Long lines accompany start of early voting in Virginia

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Lines of voters stretched hundreds deep in northern Virginia and other parts of the state on the first day of early voting in the 2020 presidential election.

Friday marked the first day of early voting across the commonwealth. In past presidential elections, Virginia voters needed a reason to cast an early ballot. This year, however, anyone can vote early.

In Fairfax County, election workers were scrambling to open an additional voting room at the county government center where a line of hundreds of voters, spaced six feet apart, stretched down the block. Long lines were also evident in other northern Virginia locations, where Democrats outnumber Republicans.

By mid-afternoon Friday, the line at the Fairfax government center still stretched hundreds of people long, and voters reported the overall wait at nearly four hours. A few came prepared with lawn chairs, though they said the line moved too quickly to sit for any length of time.

Equally long lines, though, were reported in Virginia Beach — where voters stood in the rain — and other parts of the state as well.

President Donald Trump took note of the start also, saying on Twitter: “Voting starts in Virginia TODAY, and we are going to WIN.” In a followup tweet, he said he will “be having a Big Rally in Virginia, to be announced soon!”

Early in-person voting continues through Oct. 31 in Virginia. Voters do not need to submit any application to vote early in person.

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