NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — On November 2, Virginia voters will have the final say in one of the closely watched races in the country. Former Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to return to the governor’s mansion, but political newcomer Republican Glenn Youngkin has the Democrat in the fight for his political life.

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For the statewide races, there are two must-wins: The Hampton Roads region, which Democrat Senator Mark Warner calls a toss-up, and Northern Virginia, where Youngkin hopes to score turnovers in suburbs that voted for Biden.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (L) and Glenn Youngkin (R) participate in a roundtable at WAVY-TV studios on Oct. 7, 2021 (WAVY Photo)

So far, early voting turnout has been lackluster, but that could soon change.

From the steps of Norfolk City Hall, Democrats, with Fair Fight’s Stacey Abrams on hand, celebrated the first-ever Sunday voting in Virginia, dubbed “Souls to the Polls.”

Dr. Melvin Blackwell is the new President of the Metro Ministers Conference. “On Sundays, as we represent the community; we have the opportunity to come together as a community, said the Smithfield-based pastor in a four-way Zoom interview with community leaders.

Community activist Maurice Hawkins underscored how the Democrat-led legislature in Virginia has expanded voting while other states have contracted access to the polls.

“[In recent years] We’ve always tried to get more people participating in this process but again at the same time there have been forces out there that have tried to limit that access,” Hawkins said.

Regina Mobley to all: Is this[Souls to the Polls] open to everyone: Republicans, Democrats, and Independents?

Joint response: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. “We want people to vote,” said Gary McCollum, co-founder of Due The Right Things .

“Until and unless the United States make Election Day a holiday, then we should take any opportunity to vote any day of the week, said Dr. James Allen who is the President of the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference.

10 On Your Side reached out to Youngkin’s campaign regarding his support for early voting. Read the statement below:

“Glenn Youngkin has continually encouraged Virginians to vote early and the campaign has focused its efforts on the early vote because the best way to win back the Commonwealth and ensure Virginia has safe communities, a rip-roaring economy, and that parents have a voice in their child’s education is to vote early for Glenn. Glenn Youngkin is presenting his closing message and encouraging voters to vote early with a series of Parents Matter and Early Voting rallies across the Commonwealth.” 

Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter

McAuliffe started the campaign far ahead of the former Carlyle Group co-CEO, but according to FiveThirtyEight pollster, Nate Silver, Youngkin is positioned for a come-from-behind victory. The Democrat’s lead is less than 3 points.

“That’s why we support Souls to the Polls to make sure every Virginian and every American has the right to vote,” Hawkins said.

There’s one more “Souls to the Polls” event before Election Day, on Sunday, October 24. A march begins at 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Hampton, with a celebration following from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The deadline to apply for a ballot by mail is Friday, October 22 and the last day of in-person early voting is October 30 at 5 p.m.