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Registrars process absentee ballots

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:15 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A sign on the wall of the Roanoke City Registrar’s Office serves as a countdown to Election Day.

But with early voting in person now underway and absentee ballots arriving at the registrar’s office by the hundreds, the race is on.

The registrar’s office has mailed about 12,000 ballots so far, and about 7,000 have been returned.

And they’re still going out, a couple hundred a day in the city. Voters have until Friday at 5 p.m. to request one on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

When they’re returned to the registrar’s office, election officials check them against poll books, verify the envelopes are filled out properly and then scan the ballots into a voting machine the same day.

Andrew Cochran is Roanoke’s Director of Elections and General Registrar.

“We have extreme security measures in place for every step from when the ballot is prepared until it’s mailed and received back,” Cochran told WDBJ7. “And we track every single movement of every single ballot.”

Ballots are locked up when election officials are not working with them, and there are two ways for voters to track them online.

Several thousand vote-by-mail ballots are still outstanding, and Cochran is encouraging voters to return them as soon as possible.

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