Voting By Mail Already Exceeding 2016 Levels

Glenda Patsel, left, wipes down a voting booth as Bobby J. Lambert fills out his ballot for the senate Republican candidates primary election, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at Hidden Valley Middle School in Roanoke, Va.
Photo credit (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Richmond, Va. ( -- The Department of Elections in Virginia says the percentage of voters requesting a absentee ballot by mail has already exceeded the percentage of those that voted by mail in 2016.  In 2016, six percent of voters mailed in their ballot, right now, 13% of voters have requested a mail ballot.

The Department is putting on an information campaign right now about absentee voting.   New legislation passed by the General Assembly that went into effect July 1, 2020,  means Virginia voters no longer need an excuse to vote absentee. Any registered voter may request an absentee ballot or go vote early in person. Absentee ballots will begin being mailed out on September 18th, the same day early voting begins in all localities throughout the Commonwealth.  The Department is recommending people make their requests early and mail them back early.  Any ballot received by November 6th will count, as long as it was postmarked by November 3rd.

The Department says there are numerous security safeguards in place to ensure voters are only allowed to vote once.