Early Voting by Locality: 2021 v. 2017

Early voting is up sharply across Virginia this year compared to the last gubernatorial election four years ago. State law now makes it easier to cast ballots before Election Day, and the pandemic still has some people wanting to avoid crowds at the polls. In addition, Republicans this year have built early voting into their get-out-the-vote strategy, something that Democrats (particularly in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.) have been doing for years.

In the chart below, some of the biggest gains have come in rural localities, where a relatively modest number of additional early votes can result in an outsized percentage change. As expected, some of the smallest gains have been in localities that four years ago had the highest early voting rates.

Last Updated: . Numbers current through previous day.

Percent change in early voting, 2021 v 2017

Locality shading based on 2017 gubernatorial performance
+5R to +20R
+5R to +5D
+5D to +20D

Methodology: The percentage change was calculated using this formula: [(Number of early ballots cast so far in November 2021 general election) MINUS (Final number of early ballots cast in November 2017 general election)] DIVIDED BY [Final number of early ballots cast in November 2017 general election]
Note: Does not include Norton City which did not report absentee results in any form until 2020.
Oct. 27, 2021