Voters cast ballots in Loudoun County

Loudoun County is on track to have all of its early votes and ballots received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, according to a local election official. This includes about 50,000 returned mail-in ballots and another 25,000 expected to be cast between now and Nov. 3.

Richard Keech, deputy director for Loudoun County’s Office of Elections and Voter Registration, said the office is projecting that about 60 percent of voters will have cast their ballots by Election Day.

Offices on the Loudoun ballot will include president and vice president of the U.S., members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Virginia constitutional amendments and Loudoun County bond questions. Some local ballots will also include offices for the mayor and town council seats in Leesburg and other towns.

“The people doing this are the same people that have been doing it for a very long time, and we're 100 percent dedicated to making sure every vote gets counted,” Keech said.

Amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in ballots and foreign interference, Keech said the office is managing fine. He said local voters by and large have felt comfortable and safe with the voting process.

Similar to previous years, Keech said the office will report all ballots and votes cast from the early voting sites by 7 p.m. on election night. Ballots dropped off at precincts on or postmarked by Election Day are expected to be reported by the end of election week.

Keech said a difference in this year’s election is the unprecedented number of voters on a rolling basis. “Every day we think, ‘OK, maybe we'll slow down tomorrow,’ but it doesn't, they just keep coming,” Keech said.

Keech said staff has increased from its 13 full-time employees to include 15 full-time temps and another 35 people at the absentee precincts pre-processing mail ballots and mailing and receiving ballots. 

The deputy registrar added that 10 people on a given day are answering phones, and the 14-ballot drop-boxes have been very popular for voters.

With localities urging voters to mail in their ballots to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, the already-heavy turnout is a sign that fewer voters will be voting on Nov. 3. Keech said the estimated 2,000 to 3,000 voters at each precinct for Election Day could drop to a couple hundred.

The number of local registered voters has increased 17 percent from 2016 to 282,426, according to Keech. In 2016, voter turnout was 76 percent.

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