ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — For the first time, voters in the Commonwealth don’t have to have a reason to vote ahead of Election Day, thanks to the Virginia General Assembly. Before, early voting was called “in-person absentee voting.” Arlington County has been anticipating the change for about a year, and plans to meet the uptick in voters by opening two additional early voting centers.
“It’s not necessarily about safety. It’s about giving voters options, especially since we are in a pandemic,” said Director of Elections Gretchen Reinemeyer. “Anything we can do to reduce lines on Election Day and reduce crowds anywhere in the county will help with the ongoing pandemic.”
If you’re concerned about the state of the U.S. Postal Service, is it better to vote early?
“With in-person voting, we can’t guarantee that there will never be a line and there will never be a crowd so if you do want to avoid the line, or you want that express pass to the line, voters should request their mail-in ballot,” Reinemeyer said. “Either method is safe, it’s really just the voter’s choice.”
The county has used three early voting locations in previous years. The new ones, in the “car-free community” of National Landing and in the Langston Brown Community Center in Halls Hill, were picked so voters wouldn’t have to travel to other neighborhoods to cast their ballots.