With a little over a week until Election Day, 589,627 voters had voted early as of October 29 in Virginia’s ongoing election, according to a graphic from The Virginia Public Access Project. That’s down from 2021, which saw over one million votes by Election Day, but which also had statewide elections and house races. In Virginia this year, only VA-02, VA-07, and VA-10 are competitive; the other congressional races are safe Republican or Democrat.
That’s not quite reflected in VPAP’s breakdown of early votes by district. VA-01 has the most early votes with 74,377, followed by VA-02 with 64,338, VA-05 with 59,987, VA-10 with 58,793, and VA-07 with 57,931.
It isn’t clear how much early votes indicate turnout for one party or another; this year Virginia Republicans are emphasizing the need for their supporters to vote early while also criticizing state laws for allowing early voting.
Governor Glenn Youngkin is in the middle of a get-out-the-vote tour supporting Republicans, and has visited early voting locations.
In a September 28 episode of The John Fredericks Show, Fredericks said, “Right now, you take Virginia, we have early voting, that’s what we have. We have to play the hand we’re dealt. I believe you have early voting, you vote as early as you can, in person, so that your vote is entered, if there’s something the matter you have time to take care of it.”
Fredericks, the publisher of The Virginia Star, added that it helps campaign organizers with get-out-the-vote efforts since they know their base has already voted and they don’t have to try to arrange transportation for those individuals.
“Also, we have studies that show us that up to 20 percent of people that plan on voting game day that work, these are working people which are our voters, right? We’ve got working people. That’s our base. They can’t make it, not that they don’t want to make it,” he said.
In the interview, Representative Bob Good (R-VA-05) replied that the law should require voting on Election Day with limited exceptions, but echoed Fredericks’ reasons for voting early in Virginia.
He said, “So absolutely, people should vote early. Get that ballot cast safely as soon as you can, not by mail. Go into the registrar’s office if you can and vote there in person.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Election Day” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.