Franklin, Southampton voters kept polls busy

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2020



“Super busy” is how Raquel Jones described the turnout of voters at the poll in the Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library on Tuesday afternoon. There had been a steady line of turnout and everyone, she added, had been in a great mood.

Setting up started on Monday. The tables, chairs and, of course, the voting machines, were put into place then. Jones stayed a couple hours more after everyone else to ensure readiness.

Mattie Dixon, who had just cast her ballot, also seemed to be quite pleased after voting. She feels good about her candidates’ winning on Tuesday.

Jones, who has been poll chief for about five years, mentioned that they had six voters who had come to the wrong site earlier that day, but were quickly directed to their rightful poll. One of the people was a first-time voter who thought that he could go to any site.

Faye Knight and Daryl Taylor from Story Station Road in Courtland went to Bethel Friends Meeting to vote. They each are confident about their candidates. Taylor said he’ll likely stay up late to watch the results.

Jo Anne Buchanan, the poll chief, said Election Day is “a long, hard day, but you feel so good. You help with voting and get to see friends and neighbors.”

She continued, “Voters were ready before we were. There were lines out to the road of people waiting to get in.”

Buchanan predicted that there would be a line by day’s end.

When the polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday, over a third of Southampton County voters had already cast their ballots.

According to Voter Registrar Lynn Burgess, 3,429 voted early in-person in the days leading up to the Nov. 3 election, and another 870 voted by mail. The mail-in count could still go up, she said, as Virginia law allows absentee ballots to be counted through noon this Friday, so long as ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3.

The 4,299 county residents who voted early this year account for roughly 48% of Southampton County’s 8,872 total votes cast during the 2016 presidential election.

In-person turnout numbers at the county’s polling locations also “seem to be quite good,” she said.