Sasnett with the Farifax County Election Board.

He doesn’t know if this indicates more people will vote overall.

“My gut says it’s probably going to be a little bit quieter than we’re planning for, but we’ll still have all the resources out there,” Sasnett said.

Started by newspapers in the state, the Virginia Public Access Project — which tracks campaign spending and donations — found 141 percent more people in Manassas Park City have voted early, 73 percent more in Fairfax City and 53 percent more in Loudoun County compared with the numbers from 2012.

The percent of change in early voting in Virginia counties. Click to see image larger. (Courtesy Virginia Public Access Project)

Find information about absentee voting and polling locations on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Virginians can vote absentee in person until Nov. 5.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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