Absentee voting down from 2008, Virginia Beach election officials say

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — There were different reasons why many Virginia Beach residents decided to cast absentee ballots.

Some said they would be out of town on Election Day. Others said health reasons would cause problems for them trying to stand in line.

“I don’t want to have to drag my granddaughter to the polling because of so many people,” said Milagros Jordan, who will be watching the child on Tuesday.

Absentee polling locations are giving residents, like Jordan, a chance to skip Tuesday’s crowds.

Virginia Beach election officials say they expect a large number of people to turn out to vote due to a record high number of registered voters. They say 309,434 are registered to vote in the city, but absentee ballots are not hitting the same numbers they were in 2008.

According to officials, 12,078 have voted in person.

Election officials say 7,935 ballots have been mailed in and they’re waiting for 6,369 others still out in the community.

In 2008, there were 26,232 absentee ballots with more than 12,000 of those being in-person ballots.

Election officials say numbers are down. The number of mail in ballots have increased due to technological capabilities allowing more people to register online.

Voters say they believe many aren’t coming out to vote because of the campaign’s turmoil.

“Most of them are just not coming out. They’re not. They’re just fed up with the way everything’s been ran. It’s giving them a sour taste in their mouth,” said Lorene Smith.

While officials are expecting packed polls on Tuesday, voters have messages for those still weary of showing up to cast their ballots:

“If they want to see some change, they have the voice to change what’s going on in our country and do that as a citizen. Do that as an American,” said Jordan.