You don't have to wait until Nov. 3 to vote in the election.
That process starts Friday in Virginia.
Known as no-excuse, in-person absentee voting, any registered voter can to go the registrar's office and cast their ballots through Oct. 31.
This will be the fourth election in Danville this year, and, once again, it comes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Face coverings and social distancing are a must, Danville Registrar Peggy Petty said.
"We're asking that they [voters] be respectful of other voters and wear masks," Petty said.
Voters will be electing the next president, a U.S. senator and one member of congress, and in Danville there's a hot-button referendum on whether or not the city should allow a casino to set up shop.
Also voters will choose among three candidates for Danville City Council to fill a seat left vacant by Adam Tomer, who resigned in the middle of his term.
The seat is currently being occupied by Sam Kushner, who was appointed by council. Kushner, who had previously served on City Council is not running for election.
Petrina Carter, Bryant Hood and former council member Fred Shanks are vying for the position in a special election. Whoever wins will serve out the remainder of Tomer's term that ends in 2022.
President Donald Trump is facing Democrat Joe Biden and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, also is facing the challenge of Republican Daniel Gade.
In the 5th Congressional District, voters will decide whether they want Democrat Cameron Webb or Republican Bob Good to replace current Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican.
But this year, with the novel coronavirus pandemic, there has been much focus on how people will want to vote, to be safe and to avoid crowds and delays.
Virginia has instituted several new laws to make access easier by both early voting and voting by mail. There also has been a lot of political rhetoric about the security and advisability of those processes.
Pittsylvania County Registrar Kelly Keesee said her office has ordered more than 100% of needed ballots for the election in case of voter errors.
"People will make mistakes, and spoiled ballots will have to be corrected," Keesee said.
Keesee is asking voters who request a mail-in ballot but choose to vote in person to bring their ballots with them so staff can verify they haven't already voted.
Third-party groups, Democrats and Republicans have sent out vote-by-mail applications, and Petty said her office was flooded with applications.
"We have had as many as six from the same person," Petty said. "It's a lot of misunderstanding. People are getting all of this and they just don't understand it's the same application."
We thought you might find it helpful to anticipate some of your questions and provide the insights required to make this process easier.
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