2020 has been a year unlike any other in many regards, so why should voting be any different? On Sept. 18, the polls opened in Virginia. According to James Heilman, Secretary of the Albemarle County Electoral Board, about 18,000 ballots have been sent out, and they are projecting around 30,000 of the roughly 80,000 registered voters will vote early.
Heilman explained that there are three different ways to vote in the upcoming presidential election: early in person, early by mail or absentee or at the polls on Election Day. He went on to explain that absentee ballots can be mailed, brought to a drop box at the Albemarle County Office Building on Fifth Street Extended, or on Election Day at a polling location. The deadline to register to vote or update voter information is Oct. 13.
“We want to assure our voters that all 30 voting places will be open on Nov. 3,” Heilman said. He went on to say that “We are making our best efforts to assure that [polling stations] will be safe and clean. … We have a whole pandemic plan for our polling places that involves sneeze guards, face masks, face shields, regular cleaning regime. We are trying to make sure that everyone stays safe on Election Day.”
If voters have any questions, Heilman refers them to Albemarle.org where they can find a video showing how to complete a ballot.
Mike Kropf is a photographer with work printed in various publications in central Virginia. Previously, he was the staff photographer for Longwood University and a photographer for the Washington Football Team.