Arlington election officials are advising the public not to be dissuaded if lines for voting, either in advance of Nov. 3 or on Election Day itself, seem long.
“You can expect to see a pretty long line, but that’s because of the spacing we’re trying to put between voters,” county director of elections Gretchen Reinemeyer said at a recent forum.
“A long line doesn’t necessarily mean a long wait,” Reinemeyer said. “We haven’t seen a longer wait than 30 minutes . . . but that line will look pretty long when people are spaced out 6 feet.”
Arlington, like the rest of the commonwealth, opened early in-person voting on Sept. 18, using leased space at 2200 Clarendon Blvd., near from the county-government headquarters.
Starting Oct. 17, limited early-voting opportunities will be available at four satellite locations: Aurora Hills Community Center, Langston-Brown Community Center, Madison Community Center and Walter Reed Community Center. (A complete schedule is available at https://vote.arlingtonva.us.)
Early voting will continue through Oct. 31 at the various locations, then be shut down in anticipation of the Nov. 3 regular polling day. That day, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at all precincts.
Reinemeyer told the Sun Gazette that her office has been working with local health officials since the onset of the pandemic in the spring, and were not aware of any instance in which a voter or staff member picked up the COVID virus by being at the polls.
To keep things safe, Arlington election officials are asking voters to wear facial coverings while in line and voting, if at all possible. But, under a decision handed down at the state level, “you will not be turned away to vote if you do not wear a facemask,” Reinemeyer said.
[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]