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Early voting starts next week

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Wenonah Elementary School will be the location for Waynesboro’s Ward A voters starting in November.

Election Day 2022 is nearly two months away, but early voting in Virginia starts next Friday.

And this fall’s elections also signal the first real test of the new ward-based voting system in the commonwealth. In Waynesboro and elsewhere, voters can only cast ballots in local races for candidates running in the wards they live in other than congressional and statewide races.

Waynesboro Registrar Lisa Jeffers said the other wrinkle being added to this year’s elections is redistricting. It is important to consult the Commonwealth of Virginia voting card sent out to see if you are now in a different city ward than you were before.

And add to that the Waynesboro Registrar’s office has been moved to the basement of the Waynesboro Public Library at 605 Market St. Signs at the former location at the Gorsuch Building alert visitors to the move of the registrar. All early voting will happen at the registrar’s office.

And that’s not all. On Nov. 8 — Election Day — voters who live in the east end of Waynesboro and who vote in Ward A, will have a new polling place. They will now vote at the city’s Wenonah Elementary School instead of the former Basic United Methodist Church.

Those taking advantage of early voting can visit the Waynesboro Registrar’s office weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Voters will also have the option of voting on the two Saturdays prior to the election — Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jeffers said it is impossible to say what kind of turnout early voting would garner. The reasons for early voting vary.

“A lot of people want to get it (voting) over with,” she said.

But as for predictions about early voting, Jeffers said “it’s like throwing a party with no invitations.”

Waynesboro voters should be aware that to vote in the Waynesboro School Board and Waynesboro City Council races in November they must be residents of Ward C and Ward D, the two wards where there are both school board and council races on the November ballot. All registered voters can vote in this fall’s 6th District congressional election, pitting incumbent Republican Rep. Ben Cline against Democratic challenger Jennifer Lewis of Waynesboro.

Cline is seeking his third term in the seat. Lewis is making her second bid, having lost to Cline in 2018.

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