Waynesboro voters who want to vote in-person for the May 19 municipal election or June 23 Republican primary will do so at Kate Collins Middle School after a unanimous vote by Waynesboro’s city council on Tuesday.
Waynesboro’s electoral board had previously recommended the board approve Westwood Hills Elementary as the new polling location for all voters. However, at a joint city council and electoral board meeting on Tuesday morning, the electoral board said it had “made a mistake in meeting the requirements” of choosing a location within one mile of the border to each of Waynesboro’s four wards.
At Kate Collins, the electoral board said it plans to operate “separate but defined spaces” — essentially operating four separate wards in one location with their own respective poll books and voting machines.
Kate Collins, located at 1625 Ivy Street, is not a current voting location for any of Waynesboro’s four wards. The city plans to send a notice to all of Waynesboro’s registered voters about the temporary polling location change.
The need for a new voting location was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The usual Ward A voting location, Basic United Methodist Church, and the usual Ward D voting location, Westminster Presbyterian Church, did not permit the city to use their locations this election cycle.
Waynesboro’s electoral board is still advocating for members of the community to vote absentee. All voters are eligible to vote absentee using code “2A” because of the pandemic. Voters can apply online for an absentee ballot at vote.elections.virginia.gov, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by faxing the online application to (540) 942-6501. Because it is faster, Waynesboro Voting Registrar Lisa Jeffers encourages requesting an absentee ballot online.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the May 19 municipal election is Tuesday, May 12, by 5 p.m. The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the June 23 Republican primary is Tuesday, June 16, by 5 p.m.
As of Monday, 1,473 absentee ballots had been requested for the May election and 703 of those had been returned. In the same election in 2016, only 64 absentee ballots were cast.