Long Lines Early At Two Rural Precincts, But No Problems Voting

Nov 3, 2020

Credit Randi B. Hagi

Virginians went to the polls today -- at least, many of those who didn’t vote early.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi checked in at two Valley polling stations.

Shea Tussing (right) is precinct chief at the fire department polling station in Broadway.
Credit Shea Tussing

The polls at the Broadway Fire Department had a slow trickle of voters at noon. By then, 869 people had voted in person today, and another 825 had voted early or by mail. The precinct has about 2,800 registered voters altogether.

SHEA TUSSING: The last presidential was busy. I know the absentee votes this time have been larger than last time, but it's been pretty steady.

Precinct Chief Shea Tussing said there was a line of about 50 people when they opened the polls this morning, but it only stayed busy for about an hour. The majority of voters I saw were wearing masks, although many poll workers were not. Outside, Democratic Party volunteer David Furlong said it's been quiet for most of the day. His goal there is just to provide a Democratic presence, even though Donald Trump won 69% of the precinct in 2016.

David Furlong is a volunteer with local Democrats.
Credit Randi B. Hagi

DAVID FURLONG: And we have, as you can see, a sample ballot that we're showing people as well. Everybody's been polite, and it's been okay so far. So I'm glad to see that [chuckles].

Local resident Ron Kipps came to cast his ballot in full Trump regalia. He voted for Trump in 2016 as well.

Ron Kipps sported his choice on a T-shirt.
Credit Randi B. Hagi

RON KIPPS: He's in favor of Jerusalem and what he did there, and he's against abortion, which I am. I think in the word of God it tells us in Proverbs and different places that God hates the blood that's shed … And bringing back businesses to our country, and opening it up. And manufacturing and more jobs for all people. Not just whites or Blacks, but Hispanics and everybody.

 

 

Randi also checked in midday at another precinct just south of Harrisonburg...

Dawn Keplinger, precinct chief at Silver Lake in Dayton.
Credit Randi B. Hagi

Voters in the Silver Lake precinct of Rockingham County were lined up outside the Woodmen of the World building in Dayton this morning, but the place was quiet by 1 p.m. Precinct Chief Dawn Keplinger said that, out of about 2,300 registered voters, 579 had come through by then.

DAWN KEPLINGER: Usually it's a mob scene from start to finish, right up until the end, but I suppose with early voting, that probably took a lot of the pressure off. A lot of people voted early but I don't have those exact numbers. 

All the poll workers and most of the voters I saw there were wearing masks, and some had plastic face shields as well.

William Jeffrey
Credit Randi B. Hagi

KEPLINGER: They're glad we're cleaning things, and they seem to think it's been well organized.

Local resident William Jeffrey stopped by on his lunch break. He voted for Trump this year, as he did in 2016.

WILLIAM JEFFREY: The thing that I think that really made me want to vote for him in the first place was the difference between having a globalist society as opposed to having a nationalist society … I think that people should vote their conscience, whichever way that you decide.

Twenty-seven year old Joseph Albrecht came out for Biden today.

Joseph Albrecht voted for the first time this year.
Credit Randi B. Hagi

JOSEPH ALBRECHT: Well, I guess it's the lesser of two evils. I mean that sounds awful, but this is the first time I've ever voted. I felt like it was a pretty important election.