Local registrars encounter lines, electronic issues as registration deadline closes

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:07 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A line stretched out the door at the registrar’s office in Lynchburg Tuesday.

Tuesday marked the deadline to register to vote in Virginia.

But folks looking to get last-minute registration had to wait a little longer than usual.

“The state department of elections' voter registration database went down this morning, so we’ve been dealing with questions regarding that and their voter registration," said Christine Gibbons, Lynchburg director of elections and general registrar.

Because of a fiber cut, she says they had to use paper earlier in the day to keep things moving.

“We can’t look at a voter registration record for any of our voters or even for early voting so right now we’re doing early voting but we’re using paper poll books," said Gibbons.

Early voting has been a big hit not only in Lynchburg, but in Bedford County, too.

Barbara Gunter says over 8,000 ballots have already been received in her locality.

“Early voting has been very busy. We’ve had lots and lots of absentee by mail - three to four times what we typically have for a presidential election," said Gunter, Bedford County general registrar.

As people continue to bring in their ballots, Gunter says her office is getting ready for Election Day itself.

“We have all of our polling sites staffed now and we’re starting training classes this week," said Gunter.

Back in Lynchburg, the no-excuse provision for early voting has kept the registrar’s office busy.

Gibbons says it’s a change from years before.

“Now it’s no-excuse and so we are seeing longer lines and more people coming to our office than we typically would have," said Gibbons.

Lynchburg has also received about 7,000 mail-in ballots so far.

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