More than 800,000 people request to vote by mail in Virginia

Many not confident ballot will be counted accurately if they vote by mail, polls shows
Posted at 2:09 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 16:30:39-04

NORFOLK, Va. - More than 800,000 people have requested to vote absentee by mail for November's elections in Virginia.

The process to complete the mail-in vote takes just a short time. If you applied to vote by mail, you'll get a packet in the mail. In it, there will be instructions, the ballot, and envelopes to mail it back.

This year, voters do not need a witness to verify they voted properly, but voters have to sign a statement saying they didn't make any false statements.

Dal Paull, a Norfolk resident, requested to vote online and just recently got his ballot. He demonstrated to News 3 how it all works. "I felt it was the safest option," he said.

Despite claims by some the vote by mail process is opening the process up to fraud, Paull believes his vote will be fairly counted. "There's a lot of mixed messages out there. I think we just want a fair election: one vote-one person," he said.

Christopher Piper, the Commissioner of the Department of Elections, says the envelope that is mailed back to the registrar has a bar code, so people can track their ballot. In addition, election officials are following protocols to make sure everything is done in a fair way.

“When they start processing those, those have to be witnessed by election officers and one from each party. This is a public process that sees its way through the system,” Piper told WTVR. “The biggest security factor that we have in Virginia is we all vote on paper. So at the end of the day, when there is any question about it, we can always go back to the paper and count from there.”

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