Loudoun Urges Absentee Voting As Towns Fight To Delay Elections

Mark Hand

LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA — Because of the coronavirus crisis, Loudoun County election officials are strongly encouraging residents to vote absentee in the upcoming town elections scheduled for May 19 in Hamilton, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville and Round Hill.

Ballots must be received in the Office of Elections and Voter Registration no later than 7 p.m. on May 19. The ballot requires the signature of a witness in addition to the signature of the voter. Voters can ask a family member, neighbor, or friend to witness the ballot, county election officials said.

On April 24, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order moving local elections from May 5 to May 19 for 56 localities across the state. The Democratic primary for federal offices was previously moved from June 9 to June 23.

Local officials are questioning whether May 19 is too soon for residents to safely vote given the governor's stay-at-home order goes through June 10. The towns of Purcellville, Lovetsville and Middleburg are working together to petition the state Supreme Court for an extension. They want the town elections held no earlier than June 4, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Loudoun elections officials are telling residents to visit elections.virginia.gov to complete an application to vote absentee. All voters are eligible to vote absentee for this election.

Residents can vote absentee in person at the Office of Elections and Voter Registration, 750 Miller Drive SE, Suite C, Leesburg, 20175. All in-person absentee voting is being done curbside. Voters are not permitted to enter the office.

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Residents who are planning to vote at their precinct on Tuesday, May 19 should be prepared for longer-than-usual wait times as strict social distancing guidelines will be in effect at each precinct, election officials said. All voters will be asked to wear a mask and remain six feet away from others at all times.

No more than 10 people will be permitted inside the voting room at one time, including election officials. Due to the strict safety measures in place, voters are asked to come to the polling place alone to ensure that the maximum number of voters can be served at one time.

Residents can text LCVOTES to 888777 to receive text alerts from the Loudoun County Office of Elections and Voter Registration.

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This article originally appeared on the Leesburg Patch