Virginians wait up to four hours to cast early voting ballots
© Getty Images

Northern Virginia residents waited in line to vote for up to four hours on Friday, the first day to cast ballots early in the state.

Officials said in Fairfax County, a heavily Democratic area and the state’s largest jurisdiction, the wait was four hours by midday, The Washington Post reported. By noon, approximately 300 people had already cast their ballots as at least 300 others waited to do the same. 

Voters in the state can submit ballots in person through Oct. 31, or on Election Day, Nov. 3. Several satellite locations are set to open up in Fairfax next month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some voters told the Post that casting their ballot on the first day was a symbol. 

“You’ve got to vote on the first day and make a statement that we can’t put up with this any more than we have to,” Ashok Viswanath, who planned to vote for Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE, told the outlet. 

Kate Hanley, secretary of the Fairfax County board of elections, told the Post that officials would be adding another room with ballot machines to speed up the line of voters. 

“We knew it would be busy but didn’t expect it would be quite this busy,” Hanley said. “Typically, we expect this kind of turnout on the last day of absentee in-person voting. Not on the first day.” 

In Loudoun County, which is also near Washington, D.C., there was a line of approximately 200 people outside of the office of elections at 8:30 a.m.

Most jurisdictions across the state only opened a few voting sites on the first day of early voting. The state also began sending out absentee ballots on Friday. 

Virginia residents are voting on a slate of competitive races, including between Biden and President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE. Democratic Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaOn The Money: Sides tiptoe towards a COVID deal, but breakthrough appears distant | Expiring benefits raise stakes of stimulus talks | Stocks fade with eyes on Capitol Democrat urges IRS to quickly process Gold Star families' refund requests Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch MORE and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerChamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Spanberger's GOP challenger raises over .8 million in third quarter Murphy: Russia will become more of a threat to US election while Trump is in quarantine MORE are both defending the seats that they flipped during the 2018 midterms. The Cook Political Report has rated both races a toss-up.

In the state’s typically red 5th District, currently represented by Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanGOP congressman condemns Trump-promoted theory that Bin Laden killing was a hoax Marjorie Taylor Greene spars with GOP lawmaker over QAnon, antifa Internal poll shows tight race in Virginia House race MORE (R), The Cook Political Report on Friday moved the race from “leans Republican” to a toss-up.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a measure into law earlier this year allowing Virginia residents to vote absentee in person or by mail without having to provide an excuse. He also signed legislation allowing drop boxes at local registrars so that voters can personally deliver their ballots.