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The Pittsylvania County Registrar assures citizens that a Monday incident where the back door of an empty ballot drop box fell open when a citizen pulled on it is a simple mechanical failure and not tampering.
"Based on the security footage, there is absolutely no evidence of tampering or any ballots being removed or misplaced," said Pittsylvania County Registrar Kelly Keesee. "The box is completely functional at this time."
On Monday afternoon a voter arrived at the Pittsylvania County Registrar's office to find that a ballot drop box was locked because it was a state holiday and the office was closed. The box had been emptied on Friday, the last business day. When the voter walked around the box pulling on it and looking for a way to leave his ballot, the back door opened up due to a faulty latching mechanism on the lock. Security footage shows that this man immediately called the Chatham Police Department, who arrived on scene shortly afterwards.
The Registrar's office has reviewed the security footage and determined that this was not an example of tampering, but is still investigating the incident to determine how to proceed and if any charges should be filed. The faulty lock was replaced on Tuesday morning.
"Voters can rest assured that Pittsylvania County is following all state and federal guidelines to ensure that ballots are delivered in a timely manner and counted accurately," Keesee said.
If registered voters do not feel comfortable voting by mail or dropping their ballot into the drop box, there are several other ways they can cast their vote:
Registered voters have the option to sign up for no-excuse absentee voting. Voters that sign up to receive a mail-in ballot by the deadline of Oct. 23 can send it through the postal service, leave it in the drop box at the registrar's office, or personally hand it to the registrar employees at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex or the main office.
Early, in-person at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex. Registered voters can visit the center any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or for drive-thru voting on Saturday Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.
In-person at their normal polling stations on Nov. 3 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.