• 55°

More than 30,000 vote early in Suffolk

More than 30,000 city residents voted early this year — more than five times the number of people who voted prior to Election Day in the 2016 presidential election.

In Suffolk, 30,317 of the city’s 67,917 eligible voters have voted — 22,301 who voted in person and another 8,016 who voted by mail as of Nov. 1. Another 2,200 ballots mailed to city voters have not yet been returned, according to State Board of Elections and Virginia Public Access Project data. In the 2016 presidential election, 5,997 city residents voted early.

Statewide, more than 2.7 million people have voted early — nearly 1.8 million voting in person and more than 940,000 by mail. More than 188,000 ballots mailed to voters statewide have not yet been returned.

For those who have received a ballot in the mail but have not returned it yet, the voter must either return the ballot in person by 7 p.m. on Election Day at ballot drop off boxes located at all city polling precinct locations, or send it by mail postmarked no later than Nov. 3 and have it received by the registrar’s office by noon Nov. 6.

The U.S. Postal Service has recommended that voters mail their completed ballots at least one week prior to their state deadline. It said that as of Nov. 1, people should consider alternative options such as voting in person, hand-delivering their ballot or using a drop box at the registrar’s office or precinct.

People can also vote at their voting precinct from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Nov. 3, with social distancing observed and mask-wearing encouraged.

Virginia has no-excuse, in-person early voting that began 45 days prior to the election, and in Suffolk, city residents eligible to vote were able to mail ballots, return them to the registrar’s office or vote at the registrar’s office during regular office hours, and on the last two Saturdays prior to the regular Nov. 3 election day.

In 2016, the city had 61,318 eligible voters, with 43,043 people voting in the presidential election. Statewide in 2016, nearly 4 million people voted, representing 72% of the total eligible voters that year, with 566,948 people voting absentee.