Nearly 2,000 request absentee ballotsPublished 12:05pm Saturday, October 27, 2012
BY ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
FRANKLIN—As of Friday, 713 Western Tidewater voters had cast absentee ballots for the Presidential Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
An additional 1,233 absentee ballots were mailed to voters, according to election officials in Franklin and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties.
Those allowed to vote absentee in the race between Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney include military members on active duty and emergency workers.
Also permitted to vote early are people who will be out of town for personal, business or educational obligations, temporarily residing outside of the United States, who are unable to vote in person because of a disability and people who are election officials or candidate/party representatives.
Voters have until Tuesday, Oct. 30, to apply for a mailed absentee ballot. The deadline to return ballots by mail is 5 p.m. Election Day, or in person by Saturday, Nov. 3. Election offices will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.
“The turnout for absentee voting has not been as much as the last presidential election, but certainly more than other elections,” said Vicky Lonsdale, assistant registrar for Isle of Wight County
To date, 465 of the county’s 27,194 voters have been absentee walk-in voters, and another 800 have been mailed ballots compared to the 1,200 walk-ins and 900 mailed for four years ago.
“In 2008, absentee voting was close to 10 percent of our registered voters,” Lonsdale said.
Franklin City Registrar Jennifer Maynard said out of 6,060 voters, 136 have voted absentee in person and 187 have asked for ballots to be mailed.
“I cant say what the expectations were this year as this is my first presidential election,” said Maynard.
“The former registrar said during the last presidential election it was around 400 absentee votes; I’m not sure how accurate that is or not.”
Southampton County has mailed 346 absentee ballots to its 12,551 voters, and 112 have voted in person, said Registrar Peggy Davis. Davis said she believes the county is on track compared to the 700-800 absentee voters in 2008.
For more information contact the registrar’s office in Franklin at 562-8545, Isle of Wight County at 365-6230 or Southampton County at 653-9280.