What is a 'Central Absentee Precinct'?

In each Virginia locality, any ballot cast before Election Day is assigned to the 'central absentee precinct.' In Richmond this year, heavy early turnout swelled the absentee precinct, dramatically reducing the number of people who voted at the city's 70 precincts on Election Day.

Statewide, nearly two-thirds of all votes were assigned to central absentee precincts. This had two big consequences. One, this created blocs of votes that, when released, caused dramatic shifts in some races. Two, because voting machines were not programmed to allocate early votes back to precincts where voters reside, the public will be left without a granular understanding of this year's presidential results.

Source: Virginia Department of Elections

Nov. 20, 2020