Turnout Slow But Steady As Early Voting Kicks Off in Halifax County | Local News
A slow but steady stream of voters showed up on Friday for the first day of early voting in Halifax County.
By the end of Friday, 59 voters had cast their mail ballots in person at the Halifax County Voter Registration and Election Office. Halifax County Registrar of Electors Heather Harding said she hoped to see a higher turnout for the first day of early voting.
“That’s the average for a non-presidential general election in November,” Harding noted. But the number of early voters on Friday was pale compared to the average number of early voters per day in last year’s presidential election, which was between 250 and 300, Harding said.
Tom and Deb Baker of Halifax walked through the door of the voter registration desk on Friday afternoon and left after marking their ballots and putting them into the machine, a process that only took a few minutes .
Deb cited “the lack of crowds” as the main reason she and her husband decided to vote early. She added that she and her husband never missed an opportunity to vote, running whenever there was an election.
Clover’s George and Lyndell Overstreet also had their reasons for voting early Friday.
âWe didn’t want to make it easy for them to steal the election this time around,â said George.
His wife Lyndell added, âI didn’t want to go to the polls on election day and be told I had already voted.
While they didn’t specifically name the gubernatorial candidate they voted for, George revealed, “We knew we weren’t going to vote for Terry McAuliffe.”
Three candidates are on the ballot in Virginia’s November general election for governor: former Gov. McAuliffe (Democrat), Republican candidate Glenn A. Youngkin and Princess L. Blanding of the Liberation Party.
The only candidate running for the Halifax County Board of Supervisors in the Overstreet electoral district, ED-2, is Larry Roller, who is the current tiebreaker on the board. Current ED-2 supervisor Jeff Francisco is not seeking re-election. George said that even if Roller’s name wasn’t the only one on the ballot, he would still have voted for him.
âHe’s a good guy,â added George.
Another early voter, Shari St. Romain of Halifax, revealed her prime candidate for governor in Virginia was McAuliffe.
âI decided to vote in the governor’s race and wanted to make sure my vote was counted,â St. Romain said of his decision to vote at the start of the November general election. âI don’t see a future with Glenn Youngkin because he represents big companies. We need a candidate who will try to deal with ordinary working class people. “
St. Romain added that Virginia and Halifax County need “forward thinking candidates, planning for the future and future growth.” In addition to an âavant-gardeâ mindset, St. Romain cited employment opportunities, education, issues of the elderly and the right of women to choose as important to her in the elections. November.
âThey have to enter the 21st century here,â commented St. Romain. âA lot of young people are leaving this region because they don’t have the choices and the opportunitiesâ¦ we have to invest in broadband in this county. We also need to invest in virtual schools, because that is the future. “
Along with the gubernatorial race, voters in Virginia in the November general election will also vote for the lieutenant governor and attorney general. Republican candidate Winsome E. Sears and Democratic candidate Hala S. Ayala are running for lieutenant governor. The candidates for the post of attorney general are Republican Jason S. Miyares and Democrat Mark R. Herring. In Virginia’s 60th District, which includes Halifax County, Delegate James E. Edmunds II (R) is running unopposed for another term in the House of Delegates.
The start of early voting is timely for the Halifax County Voter Registration and Election Office as they recently moved into their new premises behind the Mary Bethune complex at 1030, rue Mary Bethune, office LL3.
Prior to the opening of the renovated Halifax County Courthouse, the Court Clerk occupied this space and the Office of the Registrar of Electors was located in the front section of the Mary Bethune Complex.
âWe went from 1,500 square feet to 4,400 square feet,â said Harding. âWe are able to consolidate all of our operations into one space here. “
In the former registrar’s office space, Harding said she and her staff had two separate offices – one for day-to-day operations and one for early voting. Harding added that she enjoys having everything “at home” in the new office space, including voting materials.
âIn this facility, I have the impression that we are able to better secure our voting equipment. The equipment is in a room with a camera on at all times. No one has access to this room except myself and my assistant, âsaid Harding.
In the old office space, Harding said voting equipment was located across from his desk in a room with an alarm.
The voter registration and election office is open for early voting Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm The office will also be open on Saturday October 23 and 30 for advance voting for absent in person, with .30 being the last day to vote a mail ballot in person.
In addition to voting by mail in person, voters can also vote by mail.
The last day to request a postal ballot is October 22. Applications must be received at the Halifax County Voter Registration and Election Office by 5:00 p.m.