VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — When it comes to behavior at the polls, Jeffrey Marks, chairman of the Virginia Beach Electoral Board, says he’s been pleased with voters during the early voting process.
“It’s a very polarized electorate, and in prior elections, I think sometimes people’s emotions got the best of them. But this year seems to be a lot better,” Marks said.
One hiccup involved a glitch with some voter registrations. Last week, the Virginia Department of Elections said a computing error involving the statewide voter registration caused 149,000 voter records from the Department of Motor Vehicles to get backlogged and sent them to the registrars for processing.
“I had thought we had cleaned out the leftover records from the summer that hadn’t been processed, and we found some more,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Marks said it was just another task keeping election workers busy ahead of the big day.
“It’s one of those things in life you have no control over it, all you can do is solve the problem. It’s been resolved on our end,” he said.
In Virginia Beach, 53,000 people voted early — 17,000 by mail and 36,000 in-person. Marks says the numbers were comparable to last year’s gubernatorial race. But because this is the first year that Virginians can both register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day, it’s hard to predict what those numbers will mean for Tuesday’s turnout.
“There was this rule of thumb that Democrats voted early and then Republicans vote on Election Day. That paradigm held true in 2020, and I don’t think that applies anymore,” Marks said.
Come Tuesday night, workers will be sorting through provisional and mail-in ballots, so results for tight races might not come right away. Marks’ advice to voters: be patient, and be nice to poll workers.
“They work hard. They do it for the love of the process, and love of the community,” he said.