A record number of people have voted early in the Vermont primary and more ballots are expected to be turned in before polling places close on Tuesday, the state's Secretary of State Jim Condos said.
Condos made the comments Monday when talking about preparations for casting ballots during Tuesday’s primary voting.
As of late morning Monday, Condos say more than 104,000 voters have already cast their ballots. He said more than 152,000 ballots were requested for the primary.
“While the core tenets of our democratic process remain in place, this is certainly like no election we have ever experienced in recent history,” said Condos, the state's top election official, during an online media availability.
Among the races that are being decided on Tuesday are primary contests for governor, lieutenant governor, the U.S. House and many legislative races.
There is an increased emphasis on voting by mail or early voting this year to help make the process safer during the coronavirus pandemic.
But voters may also cast ballots in person, although Condos said some locations could look different from elections past due changes made to protect voters and polling place workers during the pandemic.
There are 275 different polling locations across the state. In some locations, there will be drive-through voting, with people able to cast their ballots from their cars.
The state’s polling places are listed on the Secretary of State’s website.
To be counted in the primary, all ballots must arrive at voters’ town or city clerk’s before 7 p.m. Tuesday, when the polls close. Vermonters can also cast ballots traditionally, but Condos says the polls may look different this year because of changes prompted by the virus.
Ahead of Tuesday's primary, voters across Vermont were sent postcards with which they could request mail in-ballots for the Aug. 11 primary and the November ballot.
The system was designed to reduce the risk to voters of passing or contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 by encouraging people to vote remotely.
For the November general election, all active voters in the state will receive ballots in the mail through a provision in a new voting law passed by the Legislature designed to make voting safer during the pandemic.