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With Virginia’s 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary on Tuesday, Where Are We with Absentee Voting?


With the Virginia Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, and with absentee in-person voting ending today, where are we with total absentees so far?  See below for information from the State Board of Elections, as of this morning. A few highlights:

  • There had been 72,769 absentee applications, including 19,792 for “Personal Business or Vacation”; 14,577 listing “Student”; 10,801 listing “Business”; 9,644 listing “Disability or Illness”; etc.
  • There had been 44,562 absentee ballot returned, including 24,461 in person and 20,053 by mail.
  • Fairfax County had by far the most absentee applications, with 17,164 – around 24% of the total for the entire state! Arlington County had 6,110; Loudoun County had 4,285; Prince William County had 4,066; Alexandria had 3,439; Henrico County had 3,061; Virginia Beach had 2,944; Chesterfield County had 2,280; Richmond City had 1,892; Albemarle County had 1,746; Norfolk had 1,259; Charlottesville had 1,057; Spotsylvania County had 901; Roanoke City had 555; etc.
  • Just for rough comparison purposes, with less than a week until this past November’s Virginia legislative elections, there had been 142,533 absentee ballot *requests* and 91,107 absentee ballots *returned*  – far higher than for this coming Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary.  Of course, this election only has a primary for the Democrats, while Republicans have basically anointed Trump as their nominee for a second, disastrous term. So it’s not terribly surprising that the absentee voting would be lower for this election than for last November’s, for control of the entire Virginia General Assembly, plus a host of important local races.
  • Also note, according to former Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary, that Arlington County as of this past Thursday appeared to have set a record for absentee voting in a presidential primary, with an apparent “frantic (in person) surge” as the election over the past week or so. According to O’Leary, that might be because of “prior voter uncertainty” as to the Democratic presidential candidate they would support. According to O’Leary, “that uncertainty seems to be dissipating as Super Tuesday rapidly approaches.”


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