Early voting at North Courthouse Library
In the wake of record voter turnout last November and overhauls to the state’s voting processes, Chesterfield is making it easier for residents to cast their ballots this fall.
Following changes to Virginia law that permit no excuse absentee voting, the Board of Supervisors established four satellite locations to accommodate county residents who wanted to vote in the 2020 presidential election without waiting until Election Day.
The four public library branches that were redeployed as early voting sites helped Chesterfield’s general registrar, Constance Hargrove, and her staff handle unprecedented turnout – more than 141,000 county residents voted absentee last year, or about 58% of all registered voters – while adhering to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions for public indoor venues.
“Making it convenient and accessible for citizens to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Dale District Supervisor Jim Holland, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “It makes a profound statement that elected officials in Chesterfield support the ability of our citizens to vote for whoever they choose.”
Last year’s satellite voting initiative was so successful, in fact, the board has decided to expand it for November’s gubernatorial election.
In-person early voting starts Friday, Sept. 17, only at the registrar’s office, 9848 Lori Road.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 18 and continuing through Saturday, Oct. 30, Chesterfield residents will be able to cast absentee ballots at five other locations: the four libraries used in last year’s election (Ettrick-Matoaca, LaPrade, Meadowdale and North Courthouse Road) and one that’s new for 2021 – the Clover Hill library at 6701 Deer Run Drive.
“Chesterfield County residents fully embraced early voting during the November 2020 election, and with the addition of the four satellite voting locations, voting was easy and convenient,” Hargrove said. “Voters encountered long lines, but wait times averaged 30 minutes or less. Many of the voters I met were pleased with the staffing and flexibility of satellite locations throughout the county last year.
General Registrar & Director of Elections Constance L. Hargrove
“We are anticipating an equally large turnout for the November 2021 gubernatorial election. I believe voters will be pleased with the addition of the fifth satellite voting location as it should provide more convenience to voters in the western part of the county,” she added.
The Clover Hill library, which is in the northern Matoaca District, will become the closest early voting site for residents of the increasingly populous western U.S. Route 360 corridor.
The North Courthouse Road library serves voters in the Clover Hill and Midlothian districts, while the Meadowdale branch is easily accessible to residents of both the Dale and Bermuda districts.
All five of the satellite locations will host Saturday voting from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.
“Expanding these early voting locations increases the opportunities for people to be heard,” said Clover Hill District Supervisor Chris Winslow, vice chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “I think that is always a good thing.”