A large number of Virginians have lined up for in-person early voting across the state, ahead of the 3 November presidential election.
Pictures and videos shared on social media show long lines of Virginia voters, mostly wearing masks and complying with social distancing rules.
There may be 6+ weeks until Election Day 2020, but early voting in Virginia actually starts today — and there are dozens of voters in line to vote in person even before the building here in Richmond, VA opens pic.twitter.com/LchWhknggp— Amanda Golden (@amandawgolden) September 18, 2020
Some have suggested that people are voting in-person despite the pandemic because they do not trust mail-in ballots. Democrats have been promoting mail-in ballot voting as a safe means to avoid going out, while it has been criticised by President Trump, who said that such a system could lead to fraud in the election.
Look at that line for early IN-PERSON voting in Fairfax, Virginia today!— TheSharpEdge (@TheSharpEdge1) September 18, 2020
This is a sign that people don't trust the mail-in ballot system. pic.twitter.com/hshes7l870
People waiting for hours in Virginia to cast their ballots. Despite this massive line, no complaints here. Voters tell us they are excited, and not taking any chances. pic.twitter.com/44gwG9tE6v— Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) September 18, 2020
As the election is looming, Trump addressed Americans in Virginia on Twitter, slamming Democratic Governor Ralph Northam for his "liberal agenda", including tough gun laws and support of abortion, and pledging instead to protect their rights under the Second Amendment.
Voting starts in Virginia TODAY, and we are going to WIN. You have a crazy Governor who wants to take away your guns, which he will do without me in office. He is in favor of executing babies after birth - this isn’t late-term abortion, this is a step way beyond! Vote for me...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2020
"I'm playing for your guns, and I’m playing for your values. For all the Federal Employees in Virginia, remember, it was me that got you the Federal Pay Raises, not Sleepy Joe Biden. I'll be having a Big Rally in Virginia, to be announced soon!", the president wrote.
In total, more than 35 other states will arrange in-person voting ranging from roughly five to 30 days ahead of 3 November.