No signs of 2008 boom in Virginia turnout

Virginia elections officials reported a few hiccups at polls, but nothing big so far. And they’re hinting at a surge-free election day.

A handful of the over 2,300 polling places opened later than the scheduled 6 a.m. start, and some voters found themselves competing with buses for parking spots at schools – which remain open today, State Board of Elections Secretary Nancy Rodrigues said during a news briefing.

If absentee ballots are any indication, turnout is going to resemble the 2005 numbers far more closely than 2008. For the last gubernatorial election, which had 45 percent turnout, 75,982 Virginians voted absentee.

Rodrigues said 120,916 absentee application have been approved this year, with 98,955 already sent back to registrars. She cautioned, however, that the state legislature has expanded absentee voting criteria since four years ago. The elections agency’s call center had taken 316 calls by noon, on par with a typical statewide election.
 

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